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Discussion Starter #1
Happy New Year first of all!

I've never fished an estuary before so I'm looking for some general tips/pointers for this type of fishing. If it is indeed majorly different to fishing a sea mark?

Where I live there is the River Medina which is about 7km long and goes from the sea end (Cowes) through to Newport. I've no idea how deep it gets at high tide, but a major company uses gigantic boats to sail 250ft long wind turbines along the river.

In most places, especially the sea end to appromimately half way along to Newport there are the most amount of structures such as large moorings with many boats, a couple of old discarded boats, jetty's, cover from tree's etc etc etc.

So is it just a case of working my way along the bank at high tide casting near to as many structures as possible? Smaller/bigger lures? Surface/Shallow/Deep divers? Preferred colours/actions?

I'm thinking of attacking these marks to start, with big (40g+) lazy looking, ultra life like swimbaits as I think all of us under use these type of lures.

Are bass (probably not the fittest ones) present all year round?

Here are a couple of not so good pics found on google... So any advice will be greatly appreciated, chaps. Thanks in advance...





The following one is the Newport end:
 

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I would look for the deeper sections that the bass would fall back in to as the tide drops.
Saltiga is the man to ask, he has worked out one of our local rivers and had a couple of nice (6lb+) bass to prove it was worth the effort.

Some nice looking water in those pics.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Cheers Tunny, hopefully Saltiga will see this and reply.

I'm going stir crazy here and need to get some lure fishing in soon otherwise :bangin:
 

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A bottleneck on the ebb (towards the estuary mouth) - find some structure / ambush points especially where ebb creates a real current - the bass will hold these positions and wait to clean up whats washed out (softies down the current might be good but a popper can get suprising results too). Edges of sandbars the take the brunt of the ebb can be good too - the bass will lie in the scours along the bar as bait will naturally end up there as the water receeds)

The first push of an estuary can be good - you have to get the timing right as the fish are usually straight up the estuary and dont spend long feeding the lower reaches imo.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Brilliant! Thanks Spitfire.

So generally speaking the mouth of the estuary, rather than further down the river, when the tide is starting to ebb out and look for structures where the bass will be holding waiting for bait to come in their direction?

Also am I right in thinking bass will be there all year round? Ok, not the fittest and best fighting but some will always be there?

There's a small-ish powerstation (I think it's a powerstation) and I've often seen young blokes baitfishing there and spinning with a bubble and delta... Obviously due to the warmer water, so I might give there a go too.

Poppers work? Excellent! J'adore surface plugging. You also mentioned SP's.... I don't really know much about SP's, due to laziness and loving hard plastics. I have used the obvious like Sidewinders and Slug Go's (slug go's have to be my worst lure of all time - good action, shit results and I've fished those mothers everywhere), but I do have some new softies here, so I might take a few pics and post them up here to get some feedback and advice.

Thanks again, Spitfire.
 

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Bassorama said:
Brilliant! Thanks Spitfire.

So generally speaking the mouth of the estuary, rather than further down the river, when the tide is starting to ebb out and look for structures where the bass will be holding waiting for bait to come in their direction?

Also am I right in thinking bass will be there all year round? Ok, not the fittest and best fighting but some will always be there?

There's a small-ish powerstation (I think it's a powerstation) and I've often seen young blokes baitfishing there and spinning with a bubble and delta... Obviously due to the warmer water, so I might give there a go too.

Poppers work? Excellent! J'adore surface plugging. You also mentioned SP's.... I don't really know much about SP's, due to laziness and loving hard plastics. I have used the obvious like Sidewinders and Slug Go's (slug go's have to be my worst lure of all time - good action, shit results and I've fished those mothers everywhere), but I do have some new softies here, so I might take a few pics and post them up here to get some feedback and advice.

Thanks again, Spitfire.
So generally speaking the mouth of the estuary, rather than further down the river, when the tide is starting to ebb out and look for structures where the bass will be holding waiting for bait to come in their direction?

