For the last 30 years, we have been searching for the perfect spot to fish at. Years ago I wouldn't have considered fishing in the river but have done recently as the stocks have been diminished by trawlers and fishing boats. If you think about it where would you want to be if you were a bass? Open water with large amounts of bait fish swimming around or in a safe sanctuary and breeding ground of an estuary? The answer is probably both and bass will swim in and out of an estuary capitalising on both environments but they won't waste energy and source whatever the easiest option is. They will use the tide to swim in and out of the estuaries and engulf whatever is in their way for an easy feed. This is where we have been trying to capture them recently and results have shown over the last few years that it is far safer and easier to fish a river rather than a coastline or a rocky outcrop. It all depends on where you live and are willing to travel to but we would recommend mixing up your selection of venues to gather records on how you do in both locations and decide then after your discovery.
Fish all year round, safer fishing grounds, generally larger bass, protection from the elements, food source, easier access, calmer waters, lots of cover from weeds for fish to hide under (This can be a con also) & boats should not be catching bass in estuaries.
Can be very weedy and might snag up your lure, no surf/white water, shallow water so can only use certain lures, less bait fish (Not always)
Open Water Pro's:
Lots of surf, lots of bait fish, deeper water, can use all lures on the market.
Open Water Con's:
Can be weedy, can be very dangerous, especially on rocks, lots of snags, Lose more lures potentially. boats will lay nets and trawl anywhere and everywhere, seals love stealing bass off your lines.
All in all, it's up to you where you fish. It might suit you just to fish on a beach as it's good for the soul, or you might want to fish a river because you can walk to it but what we are saying is try both. Explore both estuary and open water and every time you go for a walk or visit a new place with the family think about how you could potentially fish it. Would bass be here and if so how do you fish it and with what at what time of the day and at what time of the tide? Lots of questions and lots of answers but please get out and explore everywhere because that double-figure bass could be lurking under that block of weed in that estuary at low tide or it could be waiting to pounce in that gully on the beach at high tide. Think like bass and you will catch more.
We generally fish 60/40 now. 60% in the estuary and 40% in open water. This is dictated by the time of year and the weather seasons but generally, we fish open water in the summer and the estuaries in the winter all though Feb, Mar and April is much quieter.
The lures that you can fish both easily are:
Bass Lures UK | Estuary v Open Water Fishing