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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Four friends and I spent a marvellous, although fruitless, early mornings fishing off the north Norfolk coast at Weybourne yesterday. The sea was almost like a mill pond. A gentle ripple with with waves lapping abainst the shingle. Most notably the water was gin clear.

Initially I noticed a large dorsal and tail fin cutting slowly through the water about 25m off shore. It was cruising slowly and running parallel to the beach. It was not interested in our lures.

About half an hour later we came into a series of frenzied shoals of whitebait. They appeared to move up and down the beach as if being penned in and herded by what I can only assume were either bass or mackerel.

These shoals kept us busy until we left a few hours later but no one fish was interested in anything we cast out. We cast in front of and behind the shoals, nothing. We tried all the lures we had plus feathers, nothing. Where did we go wrong?

Are bass like trout in that when they are feeding/gorging on a particular source they will look at nothing else? If this is so is there a lure that is a good representitive of a whitebait?

To cap it all, Giles found a large bass lolling in the shallows. He passed my feed shallow minnow in front of it's nose several times to no avail. It saw it but just sat there unmoving. In exasperation and thinking it might possibly have been ill he gave it a prod with his rod tip. ( Yes, it was that close) Immediately it woke up and buggered off into deeper water. Giles was not a happy bunny. We concluded it must have been having a bit of a nap after a rather large breakfast.

I imagine it can be put down to "just one of those days" but I would be interested to know if other members experiences of similar events were the same or if there are better tactics out there.

Cheers,

Andy B
 

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In gin clear water bass I'm sure can differentiate between real food & a lure. that is possibly why they were not interested in your lures.
A better option in gin clear water is the fly, a fly behaves more naturally in the water IMHO
 

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same thing with a school of salmon about a couple of tons 10mt infront of me on the surface tight as would not move for any thing so dropped lure down to 20grm finaly work one out and he's mine you can't eat more main meals but you always have room for ice cream jelly bean theory works well on most fish i target go smaller when you can see schools of fish works here should work there
 

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Andy. I'm there is a couple of weeks myself so hopefully the water hasn't coloured up by then. Bringing my armoury with me LOL.

As for not getting any interest in that situation, I had a similar thing happen on Chesil last year, not quite so extreme though. The Bass were feeding, the birds were feeding but I/we could not get a hook up on a plug. We resorted to a white sindwinder sandeel 28grs, cast out and let it drop to the bottom on the shingle. 4 or 5 turns, pause, 4 or 5 turns, pause. We hooked loads of Bass. We alternated plug/sidewinder and still only got hookups on the bottom. Like you I thought they'd had a good feed and were resting on the bottom and perhaps a bait shaped thing bouncing on the shingle made them show interest. Don't know, but must be worth a try, think out the box as they say.
 

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...We concluded it must have been having a bit of a nap after a rather large breakfast....
Quite possibly, I have seen lots of bass dozing although normally they pick a deeper, more sheltered spot. Must have been stuffed!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Andy, I hope your armoury includes a hand grenade. Personally there are times when I would happily use an RPG.

The clear water took us all by surprise. Weybourne is shelving beach which is usually quite stirred up. It was pretty good from the underwater geography point of view though. Approx 50m - 80m from the shore, depending on tide, there are chalk outcroppings covered in weed going east towards Cromer. Hence why few bait fishermen are seen down on that stretch.

Next time out I will have some stationary baits and give it a try. That's the bother of being a new boy to all this. My lure box is rather limited and and so is the experience, which is damned frustrating to say the least:-D

Well over the next few weeks I will be try and take a few more walks up and down the beach to see if I can get a handle on it.

Thanks everyone, another lesson learned.

Where abouts are you going to up here Andy? Let us know how you get on.
 

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Cromer Andy. Fished Weybourne last year in murky water and even on calm days the macky were beyond the chalk outcrop. I still can't work out whether I looked cool or a right plonker flicking lures between the never ending line of feather chuckers, we all blanked for a few days. The macky came in one day and we hooked a few but no Bass to be seen. Then one Saturday afternoon in full hot sunshine on Cromer pier with the kids doing some crabbing, one of the feather chuckers hooked a large live Macky onto a double aberdeen hook and dropped it over the side. 2 mins later a Bass took it and ran like the wind. Eventually he got it into a drop net and pulled it up to the deck, went 8lb+. He wrapped it in a towel, grabbed it by the tail and swung it baseball style into the Theatre wall several times until it stopped kicking.

Do try some soft plastics on lead heads bumped up the shingle. Sindwinders are cheap and worth a go. I met guys who've caught Bass at Weybourne on feathers too but usually very small schoolies. Keep at it, I might join you one day for a full onslaught. I've got a friend who's just moved into Weybourne (weekend home) and I've promised him BBQ macky on the beach but I won't resort to feathers LOL
 

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Discussion Starter #9
It's always nice to see chaps giving the fish they catch the proper respect.
The peir legs, as you have seen, are known to harbour some large bass. If you can get hold of a boat I have seen people anchoring off of the end of it and fishing it that way. Mind you you might need a hard hat if it's a bit busy.

I usually have Thursdays and Fridays off, unless there is more work than bodies, then again sometimes the bodies create the work (archaeologist joke), plus the weekends. If I'm about I would be more than happy to meet up. My social secretary will of course need to be consulted.
 
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