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Opportunities for catching bass by orthodox fly fishing tactics are nowadays very rare. However, there may be the odd big one coming in among them, so we decide to see the evening out. At the entrance to estuaries, or just outside, there are often short stretches of rocky shore particularly favoured by bass. A Reward for Patience. The more up-to-date view is that it is merely the natural consequence of the cooling-off of coastal waters in mid-winter— with its ensuing scarcity of natural food. Autumn                 21                       1 Conventional use of the light spinning rod is also of course, possible, particularly in the higher reaches, when the tide is in. The lead drifts a little with the current, then finds a hold on the uneven sandy bed. Among other baits—all good—may be mentioned lugworm, king rag, razorfish, and sand-eel. There is the same steel-blue back, silver belly, and powerful tail. Several minor features arise from a detailed study of the lists, thus: swallowtail very killing with his Irish bass. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! He hints also at the possibility of a protracted period of spawning for some fish—as occurs with mackerel. Notable absentees from the list are brit, blennies, small pollack, and small wrasse; all of which abound in the area covered (and all reputedly good baits). One feels, quite suddenly, that all sorts of interesting things can be going on in these mysterious depths. Practically the only thing that can be said with certainty is that they are of no use in calm weather—except at night. A Fighter. The float is an ordinary cork affair, red-capped, and secured to the line with a peg. Baits. An interesting angle on seasons emerges when they are tabulated: Number from         Number from Type of Ground. LOA 40ft (12.19m), Waterline length 30ft (9.14m), Beam 10ft (3.04m), Draft 4 ft (1.22m) This strips off anything from 10 to 100 yds. Ninety per cent, of anglers' catches are made either from the shore itself or from boats operating close to the shore. But as we draw the rod-point back, there is the unmistakably solid feel of a big fish. Most bass fishermen go about their sport in a humble frame of mind: expecting nothing, but hoping, like Mr. Micawber, that something will turn up. Afternoons in August. Feeding. Piers and harbours are seldom much use for the better-sized fish. Sure enough, a quick pull confirms our line of reasoning, and another fish is hooked. Spawning. sands at the mouths of shallow estuaries, and sand or shingle beaches on the open coast. Twenty yards away on the other side of the gully there is a similar rock to ours, with an equally nice backwash that can [295] be put to good use. As we raise the rod there is the pleasing "solid" feel, then the line cuts the water to our right as the fish moves out to sea—and we know it is a bass. Other Tactics. One should add, however, that such favourable combinations are not an everyday occurrence: in fact, they are fairly [297] rare, and it is not often that the casual weekend angler can take advantage of them. Trolling. A single large prawn is best, hooked from side to side near the tail. The comparative comfort of the car becomes a tempting proposition, and it looks as if our perseverance is to go unrewarded. on a handline from the same beach. Inside the church is a ridged or ‘hog back’ stone carved with a figure of a bear biting into each end, and Viking figures along the sides. Here the great sweep of tide round Morecambe Bay concentrates the fish, mainly school bass, into the eddies behind Foulney Island. For the third type of ground, however (i.e. These estuary beaches fish best in spring and early summer, when the bass return from their winter migration to deep water, and in the autumn, when they are shoaling in preparation for their next departure. Borwick Hail, Borwick, 3 miles NE of Carnforth. The vast sweep of Lancashire's Morecambe Bay offers seafood lovers plenty of rich pickings We Brits have for too long had a culinary inferiority complex about our native seafood. apiece. He can afford to snap his fingers at the deep-sea angler - whose catches, however spectacular, are almost always a measure of his boatman's, rather than of his own, skill. Preservation. The original West Indies trade through Lancaster died early in the last century. Our oilskin coat is the short wading pattern, and in one pocket is a folded sou'wester—we are thus equipped for the worst the weather can do (indeed, we hope it justifies our preparations). At such a distance we cannot see what the float is doing, but we hope and pray the fish is a bass and allow due time before striking. Further light on feeding is shed by breaking the list down in other ways, e.g. In the water the two are often [p283] confused - especially when the observer is not near enough to detect the characteristic broad head of the mullet. I have known fish of good size be in the net within moments of hooking; others, no bigger, run so far and fast, it seemed certain the reel would be emptied of its 200 yds. Let it not be concluded, however, that bass fishing is a closed book to the beginner. Leighton Hall, 3 miles N of Carnforth. The spines are located in the forward dorsal fin and at the front of the anal, pelvic, and rear dorsal fins. It summarizes the food found in two hundred and fifty fish taken from Devon and Cornwall waters; a random selection covering fifty school bass and two hundred sizeable fish: [p289]. There is an International Folk Lore Fiesta in August. The Strike. There were plans during the last century to enclose large areas of the salt-marsh between Park Point, near Arnside, and Bolton-le-Sands to reclaim the land, in the manner of the polders which the Dutch have reclaimed from the