We have continued fishing in the estuary this month and we wanted to inform you of what we have discovered. 8/10 the bass that we have caught have been so close that you could easily spook the bass with either wrong footing or talking too loudly. Even walking out in your waders can disturb the Bass and sometimes it pays to cast from distance when arriving at a new fishing spot. The reason why they are so close is because in and around all the weeds are bait fish and crabs that the bass are feeding on. If you follow these tips then you could catch more bass:
1. Quietly does it:
Rather than just arriving at your venue and wading into the water to cast as far into the river as possible just stand there and take a couple of minutes to just watch and listen. Take in your surroundings and absorb everything. Sometimes you can see the Bass if the water is clear and you could potentially stalk a fish by casting very near where the bass is.
2. Surface Lures:
When using surface lures, the pause can be more effective than a twitch or retrieve. Consider pausing initially when first casting out, that might be what might entuse that bass out at range. Don't rush the retrieve and take your time. If there is fish jumping see if you can match the colour of that bait fish with a surface lure.
3. Work effectively:
If you are working in pairs always spread the love. What I mean by that is cover all bases by one of you using surface lures and one of you using soft plastics just under the surface. That way you will cover all bases to try and catch a bass between you.
Consider how and where the bass will be moving with the tide. They will always using the tide to assist them find food. If you are in front of them you stand a far better chance of catching one rather than behind it. You want them to see the tail of your lure first rather than your line.
5. Soft Plastics:
When fishing soft plastics the retrieve is the most important part of the catch and colour second. Consider adjusting the speed of the retrieve before you change colour. Sometimes a speed retrieve change will be the difference. Think like a fish and you will improve your chances.
6. Shallow Water:
Dont ever dismiss fishing in shallow water. Surface lures are perfect for this type of fishing or if you can cast a soft plastic and raise your rod slightly lifting your lure so the head of your lure isn't digging into the ground but a little skim as along the ground isn't such a bad thing.
Wind plays a huge part in estuary fishing. There is nothing worse than having to cast into wind and tide. It's not enjoyable and you could get wind knots in braid trying to cast into that strength of wind. Do your homework and if there is wind plan to fish with cover if you can. Don't ever forget also “when the wind blows from the east the fish bite least”
8. Water Movement:
Movement in an estuary is key. Sometimes movement in the water improves your chances of catching a bass. If the water has got colour in it the bass are more likely to come in closer and take more risks. Colour and movement of the water is key for catching bass in an estuary.
Rain isn't always the enemy. Ive always been told that if it's raining then you have less chance catching fish. That fresh rain water, mud etc flowing into the estuary from the shore does put fish off however we've found out that at the point where the mud is showing in the water versus that of the saltwater this is the zone where a bass may attack. We have caught large bass when it's raining so don't be put off by it.
The moon can be your friend and foe. The advantages of fishing with a full moon is you can see what you are doing rather than using lights. There is nothing better than fishing under a full moon as it feels like the someone has turned the light on whilst fishing however, if you can imagine that being able to see everything at night is a good thing it's also a bad thing as the bass can see you. Be very aware of this especially if it's a still night.
Using headtorches can obviously help you see at night and I'm not saying don't use one but, if you can get used to not using one by using natural or man made light your chances will improve considerably. Ensure you use a lure clip that you can attach a lure with your eyes closed. Practice this before you go out fishing at night. If you can't do that you might need to re-consider how you change your lures at night. I'm not saying change colour as we all know white works best but you certainly need to change the type of white lure you use hard or soft.
These tips have helped us catch more bass and hopefully adopting a few of these tips might help you also. Tight Lines 🎣