Our bass trip went ahead and the weather performed virtually on que as predicted. Kicking off at 07-30 hrs on board with Paul Davis and his Cougar cat the Katie Ann (Video Here). The early morning weather and sea state was first class and the sun came up to give us some heat too.
We headed to the Portland races and they were behaving well too but I knew that wouldn’t last with what was forecast. One of the reasons for this trip was to test out and get some footage of our new ready to fish out of the bag lures and rigs. I had a friend with me who is a relative novice and keen to get to grips with rigging up and learning more about drift fishing so today was ideal for imparting some of my years of experience (Ooh Ark At Im !!) on him.
Add to the purpose of the day I am still testing rods and reels to see if I can break them and one reel I managed to do just that, more on that later. I provided the rod and reel for my mate and it was one of our low cost Charter Boat Rods you can see the video spec here and for less than £20 you’re not too concerned if it gets broken. The reel I loaned him was an old one as I only had the test reel and I wanted to use that.
He set up the braid main line and I showed him how to add a swivel to the braid ready for a Portland rig. I gave him one of our out of the bag ready to fish Portland rigs and a ready to fish Portland eel to rig with. As these only require a brief bit of instruction on how to set them up as it is as simple as just passing the loops through the swivels and then dropping the lure or the weight clip through the loop and then tightening them up, add a weight and you’re fishing.
Our new rigs are really that simple and my friend was over the moon in that if he lost rigs during the day he could now re-rig himself and change lures to try different ones to pull a big one. So first test completed and satisfactory now to move on and test out the lures. We both rigged up with Portland eels makes sense as it’s the Portland Rig with Portland eels on the Portland races doesn’t it !
First drift one pollack small and it as returned, not what we wanted really as it was a bassin day. Second drift I had on a black and transparent Portland eel and it got hit hard and the fish gave a good account of itself and I lost it just near the surface, obviously I hadn’t lifted into the fish on the take and set the hook, but hey ho a bite, a near fish and a new eel tested so time to move on.
Fishing was hard with only a couple of bass being taken by others on board and no more for us two so far, Paul re-positioned the boat for new drifts and I changed to a blue and white mackerel Eddystone 1973 eel 155mm size with a 4/0 fine wire hook tied to a 1.5m 30lb trace, one of our ready to fish lures changed over very quickly.
Paul gave the drop to go ahead and to try the hit bottom and wind up 15 turns method to see if you can induce a take and at 5 turns bang a hit and 4+lbs healthy bass in the ice box with my tag on it. Sadly the weather had started to turn and the winds were arriving, we hit another drift at the start of the races and got side swiped beam on to a huge wave, fortunately the wave went upwards rather than breaking completely over the boat.
We all got wet on that side of the boat but fortunately we were all dressed for safety and wet cold weather in flotation suits so getting wet wasn’t a problem and we were safe if the worst case scenario happened as there were plenty of boats on the races that day too.
So time to move and fish more inshore on the Shambles as per the plan if the weather turned. Rigging up our sliding ledger rigs ready to fish out of the bag and single 4/0 wire hooks with 1.5m traces plus the clock grip weights as we were drifting for Turbot, Brill and Plaice only took a few minutes. On the first drift using a mackerel fillet one of the crew took a nice size brill, next drift another bril on board and third drift a small size turbot that was returned.
Next drift a really good size brill up near 7lb came up, sadly we missed out but it was a good day and productive enough for me to have a novice test out our new rigs and love them too so when we launch them they should be popular. Returning to port we stopped in the bay and jigged for some squid see if they were about but to no avail so back in and get ready to head for home.
Fishing to me is always a good day out as it gets me away from my business and the keyboard, add in catching fish and that is always the Bonus so yes another good trip out was enjoyed by me, my mate and all the crew.