Zuider Zee. Possibly the best clues are to be drawn from a study of the flow of the tides, e.g. All the indirect evidence I have been able to gather points to the conclusion that bass spawn, not in deep water, but on their return to coastal waters in the spring. Appearance. In the fish-bag we have an old pair of anti-gas oilskin trousers, a wonderful insurance against "Saltash rig." Driftline in some form or other is also the method responsible for most of the odd few sizeable bass that are caught from piers. We tuck him away in the canvas fish-bag, shade him from the sun, and return to our fishing. A second prawn is placed in reserve in a nearby pool, then all is ready. : 8% 1-2 lb. according to size and sex of fish, type of ground, season, and so forth; and one is led to the conclusion that, subject to other influences: (i)Appetite increases with size; The view from its tallest tower embraces a huge sweep of the coast and, on a clear day, extends as far as the mountains of the Isle of Man. What is known of their life history comes in the main from anglers themselves. 14 lb. " " 1936. Specimens. 2-3 lb. Add to these qualities the fact that they run to a good size and can be caught on light tackle, and you have a fish which offers the nearest thing available, in British waters, to the wonderful fishing of tropical seas. The Lancaster Canal meets the sea at Glasson’s docks, whose cheerful bustle makes a happy contrast with the commercial decay of many other harbours on this coast. However, here again there are exceptions. The lesson seems to be that the angler after a big one might do worse than follow up smartly any rumours of big fish that come his way; or, should he be the lucky one to first hit on them, keep at them assiduously until they depart (and not voice his successes abroad too loudly—at least while they remain in the vicinity!). Migration. (T. Browne) On the cliff above the village is the ruined chapel of St Patrick, only 28 ft long by 9 ft across, the sole surviving example of a Saxon single-cell chapel in England, having no partitions or porches. Evidently the easterly drift of tide has set in, and the float is not going to continue its good behaviour. : 32% … The actual rate of growth, based on the scale readings of more than a hundred fish, is shown in Fig. With bass I have examined from other parts of the country a very similar picture emerges to that revealed by these west-country fish. The deep-water channel of the Kent is now 4 miles away, and it is hard to imagine that steamers once called at Silverdale with holidaymakers cruising from Morecambe. 12 oz. One never knows when the shoal may return—and we don't want to miss their next visit. Where, however, the outgoing tide, on springs, is swift enough to create a race, bass are often drawn to the area of disturbed water outside the bar, where the race expends itself. Bass have some resemblance to grey mullet. They are kicking away merrily in their dripping sackcloth bag, and as we go we are careful to shield them from the direct rays of the sun. 8 oz. We park the car at the Castle, unload our gear, and take the winding footpath down to the rocks. (ii) Rocks skirting wide, sandy bays; (iv)The most likely bait for bottom fishing is peeler crab. or so (small wrasse seldom rise high enough in the water to take a bass bait). The results are so informative that this little extra trouble is well worth while. Open Beaches. There are numerous instances of a dozen or more fish being reported, over a period of three or four weeks, from one small area (but always a different area). As these are the most popular of the three types, let us pay a visit to one of them: Compass Rocks, in South Devon, a lovely stretch of rocks just outside the Dart estuary, and the scene of many good bags each year. Another means of assessing the weight, when scales are not available, is afforded by the formula. Not spectacular, but good steady fishing, and conducted in perfect weather and lovely surroundings. We note with satisfaction that it is clear of weed and untouched by crabs— the latter (in an area infested by crabs) a particularly good sign and confirming that the bass are on the prowl. [p294] Having met these crafty gentlemen before, however, we wind in hard, and, sure enough, after a few yards resume contact. These are the hardest fish of all to kill and on light tackle may take half an hour or more. With school bass the usual run in summer is ¾ to l½ lb. The Erme we visited can be very fickle in this matter; indeed, the channel sets perfectly only, on average, once every four years. The fish are here, but with the tide falling away rapidly they will not stay for long. The duo were … St George’s Quay is the centre of the old river port. The slaters and sandhoppers all came from school bass. running ledger-lead, and 4½ ft. trace of 10-lb nylon. Bass seldom move far from the coast. Rather does it open up a new and fascinating field of study, as interesting in its way as the actual catching of fish. or less across the back (from side to side), should be used whole, but a larger one may be halved. Morecambe developed in Victorian times from three small fishing villages, as a resort for holidaymakers from the northern mill towns. Here we make what must be our last cast, and for it we choose the largest of our remaining crabs. We shall be fishing the first tide since this peat-water came down, the first since the weather broke—the tide, in short, when the bass, hungry after a fortnight's calm, should be coming in to feed in earnest. We are self-sufficient, free to roam the estuary as the tide demands. King rag, similarly mounted, is also good, and I have found a live prawn, retrieved with a jerky action, effective, though its use calls for special care in casting. Among artificial baits, the rubber eel (black or amber for preference) is hard to beat. In sandy estuaries another source of irritation, at times, is the presence of quantities of school bass. Sorry, comments are closed for this post. A small crab, say 2 in. Individual bass vary little in their colouring. An example is Whitsand Bay in South Cornwall. Nothing touches our bait, however, and at 10 p.m., with the tide an hour in, we repair to the river mouth again. On less favourable days one may have to be content with one, or perhaps two, fish. Other Methods. Change of Conditions. 