There are a few bass about down Wexford way, at least for surf enthusiasts, lure fishing to date being curtailed by coloured seas thrown up by our still unsettled weather patterns. Digging five dozen large black lugworm with a south Wexford beach mark in mind, on arrival although a lovely surf was creaming in with little evidence of floating weed, one cast was enough. In an instant, main line festooned with wrack, plan B was put into action, hit an east facing strand.
That’s more like it, an hour before high water, again a nice surf allied to a bit of depth in close and no weed, happy days. Popping twin 4/0 kamazan paternosters at thirty and sixty yards respectively, second cast a decent haul over bite connects. Typical of a schoolie, announcing its presence in adult fashion, only to be found out when the much anticipated bullish head shaking is replaced by a light swimming sensation. A pound and a half of albeit solid muscle is no match for a thirteen foot beach caster.
That said, at least small bass are present in numbers and have been for a number of years now, a good sign for the future, however where are their parents? Definitely in the right place on numerous occasions when surf bass fishing over the five years this blog has been running, schoolies have noticeably become the predominant catch. Back in 2008, when I started back sea fishing in earnest, surf bass of four – six pound featured in my catches from south Wicklow around to Kilmore Quay. Post 2009/2010 the average size relative to my diaries has definitely got smaller. I’m fishing the same venues at the same times yet the catch returns have altered, lots of juveniles but fewer adults……….What, if anything, has changed?