Monday, February 28, 2011



Amazingly most of my big bass were caught in the November / December time when you can only ever fish one tide with the lack of daylight hours. The bass were much chunkier and well fed up compared to those in summer especially after spawning in May / June. The bass in the sea bass scenery video was caught in the end of November on a spoon bait close in ( less than ten yards out ) as i saw her first  and then cast to her she took the spoon on the drop just before i could spin it. The bass took off at high speed and straight into the kelp but being used to this i always use 20lbs heavy guage mono shock leader especially for its abrasion qualities and pulled the bass out easily.Fishing with braid you can feel every move and turn of the fish as it doesn't stretch like mono and i played out the fish fast as not to tire it out too much because the big fish take longer to recover after a fight. The bass weighed over 14lbs and was rested for ten minutes before releasing it. You can hold a bass easily in water with a boga grip until it recovers without harming either you or the fish, that's why i love using the boga because you don't even have to touch the fish just a flick with the disgorger and your fish is released unharmed.

1. Early morning tide just as dawn breaks, low light conditions.

2. Fish close in and keep an eye on the water around you for moving fish.

3.Spoon baits, they always work.

4.Cover a 180 degree arc, starting from your left shoulder right around to your right shoulder.

5.You may only get one take make it count.

6. Heavy clear 20lb mono tippet.

7. Sharpen your hooks after every session as they become blunt after hitting rocks etc.

8. I cover my spoon baits with yacht varnish it stops the colour fading / chipping.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Big Bass on Lures


Big Bass on Lures

This is the size of bass that i like to catch, they are a stocky powerful fish and can be caught around Cork harbour. The best time to catch fish of this size is when the herring are in, normally around November, December. My best days fishing for quantity and quality were both in December, one just inside Cork harbour and the other in Garretstown. The big bass was caught on the fly on the 9th of December on a dirty wet morning and there were loads of mullet being pushed up into the shallows.I used a mullet pattern surf candy fly which has an epoxy head on it and i find them easier to cast in bad weather because they rarely wrap-up when fishing. The bass took the fly and about eighty yards of backing on the first run, i thought i had hooked the bass by the tail because i couldn't stop it.The next few runs took more line and i must have had about 150yds of line out so i walked along the shoreline to retrieve as much backing as i could and to get a different angle on the fish. Eventually i got the bass in and put the boga grip on her mouth but i couldn't lift her because the boga grip started to tear the fishes mouth. I had to lift the fish by the tail and the boga just to get it out of the water, i weighed the fish and it surpassed my scales of 20lbs easily so i don't have an exact weight but it was well into early twenties. I took over ten minutes sitting with the fish before she was able to swim away strongly on her own and i thought to myself that she must have been over thirty years old, that is the biggest bass that i will ever catch in my lifetime. If i had killed the fish it would have been the biggest bass ever caught on fly but i'm into catch and release and get more enjoyment on seeing fish swim away to fight another day.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Bass on the Fly

While out fly fishing for bass some time ago i met a guy who asked me a few questions on how to learn to salt water fly fish. He had bought a magazine and the bass fishing expert said that you should practise casting into a gale force wind to improve your casting and your chances of catching bass. With this information he duly didn't even attempt to try bass fly fishing as he thought it was too difficult. Firstly i have been salt water fishing for a long time and you will never find me out in a gale force wind fishing or practising because its too damn dangerious and anyone who calls himself an expert should know better. Salt water fly fishing is the same as any other fly fishing except the flies are bigger and heavier and demand a lot more respect that is why we have stronger rods and lines to cope with them. The lines are the same, you have floating, intermediate and sinking lines which go from eight weight ( bass, mullet, pollack ) upto sixteen weight and above for marlin, tuna, etc., the only thing you have to worry about is making sure you buy cold water lines and not tropical lines. The tropical lines ball up like wire in cold weather and you will find them hard to cast with, i know because i bought them as salt water lines and had to get them from abroad years ago because the fresh water lines weren't up to rocks and salt water. The new salt water lines are great they have a heavy front section of about thirty feet and then they taper down to a running line which makes it easier to cast big flies and punch into winds but not gale force winds. I use the Rio outbound (cold ) salt water fly lines and find them perfect for the job, they can easily lift big flies and cast them a long way.