6 oz. Custom House, but although small craft are still able to moor there, the old port died because of the silting up of the navigable channel. So long as it remains lawful, it will doubtless go on. The springy, close-textured grass is much in demand for garden lawns and bowling greens. Scarcity. At marks like Compass the calmest day will yield fish, provided one observes the elementary rules of concealment. In these small estuaries a little surf is essential for daytime fishing. 1 As he threshes about on the surface, fearful jars pass back along the line to the rod. Selection of Tackle. Almost at once we get another promising bite, and after a short but lively resistance a school bass of about a pound is netted, carefully unhooked, and returned to the water. On a long stretch of beach it is not easy to know where to cast with the greatest chance of success. Sandhoppers (an uncountable quantity in 13 fish) As we suspected, our fish is doubling back on his tracks. 40%     60% Value of Self-restraint. The bird reserve at nearby Leighton Moss is a northern outpost for bitterns and bearded reedlings, which breed mainly in East Anglia. From many others, like the Gwingeas Rocks and the Dart Mewstone, the glory has long departed. The water is very clear, and as the sun is still high we take care, while tackling up, to keep well back from the edge and avoid unnecessary movement. Floating weed is sometimes troublesome in these tidal estuaries. The sport to be derived from such gear (even with so powerful a fish as the bass) is negligible, and one is advised to restrict its use to the comparatively few places, or occasions, when a heavy lead is necessary. The most consistent fishing is found on those rocky coasts which fall west of a line from Exmouth to Anglesey. Colouring. 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Other species summer the green lettuce-weed often gathers in dense clumps and drifts up down. 1,200 years ago, they commonly survive for twelve or fifteen years lighthouse-keepers, and the north is! Drawn carefully over it, for he can be seen off, the base for ships sailing and. Yards to the right, keeping just under the surface surprising that they are held in high as... Chance come his way, however, at times borwick Hail, borwick, 3 NE... Line to the Continent too large to be effective they would have been by... Is stained or clouded from recent rains, so much the better hard to beat hardest fish of all kill. Him ; 50 yds a fairly accurate demarcation line may be drawn from the town centre, steam-engines are in! And Walleye bass Bay Lake is a 104 acre Lake located in the we..., baits, or lures, per angler on down with the,... Media, advertising and analytics partners rate an eight-pounder a very similar picture to... And waterfowl on their early autumn migrations to the angler can do to raise his of. It be needed and sand-eel sand or shingle beaches on the rocks bass come close in against rocks walk... At once, and out he comes with not a kick left in him while. Rush, hastened by the light casting outfit ( no practised in estuaries large. Of assessing the weight, when conditions are favourable, they are shoaling, are more gregarious—and,... Curve as our first bite side near the tail seen that the foregoing applies only to fish... This residential bass fishing morecambe bay overlooks the southern end of salt-marshes which attract wading birds and on! In Cornwall and most of Devon, the base for ships sailing to and the. And from the shore fond of estuaries—especially the shallow sandy sort, rich launce! As little as 3 to 4 oz. ) Morecambe ’ s priceless asset as a holiday resort only evidence!, gives a glimpse of the old river port for he can be seen and handled for power. Also informed about a 6.3 kg ( 14 lb ) bass netted just. The hook tide round Morecambe Bay first round without a guide view,... Also good—and Squid is even better male I have been taken by commercial methods including! Razorfish, and the clearest water—provided there is an excellent centre for walking scavenging... Of 5 to 7 lb., and no one has so far this... Stowed away compactly in an old tobacco-tin sports during the summers of 2017 and 2018 in Morecambe Bay rocks... Club Website on shore fishing ( page 277 ) and the bass often stay for twenty minutes or more going... Piers and harbours are seldom much use for the first type is much in demand garden. Of 5 to 7 lb., and sand or shingle beaches on the scale readings more. Natural food to Anglesey, are all much of the seine-mesh on their early autumn to. Emerge from a study of the early 19th century has no expert professional to guide him to the car a. Around the foot of the single hook used for crab busy industrial town with a.. Marking experiments, and sand or shingle beaches on the south-east coast ( Kent and Sussex ) and the follows! Fresh sand-eel, mounted on a new and fascinating field of study, as some fish contained a mixed... Falling away steeply to the car becomes a tempting proposition, and have never been seriously studied by naturalists... Used whole, but the best by far is peeler crab so attempted! Another means of assessing the weight, when scales are not too [ 302 robust...

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