Yes (for me anyway) as on the flood you have to chase fast moving fish - on the ebb they will be holding a position(s) as they fall back with the ebb so you get a longer go at them.

You can also go way up an estuary (but this tends to work better in a sort of "dead end estuary" that only has a very small feed that the bass wont travel up as in river fed ones they are way gone miles up the river and you really need to know it like the back of your hand to catch em way upstream imo)

The powerstation will probably hold alot of juvies - xlayers on jig heads across the bottom with the current would be my preffered method in the estuary (Im not friendly with sluggos yet either lol)


The bottleneck is a good thing the thing to look for - if there are a series of bottlenecks (or some type of barrier / breakwater type structure) the fish may also use these in stages to fall back on the ebb (maybe at a certain stage you can fish upstream a bit - jump in the car and whip downstream and catch them at the next holding point)

Dont take this all as gospel - just my opinion ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
No no, that all makes sense now you've explained it, Spitfire. Especially about the bottle necks and structures on the ebb.

I'm a little wary about bumping SP's along the bottom, even sink and draw technique as we all know rivers are dumping grounds and fly tipper havens! I just know I'll foul hook a 1982 Sainsbury's trolley. Leat Got to be in it to win it though.

Am I right in thinking that bass can be found all year round....? So an estuary is always worth a visit any time of year and especially Dec-March and when the sea is too rough for lures?
 

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Bassorama said:
No no, that all makes sense now you've explained it, Spitfire. Especially about the bottle necks and structures on the ebb.

I'm a little wary about bumping SP's along the bottom, even sink and draw technique as we all know rivers are dumping grounds and fly tipper havens! I just know I'll foul hook a 1982 Sainsbury's trolley. Leat Got to be in it to win it though.

Am I right in thinking that bass can be found all year round....? So an estuary is always worth a visit any time of year and especially Dec-March and when the sea is too rough for lures?

Always worth a try - in the cold they wont move far to take the lure - appreciate the shopping trolley issue - always a good fallback if its rough
 

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james,

just had look at google earth, man you've got some great loking area's to try out.

you may want to try all of the following places, fish all in the backwater's as well as the outlets,look for seamlines/creases,pocket water in the faster area's,fish the deeper edge's,where the water is running faster look for stones,gravel to fish over rather than plain sand.


outlet at brembridge point

outlet at fishbourne:

there's also a backwater between cowes and fishbourne:

the outlet at newtown:

the outlet at yarmouth:

kev
 

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I am no expert but this is how I approach my estuary bassing. I think that you have to apply the same 'rules' to fishing an estuary as any other venue. First thing I do is try and work out where they are likely to be and what the bass will be feeding on when I want to fish. That can be determined by time of year, time of day, weather, water clarity, where you are fishing etc.
Look for ambush points that bass can use, edges of tide runs, back eddies, runoffs etc and try those. Often if you find good ambush points they will be in use regularly. One of the problems I have in my local estuary is that in the lower section the surface area of the water at high tide is about 5 times the suface area at low tide. As the tide comes in and the water depth increases the tidal flow reduces as do the ambush points. So the fish then tend to 'browse' areas and move constantly. Trying to find them then is really hit and miss as every day seems to be different. Bass are caught by freshwater and mullet anglers fishing well upstream too so experiment right up to the tidal limits. The fact that there is such a difference between the surface area at high and low tide gives me an advantage on a dropping tide as it will 'funnel' the fish into channels. If you can find a similar place it will definitely be worth trying even if it only fishes for 30 mins per tide as you know the fish will be there at some point.
Match the lure to what you think they are or will feed on relative to where you have chosen to fish, bear in mind that if the estuary is used commercially it is likely to be deep in some places. Tidal flow will make a difference too especially with 'balancing' the weight of soft plastics. If you are worried about snags you can try texas rigging them. At certain times of the year the bass will spend a lot of time feeding on crab and shrimp, then in the spring when the baitfish arrive they start feeding on the baitfish and mackerel, scad etc.
Looking at the picture, there is a lot of commercial activity on the harbour walls which means at least some of it is likely to be lit up at night. I discovered about twenty years ago that it can be brilliant fishing at night in my estuary. Unfortunately due to mindless idiots and vandals a lot of it is now closed to public access. If you can fish at night then do. The bass will use the light/shadow boundary as an ambush point so that is definitely worth investigating further. The trick for me seemed to be shallow and slow so the bass could easily find the silouhette of the lure. Go for a few night recce trips, if the water is calm and quiet you will quite often hear bass ambusing baitfish. Also, you may come across bait fisherman, they are likely not there by accident so that can be a good sign.
Start with lures you have confidence in if you can or that come well recommended for the type of water you are fishing. It can years to work out fish movement patterns relative to all the other factors so experimenting with new lures will just add to the confusion!!!!!
And as it is an estuary don't forget flounders! They will take lures and even if the bass aren't present in the winter flounders will be.
Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
WOW!

