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I was out this morning at a local beach - man made rock islands and groynes - saw the sun come up as the tide was just reaching it's height. Beautiful morning, loved being out, but I didn't catch anything. Totally enjoyed what I was doing but at the moment I am a "chuck it and chance it" angler.

Have just been reading the Googan's Guide thread, and can see I will be returning to that again and again - excellent thread.

As far as I can see there are three aspects of my fishing that I need to sort out. These are equipment, technique and finding suitable marks. There are probably more but that will do for now!

While all of these need to be improved, I am starting to think that it might be sensible to concentrate on finding suitable marks as a priority. After all, while the equipment I have is not particularly suitable, there's no point in upgrading it if I am using it where there aren't any fish. Likewise, technique is not of much use if the fish aren't there (other than a random encounter).

As I don't know any other lure anglers (or any sea anglers!) I can't ask them for advice, and as far as coming to meets etc, I feel rather out of my depth for this at present:-?

Do you think that finding spots where I am more likely to find fish should be the priority? Would also give me the chance to learn more about what gear I really do need and how it should be used. At the moment there are lots of very nice shiny things I like the look of but not sure whether they would actually be of any use in my current position :)

Any advice gratefully received, and in the meantime I will continue going out and enjoy just "being there".
 

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Hi mate. You will probably get loads of different responses. However to me it's sound like you main and most important priority us right and that just enjoying being out there (thats why we fish, right)!

What kind of mArks are you fishing at present? I honestly wouldn't right them off just because you haven't caught there YET! That's where technique and equipment COULD be more important!

It's a tough one. I fished lures for 11months before I landed a bass. Then I started hrfing (search previous threads on HRF). Then I gained that technique and have since returned to marks I used to always blank on and I catch (not all the time).

What gear are you using? What marks are you fishing and how you fishing them?

There's ALOT more experienced anglers than myself on here so they will provide you with a better answer then me.

Good luck
 

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Hello Brian.

I gotta agree with Ritchie and say that priority number one has been achieved. Your enjoyment of just being there!!
Anyways, I got no idea of the place you are fishing, so I suppose the best way to do it is to go text book style.
If you dont have it on dvd already, get yourself over to You Tube and search out Henry Gilbey, lure fishing in Ireland. Its in a few segments, but the info is there. Also watch his "bait" fishing one. Sorry people, I used that four lettered word again. Look at where he is fishing in every case and looks whats around him.
Find out where your beahces have some form of structure. Whether thats just a bunch of rocks, covered in weed, or an old pier. The according to the "text book", bass will inhabit such areas!! Look also for where the coast bends and you get a point of land jutting out. This may be quite a discreet thing and not so prominent. But take the time to try there on both directions of the tide. Also, any sand bars, gulleys, gutters and other features on the beach. They all attract fish, mate.
Based on personal experience, I would advise NOT ignoring the bit thats right under your feet too. Where I fish and have caught most of my bass this year, regular anglers who have the latest greatest gear and know way more than any mere mortal ought to, are walking straight past me on their way to their marks. Looking in my direction like I am some kinda idiot or something. So far this year tho, I have been lucky enough to outfish them. Sure, I blank. Alot this last couple of weeks, but its no big thing. For me, the bass season is all but at an end, here. I just love going out there and doing what I am doing. especially when something I have been trying to learn, finally clicks into place.
So, I would say to look for the classic bass haunts. Structure and tides (in my opinion) are the most important factors. No predator likes to be out in the open and perfectly visable to potential prey. Whether thats in the water or on land. Bass are predators and will look for places to potentially ambush prey.

Oh yeah, sorry, I nearly forgot. Go spend some time with your rods and a few lures wandering around at low water. Looks for the kind of marks I said about. Looks for any gulley or gutters that allow a fish to move into the shore a little earlier. Or allows it to lie in the deeper area, waiting for the prey fish to try and get past when the tide is ebbing. Look around, see if there is an area with any rockpools that will be exposed with the retreating tide. where does any excess water run out of the area?? If there is like a "stream" running from the pools down towards the sea, you can pretty much hedge your bets that it will be worth spending a while flicking your lures around as the tide retreats. Speaking of which, dont dismiss the place if the water's shallow either. This year I have seen plenty of BIG bass in less than knee depth on me. Certainly no more than 12 to 15 inches max!

As for your gear...
Not kowing what you have or what you want to do with it, then its hard to say what you should be using, as opposed to what you are using. The next bit, I have copied directly from the Anyfish Anywhere site and are possibly the wisest words I have heard about rod choice. same can obviously be said about every piece of equipt....

""The very first thing you need to do is to decide what sort of rod you want to buy, and to do that you have to ask yourself three questions:

1. What do you want to catch?
2. Where do you want to fish?
3. How do you want to fish?

These questions and your answers will help clarify your requirements, i.e. will give you a set of criteria that your chosen rod has to meet. But the most important thing to remember, is to make sure that you'll be able to actually use your chosen rod.. ""

Remeber that real quality in anything is not cheap. But spending sh*t loads of money doesn't have to be done either. Sure, we would all like a £1000+ rod / reel combo from the top end, but common sense shows us that a hell of a lot of fish are going to be caught on stuff that doesnt cost anywhere near that amount!! At the end of the day, the tackle you buy should be bought because it will do what you want it to do with a bit left over, just in case. In the case of lures, the choice is virtually endless. Personally, I would avoid buying too many until you have spent some time just wandering around the shoreline looking for your marks to try. I would love a full set of flutterbaits in every colour. But they are no good to me. The places I fish locally are no more than 8 or 9 ft deep, loads of small rocks and weed. As pretty as they look, they are for deeper water NOT for anywhere I stand a chance of catching a bass! As such, find out the depths your "preffered" lures work at. Also, if possible, speak to the tackle dealer you intend to buy from and ask his advice on how to work it. I have spoken to Mic at Mr Fish, Ben at Art of Fishing and Dave at ProLures direct so far. All seem to know what they are talking about and I dont think any of them would sell me a lure that they believed would be totally useless to me. Not without telling me it'd not be any good for me, anyway. Once you find a few tackle dealers you get on with and feel comfortable asking for their advice, then stick with them. People like ****, Ben and Dave fish as often as they can and dont sell the stuff simply because it looks pretty. They sell stuff they know works and works well in a given situation.

Sorry this has waffled on for so long mate. This is why I asked about the possibilty of "teach ins". Not a classroom type of thing and not to do the official guides out of any business. But to help each other out with tips, tricks, using each others gear (assuming your mate there has a certain make / model of rod or reel you wanna buy or something) and sharing our basic knowledge with each other. As for the meets tho Brian. I would say to get your butt along to them and join in. Sure, its easy for me to say, living up on the east anglian coast and hardly likely to get to a south / west coast meet. But all the same, I would love to be able to get there and cant. Simple as that. So make the most of the opportunities which come your way and GO!! Hell, if its fairly local and you feel that bad being there, its not like its the end of the world to come home early is it.

OH yeah, final thought. Get yourself a set of tide tables....

Good luck Brian and all the best mate.
 

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Hi Brian,
Well I would imagine that you will be fishing some the same marks that I do, mainly from eastbourne in the east to Pagham in the west.
Sussex coastline is a bit of an odd ball bass wise, as many of the beaches don't have alot in the way of structure/current, but what they do have is baitfish, crabs, shrimps etc. Where there is food, there will be bass to eat it. Now the trouble is finding when during the tide the bass are about in greatest numbers on any one mark. Some marks fish best over high water, some low water, others at various states of flood or ebb. I would start by fishing any mark ideally over high water at first light, it has been by far the most successful time for me this year.
Rather than run out and buy a rod/reel etc, It is worth bearing in mind that many of the bass I have caught on sussex marks, have been caught at less than 30'. So don't think you HAVE to cast further to find the bass.
As for the meet up, everyone is welcome. No matter how experienced or inexperienced they are. They are Forum meets, not elitest gatherings. So just come along, more than happy to try and answer any questions that you might have.
Just drop me a PM and I will try and answer your questions.
Cheers Dave
 
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Hello Brian
it sounds like you fish the same sort of areas as me (Brighton to Worthing) and although I've been at it a couple of years I'd still count myself as a chancer.
2 things I've learned about fishng round here; first light or before is when I've caught most of my bass, and shallow diving or surface plugs work best for me round here. Oh yes 3rd thing dexter wedge is always worth carrying for the mackerel.
Mybe see you out there some time.
Mike
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Great replies

Many thanks for the replies chaps - really pleased that I have joined this forum.

Was out again this evening as the sun went down and someone came to chat with me as I was fishing a mark he has fished often apparently. He did say that it looked like an obvious place for bass, though so far he hadn't had one there. The funniest part though was that he came down to chat because I "looked as though I knew what I was doing" :-D Must be doing something right then!

As I live less than 100 metres from the shore, I think it is worth putting in some time here to work out where the likeliest places are. As Dave said, the coastline here is fairly flat, though there are a few spots that have some of the features mentioned. I also walk along the coast fairly often so am now looking at it with new eyes.

Good advice about the gear also Andy. This isn't the best area for tackle shops with decent lure gear, so I may well be on the phone for advice to one (or more) of the places you mentioned. The main thing I think I could do with at the moment is a decent rod (not necessarily expensive). My current rod is a Rovex Stalker 9ft. Seems ok for general spinning, but seems a little soft when it comes to trying to work a lure. The reel is a Shimano Hyperloop 4000 which seems to do what I want for now. Using Powerpro braid (18lb) with a FC leader of about 3 feet. Various lures, though I think Mike is right about the shallow divers for here, seems quite easy to catch some of the deeper divers as I retrieve them.

As far as technique goes, no idea whether I am casting as well as I could. I realise that distance isn't everything, though would be nice to know I am making the most of the gear I have for when I need to. Will definitely try and get to some meets to pick up some tips :)

Must go to bed soon I think - the alarm is set for 5am :shock:

Cheers,

Brian
 

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Hi Brian

Just my 2 pence worth. If you think you're rod is too soft for plugging, why not try either a bushwacker 7ft 10-30gram (approx £70) or a quantum energy bass 240 (approx £85). They're both great rods (I've got both for me and my wife) and they wouldn't break the bank, but would definitely give you a feel for what a modern plugging rod is capable of.

Hope this helps

Gary
 
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