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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Oh how I've waited for this one. You see, I'm a bass virgin. I've slain mackerel from boats, coaxed honking pollock from kayaks and big wrasse from rocky ledges, but she's the one I always wanted...but she didn't want me. Bass are for real men. Now I walk among them.

Living 2.5 hours from decent coast isn't ideal for bass fishing, but that's where I live. I'm still a novice (and bass virgin) but I've done my reading and for about 5 years I've tried and failed. With all the variables you need to consider....ground, tide, light, wind, weed, temperature, depth, lure, weight, distance.....rarely do they all slot into place when I need them to; but I just have to make the most of it. It was all looking good this morning with a 5am start in the car. Forecast: Low tide at 8.30, wind 4mph, dull and overcast. I booted it towards Anglesey, brief stop for breakfast half way, arriving at a new mark I've never tried before; I was kitted up and on it just before low.

First choice SG Sandeel, 23g in Real Pearl. Keep it simple. First cast I was testing the water depth, letting it sink, getting a feel for the water, slow retrieve, sink, twitch etc. I guessed about 3 to 4 metres at distance...2 closer in. Second cast I hoofed it and repeated. Pause as it hit the water, take up the slack, big draw, sink, twitch, twitch...repeat...slow retrieve, medium retrieve to get the tail going. 3rd cast she hit me. I thought it was a snag because I'm so used to them, but this snag was my first ever bass, and she felt hefty: just how I like 'em. She gave a good show for me at first then I was surprised that she ran towards me as I felt the line slacken, I reeled in for my life shouting 'Oh my God, Oh my God, it's a Baaaaassssssss!!!!' Line tightened again and I pulled her up from the depths to get a first glimpse of her white-silver body. About 2-3lb was my guess. 4 seconds later she was landed and I had my hand firmly on her back to stop her moving and I heaved a sigh of relief, laughing my hat off and grinning from ear to ear. Oh my God. In my hurry to get out I'd left my phone in the car so couldn't even get a snap. When I eventually got the lure from her mouth (she'd swallowed it whole), bloodied, I slipped her back and stood back, still slightly stunned that it had all happened so quickly.

I wasn't going to change lure; ever again. 10 minutes later using the same technique I was into the second on the drop. This time much bigger and a real scrapper. Again she kited towards me and wasn't giving in. Big arch in my rod (Teklon Concept Spin) before again she was landed - about 4lb. 15 minutes later, the same happened. Within the hour, a fourth, again a big plump beauty, but this time my line (simple mono) snapped just as I was bringing her in. Lure lost, I clipped on another SG Sandeel in Lemon, same size and carried on, but after 20 minutes, biteless, I couldn't help but think that this colour wasn't working. I only had the big 42g SG Sandeel in Real Pearl, so I clipped it on, but it was too heavy for the conditions and wasn't working the same; my confidence was lost. I carried on, delirious for another 2-3 hours as the tide brought in a bit more weed. I tried a yellow Feed Shallow to tempt them upwards with a bit of a wobble, but the time had passed. I was spent and the fish had moved on.

So that was it. An hour of absolutely blissful bass fishing on lures. 3 landed and returned, 1 almost landed but I'm claiming it anyway. They were big for me, 4 pounders at least, but they might not be for some. So I waited for 5 years for my first bass, and I get 4 in an hour. Stunner.

Normally, I'd have drive round to other marks for an hour or two, but it was about 12ish, tide was getting higher and I couldn't see the point after that blast. I got in the car, stuck some music on and headed home. As I say: Bass are for real men. Now I walk among them.
 

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Congratulations Neil.

The first one is the hardest.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Nicely described, Neil... a strong sense of the wonder of it all... I hope to get to feel the same way next year!
Thanks Michael. It was a bit 'I can't believe it' strangely. I thought I would never catch bass and that I was doing something wrong.

I got my timing right this time, at last....but the best thing was the learning that's gone on. I know now that this mark produces at low and that real pearl Savage Gear Sandeels 23g suit it. Also that it doesn't have to be dark to catch in numbers (although it had only been light for an hour). I've learned that my decision to ditch braid and go back to mono because I was sick of tying on leaders and didn't trust my knots anyway...was a good one....(for me, not everyone). Also that the old 'October brings in the big girls' has been true for me (but not the really big girls for me yet!). AND that working the lure SLOWLY works, and that 'mixing it up with 'sink and draw' also works. Hope you catch next time you're out Michael...why wait 'til next year? GET OUT NOW!!!! Bass on!
 
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