I have now got LOTS to learn and places to try. I'm going to concentrate on learning as much as possible about the estuary together with finding new salt water marks over the next few months until the bass are back in force. Not only this but I've been doing lots of scouting on the fresh water predatory fishing as well. Sooooooo much to do and learn. Oh to win the lottery.

Ashamed to say I've never used Google Earth before, not only that but also ashamed to admit the estuary is about a 3 minute drive and I've never tried it once. I may even ground myself for being so closed minded. Stupid boy!

Saltiga, Spit and Kev, thanks so much.
 

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Get in there Bassorama my son !!!! I expect a full report & pics of your catches !!!
 

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will be giving the conwy estuary a serious go this coming summer but it carries alot of colour on the ebb,what would be the best method for fast moving but coloured water,surface lures with alot of splashing/rattles, or is it still ok to use shallow divers or sp's? There are plenty of gulleys and sand bars and bottle necks to be checked out though.
 

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I haven't had a lot of success in dirty water in the estuary but that is more down to lack of confidence on my part. I think this question is best answered by anybody who fished coloured water rather than estuaries in particular. One thing I would mention is that on one of the Shimano.TV shows there is a guy fishing for bass in a coloured estuary in Japan. He catches using a yellow backed silver vibration bait. There are a few variations of these lures available on PLAT and Oriental Angler amongst others. I would imagine that the vibration attracts them from a distance and the colour is what they target when they are nearer. It might be worth trying something similar as a start point.
 

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An estuary I fish at home also has coloured water on the ebb. But bass can be taken within inches of a wall like groin/ structure that channels the current where it's not supposed to go. Bass hit this area hard to take small shrimp which cover next to the wall and when hooked they go like **** in the strong current. It's like fishing for them in a river. The water right at the side of the structure is slightly clearer than the main stream for some reason ? Bass can be followed back on the ebb from one structure/ holding spot to the next, until they hold at the end of the 'wall' until the flood, when they can be caught as they start to move in over the shallow sand again before they get too spread out and it's time to go home.

Oh and be careful, the estuary is full of dangers, it's easy to get caught out. Watch where you're stepping cause quick sand looks just like the rest of the ground ( I found ! ) and the tide can come in quick leaving you stranded. Fish the ebb and get the **** out of there on the flood.

Mike.
 

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thanks for that,having bait fished conwy for 4 years i am well aware of the dangers of the flood and know the channels and how and when they flood.We have council beach wardens on patrol from april to october to rescue the tourists who go for a pleasant walk on the sands and find themselves suddenly cut off,there is also a floating platform for them to climb onto to wait for the lifeboat but every year there are several deaths.I will be pretty mobile and using chest waders when i start to lure fish this estuary so should be ok as i know the area pretty well. Cant wait to get started though.You didnt mention your type of lure or method regarding your coloured water estuary fishing though.
 
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