Thats the lines out of the way, next is the rod it has to be nine feet in lenght and rated 8/9 or 9/10 for bass fishing, i use a 9/10 weight because of the strenght to throw long lines and to bully bass in close around rocks etc.. It has to be saltwater proof  but you still need to clean them after fishing they last longer with a bit of tlc. The line rating must match the rod so a 9/10 weight rod will take the same 9/10 line, i have  floating, intermediate and sinking lines which i use to cover the various depths while bass fishing. The reel must be salt water proof as well and watch out for salt water resistant its not the same they rust after awhile, so stick with salt water proof and you still need to clean them after use but they will last longer and give trouble free fishing. The reel needs to take the fly line and a minimum of 200m of 30lbs breaking strain backing line, get a red or white backing line its easier to see when playing a big fish especially in low light conditions.Now that you have the rod, line and reel sorted out its time for the leaders and flies etc..

Sunday, February 6, 2011


As can be seen from my videos on you tube most of my bass are caught in rocky shallow water with gulleys running paralell with the shoreline. These gulleys are like mini highways for the bass and the tide is the traffic lights, when the tide fills the gulleys that gives the bass the green light to enter and feed on small fish or crabs etc.. When fishing near gulleys you need to be very careful of the  rockpools between them and as  the tide floods in and you have to have an escape route just in case of big waves and swells. Always have an up to date tide timetable and make sure you know your location in low water especially if there are any snags about. One only has to see how many people have been killed by rock fishing over the last few years to understand that it is dangerious, but if you take these precautions and fish with a buddy you can have an enjoyable past time. I will be putting up a list of things that i use and do just to make sure that i have a good day out and don't have any problems while rockfishing. Always keep an eye on  the waves and watch out for rogue waves or big swells.

(1) Have an upto date tide timetable.
(2) Know your mark in low water.
(3) Fish with a buddy.
(4) Let someone know where you are and what time you are due home.
(5) Check your phone coverage and make sure you have the emergency number on speed dial in case you
     have a problem with your hands etc.
(6) Know the weather for that day especially wind strenght.
(7) Check out the nearest house to where you are fishing just in case of emergency.
(8) Mars bars and water, always have some food.
(9) If your not a good swimmer an automatic life jacket is a must because if you bang your head a manual
      jacket will not inflate......
(10) Footwear ( rubber sole and spike boots only ) NOTHING ELSE WILL DO, I HAVE HAD TOO
(11) A good jacket gortex or better, waterproof and windproof.
(12) A lighter and small torch.

      I will be going into the clothing and footwear in more depth soon with some audio and video footage on you tube and then i will share my tackle and equipment tips for catching the big bass.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Bass Fishing with Lures

The most important thing about bass fishing is location, location, location. After you have found the bass then the next thing has to be timing, for example what time of tide or even more important what time of day.Many of my large specimen bass were caught in early morning during the change of light and again i have caught a few big bass in the evenings just as darkness falls.In estuary's bass will favour one shore on the way in and the other shore on the way out and you can only find this out is  by fishing each mark through the whole tide or if you are lucky by local knowledge but i wouldn't hold my breath on the latter. If you are targeting big bass they are going to be female and they will have a very definite feeding area that they patrol mainly on their own. I have sat on a cliff top and watched big bass hunting up and down gulleys on an incoming tide, they give each area a quick root around and then move off following the tide along the coastline and are always very close to shore. Believe it or not but i have seen anglers wade out past the bass to start fishing not knowing that the bass were at their feet. Remember the bass are hunting into the shallows so it is better casting to ones left or right along the shore line first before casting far out as you will meet more bass.