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Lures are one thing, but what is sea bass feeding on? Amazingly, when we look at some of the lures we use, I sometimes wonder why we may not be catching them, especially on days when everything seems to be in our favour. Remember, that’s a massive sea out there, so why are those hungry bass invading our shoreline? Why don’t they stay in the deeper waters? Before we get into this topic, let’s look at some of the food on the menu for our beloved bass.
Here is a list of common foods for our bass
Looking around the rock pools on our coasts
As a kid, I would love to venture down the rocks at low tide and look at some of the amazing creatures that live there. Seeing fish and prawn flee the minute they see your hand coming or a crab raising its pincers to warn you off is just amazing to watch. Whether hiding under a rock or sheltering under the thick kelp, there will always be an abundance of life around those rocks and rock pools.
Different terrain, Different life
Sometimes, different terrain could bring different species that were not found on the normal rocks. These areas (Broadstairs) were in between the main rocks. Specifically, this ground had more like flintstones, and the water would cloud very quickly, blocking your view to whatever lies underneath whenever you turned over a rock. Luckily though, you would sometimes be lucky and see what delights were waiting for you.
When we used to look for peeler crabs around our shoreline, this one area had these strange-looking crabs. In fact, I have only ever seen these crabs in this one area of the rocks down Broadstairs. They seemed pretty rare, to be totally honest. The name of this so-called crab is the Broad-Clawed Porcelain crab. Apparently, that’s it, but doing my research, the pictures do not look exactly like the crab I’m talking about. You can see a video of the crab here.
Crabs? Bass just love them!
Right then, where we do most of our lure fishing, there is an abundance of crabs living in any nook or cranny available. Often, the odd beetle can be found at the low watermarks. By beetle, I’m talking about that incredible lobster that our restaurants serve as a delicacy all over the country.
Different species of Crab
The first and the most common is the shore crab or greenback, as some people call it. This is a prevalent bait choice for our sea anglers. The shore crab is also a firm favourite with the bass. Personally, that’s why I think the bass come in so close to feeding; there are loads of crabs waiting to be picked off. You can be sure to find the shore crab under any rock or seaweed in and around the gullies and rock pools all around our beautiful coast.
The Edible Crab
Generally, the Punga, as we tend to call it, can be found right on the low watermarks. However, spring tides are the best option for finding another of our country’s good eating choices. Obviously, with more ground being uncovered, the eater is more likely to be found. The edible crab can borrow its way under the most stubborn stuck rocks and will not budge an inch until you try and move them. Sometimes, you have to look carefully to find them; they sometimes can look just like a stone. Whereas the shore crab will spring into action with those claws held high, scurrying to find a porthole to escape.
The Velvet crab or French swimmer has to be the Bruce Lee of the crustacean world. However, these crabs are also the prettier of the 3, in my opinion. But armed with razor-like claws, you wouldn’t want a pinch from these guys. Amazingly, they have like paddles on their rear hind legs that must propel them into action. There seems to have been a big increase in these crabs over the past 10 years. Why? I haven’t got a clue. Dogfish are another fish that seems to have taken over in the commonality states. Making our bass fishing a nightmare with those hungry dogs around. But luckily, we are safe with the lures.
This depends largely on where you live to know what species is off your coast. In theory, the larger bass seems to be chasing after Mackerel, Herring, Sprats and Sardines. Does this mean the bigger bass are further out in deeper waters? No, definitely not.
Mackerel is a firm favourite with bass and can be found all around our shores. The good news is, they can be very close to our shoreline. Mackerel hone in on the likes of baitfish that are also in vast shoals off of the low tide marks. Many lure patterns are of the mackerel. So when the mackerel are around and are feeding, guess what lure to put on?
Another great food source for bass and a prevalent choice of bait for the shore and boat fisherman. Sand eels can occasionally be caught on lures, but normally there are special feather-like lures to catch them. Another lure imitation from soft plastics to hard lures is a must pattern IMO.
Other Fish bass may feed on
Around our rocks and rockpools, there are several different species of fish to be found. Fish like rockling, blennies, small wrasse, gobies and butterfish are common. These are also a valuable food source for the bass. This is a perfect opportunity for bass to take advantage of any vulnerable fish straying from their homes with the incoming tide.
Prawns and Shrimps
Suppose you’re wondering if bass like prawns or not; get a live one and fish it off a bubble float. Trust me; if the bass is about, they will nail them. You can find prawns around the rock pools, groins or sandy bays. Using a shrimp net to get them is probably the most productive way to collect them.
Ultimately, small can collect shrimps the same way, but I think I’d rather eat them, to be honest. You can easily tell the difference between the prawn and the shrimp. The prawn has a jagged saw on its head and is usually larger than the shrimp.
Now, this old-timer ‘The Squid’ has been around for yonks. This has been a firm favourite bait for all sorts of sea fishing practices: boat or shore and nearly always available in the tackle shops. Nevertheless, you could always try your local fishmongers if not available and the bait shop. My claim to fame is that I actually caught a squid on my lure down Folkestone one night. Good job. I was heading for a blank until that cephalopod came along, don’t worry, I managed to wangle a bass out last minute.
What Are Sea Bass Feeding On?
Realistically, probably the most popular baits for any fish on the planet. Worms would always be a great choice for fishing for bass. However, other creatures also like a worm or two. Therefore, this can sometimes hamper our chances of catching bass. However, Dogfish and crabs will be the main culprits. So briefly, that’s a great advantage using lures because either of those mentioned is out of the equation.
Here is a list of the more popular worms for fishing
There are numerous types of shellfish out there; go to the local seafood shop on the harbour to find out. Realistically, I have to be honest, that I’m not too sure where these creatures come along in the bass food chain. All I know is that people do use them for bait. Previously, well about 40 years ago, a holidaymaker had caught bass of 12lb off Broadstairs harbour. Unbelievably, on a whelk and a spinner.
Now for me, if that ain’t random, I don’t know what is. I hadn’t even caught a bass back then, so who am I to judge? Realistically, I am not sure if you can buy any types of shellfish from a tackle shop. It is probably not worth the hassle or money for anyone to go out and get them; bait-digging for worms is a much better option. Let’s face it; people are not going to eat worms, are they… Are they??
Here is a list of Shellfish
Hopefully, we answered your question: What Are Sea Bass Feeding On? There are probably loads of other creatures they feed on that we had left out. However, I think there are enough on here to either give you some fishing alternatives or even options for what you may fancy for dinner at the weekend—happy fishing to one and all.