A question we get asked a lot in the shop is "when is the best time to catch bass on lures".... I wish there was a simple answer!!!
However there are a few things I think are important when it comes to increasing your chances.
When I started lure fishing I blanked as good anyone (and still do) however I would like to think not as much anymore, and for me it all comes down to thinking about your fishing.
The word "watercraft" gets thrown around a lot in fishing and all it really is at the end of the day is thinking logically about Where When and How!
For me favourable weather conditions are the first thing I look for. When it comes to weather patterns what I like to see is High pressure with either a Southerly or South Westerly wind direction these are the prevailing winds for Ireland and generally bring damp mild weather, anything from a force 2 upwards will create a "fizz" or life on water and that is what you want, this fizz as we like to call it increases oxygen levels in the water, and probably encourages the bass to actively forage along the rocky shore.
Tides are for me the next most important (blog post to follow) but generally if you want to increase your chances aim for spring tides 3 days either side of new and full moons will produce the best fishing. On our stretch of coast 3.9 to 4.2 produce the best results for us (the smaller set of springs during the month).
Clarity, this is a much talked about topic when it comes to lure fishing, and it can be one people can get over bothered with if you know what I mean. Crystal clear water and very murky water certainly make it harder but definitely not impossible. What I love to see when I arrive at a rock mark is a small tinge in the water not quite crystal clear but certainly not overly coloured either. The Copper Coast as it is so shallow can get coloured very easily but by simply adapting (thinking about your fishing) you will increase your chances no end (vibrating lures, soft plastics etc.).
Marks, if you email us we will send you a link to all our marks highlighted on google maps....yea right. This for me is what it is all about. Getting out and discovering the coastline making a decision based on what you are looking at, at your chosen mark. Anywhere where there is shallow rough ground along the copper coast you are likely to pick up bass and when we say this to people they don't believe us, but we are not lying.
What you are looking for is structure and tide movement. How many of us look at a rock and think there has to be a fish sitting around that, look for clues as to where the fish might be. What a predator wants is cover and ambush points so in your mind try to figure out where these points might be at the mark you are fishing. To increase your chances even more visit your mark at low water, look for gullies, holes, weed cover, bolders anything you think a fish might use as potential cover because 9 times out of 10 they will when the tide pushes in...
These are just a few simple rules I follow when I am fishing off rocks.
Thinking about your where you are (fishing some bassy looking ground) when your best chance will be (i.e over high water or filling tide when all those ambush points are covered or getting covered) and how (what lure will get down to where the fish might be and what best represents what they might be feeding on) will make a big difference. Don't just go out there and flog lifeless water.
However the bass will always find a way to through what you think you know right back in your face when everything seems just right.... and I guess that is the joys of it.
Some things I look for when estuary fishing or fishing moving water will be in the next blog post....