on the rocks

bass fishing Jim Hendrick

Keep in mind that good bites rarely last through an entire tide. You may show up and do nothing for two hours and assume you picked a bad night. You may have picked a great one but you’re not in the right tide window yet, or you missed it. On the quarter moons, when current speeds are the weakest of the month, its not uncommon for the best bite to occur in the middle of the tide, when the current is near its peak. Most of the rest of the month my logs show that roughly 90 minutes on either side of either slack current is often best, especially for larger fish. This is a time when the current speed is changing. It’s one of the most exciting times to fish because even if things are dead, the fish might turn on at any moment. If nothing else, that attitude has often helped me through the slow times and kept me on the rocks long enough for some memorable catches.

John SkinnerFishing the bucktailMastering bucktails from surf and boat

These are wise words spoken by an experienced US striped bass fisherman. If you are an experienced Irish bass angler you will know well their true significance, maybe not in exactly the same pattern as that described above by John but certainly in relation to the timings you have discovered on the coast where you do your own fishing. Current speed, timing of rise and fall, volume, depth, colour of water, position (and many more factors are all key)  – understanding the relationships the fish have with and within their ever changing environment and the way that environment moves and changes hour by hour day by day is one of the key factors of successful bass fishing. This takes considerable time and effort spent of course in the locations where you fish. Local bass fishing guides too will have garnered this knowledge over many many locations and seasons through hours of trial and error –

Spending ten hours on the coast may leave you feeling satisfied, tired hungry and thirsty, and yes maybe too you have caught some fish, a quantified bass fisherman! – But which would you rather do, angle optimally at recognised and understood and regular periods of activity or just slog it out for the sake of it over the day? Its important too, to remind ourselves that understanding these relationships will ultimately help in our decision making regarding the presentations we make to the fish at any point in either time or tide.

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