I visited Challaborough Bay in Devon on holiday for a week with my family which was great, with plenty of sun, sea, sand and ice creams etc... a nice bucket and spade holiday was enjoyed by all. What topped it off for me though was the capture of my first Bass, and by design ! The bay I fished was only about 300m wide with rocky cliffs at each end, a sandy bottom and a nice gradual depth from the shore. The morning tide was at its height around 4:30am at the start of the week moving to about 7:00 am toward the end. After arriving on the Saturday, the first day I fished was the Monday getting up just after 4:30am, I walked the 200 yards down to the sea. To my surprise there was someone else fishing for bass too!. I quickly made my way up to the area I had my eye on - next to the rocks on the left hand side of the bay. I began fishing with a Dexter Wedge lure that I had just bought a set of, starting with the gold one then sytematacally trying all of them. The other chap packed up and a while after so I moved down the beach to try where he had been after losing my gold lure on thick seaweed in the rocks. I had noted that there was not so much on the other side and none in the middle of the bay so I tried down there as I didn't want to lose any more lures just yet. Never managed to get a take that first day though ! Second attemp was made on the Wed and this time I made sure I was up earlier at 4:00am I was down and fishing by 20 past and about third cast in I was in ! I wasn't sure what it was at first but then I knew it was definatly a fish, It didnt fight that well as it was only small and I was using 10lb line so it never stood a chance really. However I was overjoyed when I saw a bass breaking through the surf. I beached it quickly and lifted it away from the waves in case it fell off the hook ! I was chuffed I had set out to catch one and achieved it, in fact this was the first time I had even seen a bass close up ( except maybe for the one's at the sea life centre in B'ham !) The hook was quite deep down and whilst trying to sort it out to return the fish, I realised that I had forgotten to bring my forceps ! I tried my best not to cause too much damage but it had swallowed the treble somewhat, so unfourtunatly as the fish was bleeding quite badly from the gill I decided the kindest thing would be to kill it and eat it !! (it was very tasty).
I realise this fish is a bit small at about 1.5lb but I would rather eat it and justify it's death than have it die slowly if returned to the sea. I didn't manage to catch anymore fish after that, I even tried a feather rig that I made up from one of my daughters toy pompoms with glittery strands of pink and silver 3 - 4 inches long tied to 5 x size 4 hooks. These were attached to the rig with a dexter wedge on the end in the hope of any mackeral or small pollack that might also be in the area. A last session on the Thursday morning failed to produce any fish, mind you the sea was decidedly rough on that day with fierce waves to contend with, my chest waders taking a boot full on several occasions. I really enjoyed the fishing this week working out the tide times, to enable me to fish the rising tide at the optimum times etc.. It was challenging and quite hard work for one small fish really ! but to catch your targeted species is always a thrill when it pays off. We are planning another break in Devon later in the year and I can't wait to try for more Bass, I noted a few other areas to try too !! so watch this space.