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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    London & SW Wales

    Default First and last of 2018?

    I have not had a good bass season down here in Pembrokeshire: lots of other stuff got in the way, and I really focussed on trying to catch my first sewin from the Cleddau; I caught two, and was delighted.

    The weather down here post-Christmas is unusually benign: winds of 5-15mph, swell below 5ft (and often <3ft), and the water is both (relatively) warm and clear.

    The only thing not in my favour this week is the time of the tides: on the surf beaches here I have had my most consistent luck fishing from (slightly after) the Low up for a couple of hours, until driven off the beach. But, with the Low at 1646 today, this was not an option, so I went down at 1430 to fish the last few hours of the ebb.

    The big surprise was how much sand had been removed from the beach by recent storms, creating a totally new set of troughs and bars: lots of great structure to fish, even at the low.

    I started fishing with the 11-weight: lawn casting practice over Christmas had given great results with a ?500g Skagit head. But this did not work out in real life: the combination of a very uneven bottom and erratic big waves made me lose my timing, and I retired the combination after half an hour: I was consistently casting only c.12 yards, literally half what I had achieved on the lawn. A salutory lesson.

    I switched to a 9-weight and the only other line I had to hand: a 10-weight slime line. Slower-sinking than I would have preferred, given the surf, but the beach is shallow, so I was likely fishing over 3-4ft of water most of the time. I made up for the line with a large/heavy olive Half & Half, which I like to think resembles a generic baitfish/goby.

    I worked my way methodically along the beach, but no luck after an hour. So, with the light just starting to fade, I climbed around a line of rocks and fished a slightly calmer small bay.

    After 10 minutes, and retrieving slightly faster than usual, I felt the wonderful tug of a bass: nothing large but, for 2018, pretty special to me.
    First and last of 2018?-marloes-bass-1-28dec2018-jpg
    Last edited by Sash; 28-12-2018 at 09:33 PM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: First and last of 2018?

    Cracking result, well done.
    Musha rig um du rum da

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Whetstone - South of Leicester

    Default Re: First and last of 2018?

    Nice one. Wish I lived close enough to give it a bash at the drop of a hat. It's a full planned day or nothing when you live in Leicestershire.

    I beat all of the local lure anglers in a canal match yesterday but my 38 perch and one jack, all on fly, I'd have gladly swapped for your one bass.

    Happy new year.

    It's not flyfishing if you're throwing bait in....learn to do it properlyHidden Content

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    London & SW Wales

    Default Re: First and last of 2018?

    Dee, thanks for your kind words: Happy New Year to you too.

    Quote Originally Posted by Secret Angler View Post
    Fly fishing in the sea is hard work, and bass (or the bait fish) have an irritating habit of lying beyond casting range. Haven't been for a few years now but I should really get out there, especially when the wind is light
    The Secret Angler – Commentary on angling – saying the things no one else dares to say
    I agree that SWFF in the UK can be hard work but,I suspect, no more than salmon on most association waters!

    I disagree that the fish are often far out, though: I typically outfish almost any other bait angler I ever see on the beaches I fish, and I am almost never casting much beyond 20 yards. And, since the wind is seldom helpful, I am often casting obliquely to the shore, so the fly is even closer. I think bass are often happy to come in very close and shallow: their main predators are seals and gannets, neither of which will follow them into water that can be knee-high, or less.

    So, as a resolution for 2019, why not try SWFF, even in shallow, relatively featureless beaches? Fish methodically (keep stepping sideways steadily during each cast), and you could be surprised how close the bass will take!

    Tight Lines to all for 2019

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: First and last of 2018?

    Probably where I fish. Small ones often close in but bigger stuff more elusive.
    I'm sure you're right about salmon.

    Tight lines

  6. #6

    Default Re: First and last of 2018?

    Good fishing at this time of the year, conditions are so benign at the moment the Bass up our way (Lleyn Peninsula) are still feeding on baitfish. Managed a couple "off the top" over Xmas & my lads had a few on soft plastics, the fish are too far out to get to with the fly so lures are the only way to get to them.

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