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Well I thought it might be useful to start this thread, basically anything that has in the past lead you to the bass. Now things like structure and current have been covered in the Googen thread. But what else should be looking for??

Number One: Baitfish.

Your walking along whatever mark your fishing, and if you spot baitfish holding in a particular area. Fish it, if the bait is there, the bass are or will be. Also try to match the size of the baitfish, and if possible fish the deep water side of the shoal. Things to look for, bait jumping, bait dimpling the surface, patches of water with different (smaller) waves as this can be shoals of bait, and birds.

Number Two: Birds

Terns and gulls can at times be your best friend and fish finder. If you see them working an area of the shoreline, haul ar*e and get over to that area. Terns inparticular tend to feed on small live baitfish, which are often pushed to the surface by Bass below. Gulls are a bit less reliable, as they will eat almost anything, But if they are working over the water, then they are worth checking out. As if the gulls have found something to eat. Then the Bass may be feeding on the same thing.

Number Three:Waves,
well waves can tell you so much about the beach your fishing. The most obvious one is going to be the location of structure. Be it breaking , or boiling/bulging, any sturcture rising from the beach will effect the waves above. These areas are well worth fishing, but remember the structure will be slightly upcurrent from where the surface effect is, worth remembering when you casting as close as possible. From the googan guide you will know how to read the waves to spot bars and holes in the beach. Trust me pay very close attention to both, they are classic bass structure.
Now in quite/calmer water the bass themselves will often give their location away, be it splashes, wakes, boils or even seeing them in the face of a wave. If you see them, cast to them. Try and have an idea of their direction of travel, and lead them with the cast. Or chances are you will retrieve the lure behind them. Personally if I see bass on a mark, I feel they are feeding, I will run a couple of different lures through that area before moving on. Often if unsuccessful i will rest the water for ten minutes and then try another couple of lures. I want to limit the distrubance if I can.
As I said above, small patches of smaller than average waves in areas where the bottom structure wouldn't cause it, can be baitfish shoals. Anything that is different gets a few extra casts from me. Sometimes it will be bait/bass, sometimes mackerel (again hopefully bass as well) and as happened on Chesil this it can sometimes be Garfish.

There must be other things worth looking for as well so if something has lead you to the bass. Post it up here
Hope this is a little help to some of the members,
 

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Colour lines:

On days where you find clear colour differences in the water, Bass can use the murky water edges to raid into the clearer water nearby. It is a shame that these colour changes or bands are often at extreme range for the lure fisherman, but not always. Time to utilise press baits and slim sinking plugs that often cast much further.

Entrapment:

Look for area's where Bass can herd and eventually trap bait fish. This could be a high sided reef on the edge of current, it could be anywhere. Remember, the worst thing in a fight is to get cornered, Bass know it.

Cover and weed:

Bubbleweed, Japweed, Kelp. These all hold Bass and all are worth searching especially when first covering over on a rising tide. Japweed is best searched at the slack or just as the weed starts to lean over a bit. You'll learn with experience. Look for rising springs that are lapping old rotting weed from previous storms.

Wind lanes:

No, not for lake Trout fishing but sea fishing. Can be VERY effective when fishing places where vriac (local name for weed) is rotted down and full of maggots. These can then get trapped in the wind lanes which actually cycle around, this draws small bait which in turn, draws predators.

Changes in salinity:

Anywhere freshwater gets into the ocean is worth a serious look. Bass will sit on or near places where the water can be virtually fresh.
 

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Rising tides in darkness or low light,especially in areas where there's a convergence of gulleys & or tide.Obsructions that divert the Bass from deep to shallow water,such as a reef protruding out at 45% , try & fish these areas as the tide pushes into the apex(shallows). ;)
 

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Gullies full stop.

Rising tide from low water on dark the bass will follow up gullies as soon as they can, we bait fish often in just 18 inches of water in gullies and I know of doubles that have come out of very shallow water in a gully with only one end accessible to fish.

if you know an area like this, fish it during crab moult season as the bass will be there and waiting to follow them up.
 

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Current

Look for areas where there are changes to the current, maybe due to a side current entering, underwater obstruction, narrowing of a channel or a bend in a estuary. All of these features have the effect of disorientating baitfish or funnelling them into an area and are great ambush points for bass

Shadow

In bright sunlight or around lit areas when fishing in the dark, look for shadows. Bass and other predators will wait in the shadows ambushing any baitifsh that stray into their path especially if the current is flowing into the shadow. Especially good around man made structure although it could be any feature creating the shadow.
 

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Tunny said:
Number One: Baitfish.
Your walking along whatever mark your fishing, and if you spot baitfish holding in a particular area. Fish it, if the bait is there, the bass are or will be. Also try to match the size of the baitfish, and if possible fish the deep water side of the shoal. Things to look for, bait jumping, bait dimpling the surface, patches of water with different (smaller) waves as this can be shoals of bait, and birds.
I tell you what would be a great idea is if we could have a list including accurate pics of bait fish found all around the UK on this thread, especially for those (like me) who are learning all the time.

GREAT thread by the way.
 

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Sorry to go on, but does anyone have any accurate photos of our uk bait fish that the bass lurve!?

I typed smelt & sand eel in to google images but they weren't that great and varied a lot in colour.
 

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Bassorama said:
Sorry to go on, but does anyone have any accurate photos of our uk bait fish that the bass lurve!?

I typed smelt & sand eel in to google images but they weren't that great and varied a lot in colour.
That's exactly the problem they vary from area to area depending on the ground they are over even Bass will vary from a bright silver to a brassy to almost copper colour
bait fish vary even more
dont worry to much about colour you will be better off looking at the way they move in the water
hope this helps dai
 

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Yes I know and understand that, Dai, but surely there must still be a "standard" colours for most of our baitfish?

Smelt, Mullet, Sandeel, mackerel etc etc?

Or am I totally wide of the mark?
 

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Can't find a pic at the moment but look on you tube for Guernsey Spearfishing and you will find some vids from the spearos of night diving as well as day and I recall some of them showed baitfish.

From what I have observed though the majority of baitfish are a white/silver/translucent colour.
 

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FishingGuernsey said:
Here we go.

Found a proper picture. This one is a sand smelt which is one of the mini species we call Roselet or Grasdos.
Brilliant, thanks FG. Appreciate that. How hard it is it to find pics of our baitfish by the way!!!?

And thanks to you too Jim. But what are those baitfish actually called on probassfisher???
 

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Bassorama said:
FishingGuernsey said:
Here we go.

Found a proper picture. This one is a sand smelt which is one of the mini species we call Roselet or Grasdos.
Brilliant, thanks FG. Appreciate that. How hard it is it to find pics of our baitfish by the way!!!?

And thanks to you too Jim. But what are those baitfish actually called on probassfisher???
Sandeel:





 

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Sandeel....

Ah yes Mike but which species? Not a Guernsey green eh? Better ask Tim if he has a pic of one of those.....
 

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Guernsey Green??



These ones are the only pic I could find of some living in my old tank.

Small ones these, I have used greens freelining up to 18 inches long.
 

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When we were in Weymouth for the WSF comp in September a charterboat crewman (very nice chap called Tim) showed **** and I around his boat and he showed us a sandeel in their live bait tank that he called a Guernsey Green. They differentiate these from launce and it certainly looked like a different species to me and I've been catching sandeels of all sizes to eat and use as bait for over 30 years. Apparently they are hardier if not as big as the huge launce but go down particularly well with Alderney bass and around the Blanchards....
 
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