A false start?

Just when the bass fishing season seemed to have kicked off down here in Cornwall, things have gone very quiet. I’m hoping this ‘false start’ just reflects the fact that these are probably fish migrating along the coasts to their summer feeding grounds, and that our summer residents will soon be with us. And with the foxgloves in full bloom it won’t be long.

June used to be an excellent month, with the fish often stuffed with mini-sand eels and other small baitfish, but things seem to have got pushed back a little in recent years, perhaps as a result of climate change? It’ll be interesting to see what happens this year.

Springtime surprises

I guess any decent bass caught in the spring is a (pleasant) surprise. Bryn Le Poidevin kicked things off with this nice fish of 5lb 8oz while fishing on Herm on April 11th. Not that this was his first of the year – he’s had bass of 7lb 4oz in January and 8lb 1 oz in March already this year. All these fish have come on his favourite verm bait – in daylight.

Next up was Ian Ingram with a nice fish of 57cm, one of two of this size plus a couple of smaller fish, from an excellent session on April 26th (while yours truly looked on!).

Ian caught this one on  a black/speckled 4.5 inch shad from Bass Lures UK.

Ben Harris had this 68cm beauty on a black seeker (original) on 3rd May.


Brad Wiffen  really pulled it out of the bag with a 70cm+ cracker (see featured image) from a fantastic session on May 9th.  Brad lured the fish with a 120mm Fiiish Crazy  Paddletail with a 15g head:

Hooray for a good year class

The juvenile bass survey programme is now in full swing. Our initial results seem to confirm our provisional assessment of the 2023 class as good. Both the Helford and the Fal have produced some good catches of ‘1’ groups (1 year-old fish) this year, the best so far being at Lamorran on the Fal, where we netted 266.

Bass science

I’m involved in several great projects with Universities on behalf of BASS, including ‘FinVision’ with Plymouth University, and the ‘All About The Bass’ symposium with Essex University.

The FinVision project is running some great events on June 14th in Plymouth including a practical demonstration of fish ecology, sampling and identification followed by a talk on the same subject in the evening. There will also be limited places available for a practical workshop on the River Erme the next day; information about this will be publicised soon.

The ‘All About The Bass’ symposium  follows on from the Supper4Science project (now finished from an angling perspective). The symposium will present the initial findings from this, but it’s about much more. It brings together the leading scientists working on bass from the UK, Ireland and Europe, and top bass anglers like Dr Mike Ladle.

It’s aim is to both inform, through a fascinating programme of talks, and bring out, through workshops, ways in which anglers can work with scientists to identify and fill some of the knowledge and evidence gaps in bass science, and how this data an be used to improve bass management. This should be a ‘landmark’ event, so well worth dropping in, either in person, or online.

8 Replies to “A false start?”

  1. Robin,

    Great news regarding your 2023 surveys.

    Lets hope some more of your excellent 2014 survey class turn up this year

    1. Very encouraging news about the 2023 class Keith, but then we need it. The 2014 class should be nudging 60cm now, so hopefully we’ll see a few more 5 lbers this year (if they’re not all scooped up!)

  2. a superb bass pic featured , wot a beauty. well done robin , hope you start catching soon , ive only had the 1 good un so far here in dorset , so it is slow everywhere .
    cheers , simon (slosh) at well hooked sea angling

  3. Hope it’s a good season for you Robin. Great to see positive results on your surveys. Let’s hope we have a few good spawnings., in the years to come. Interesting about the 2014, year class. Practically every Bass I caught from my regular spot was 50 cms, which I suspect came from that Cohort. Be interesting to see how much they have grown in a year. Been out twice so far, but only Sea Trout. Here’s hoping.

    1. Hope you have a good season too Melvin.

      Yep, let’s hope the 2023 class was good in other areas too, and is the first of many. The fish shouldn’t have suffered too much from the cold last winter.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *