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'Sea Fisherman's Dream'
Every summer anglers pile into boats and rush to beaches in pursuit of the hard-fighting Bass. Its reign
as one of the most sought after sea fish is undisputed.
Scientific Name: Dicentrarchus labrax
Maximum Weight: 20lb
Average Weight: 3-4lb
Maximum Length: 40inches
Life Span: 15-20 years
The Bass, a member of the Perch family, has an elongated body with two dorsal fins. The front one is spiny
, and the fish can raise it at will. Each dark gill cover has a sharp spine. Colour varies little - the fish has a grey back,
distinctive silver sides and a white underside. The eyes and mouth are large and the teeth are small.
Where to find Bass:
Bass are primarily a warm water species. You can find them near estuaries, power station outflows, surf beaches, harbours
and rocky headlands.
Bass are predatory. Their huge mouths enable them to swallow large food items, but they also go for small minnows and crustaceans such as peeler
crabs. They eat whitebait, slipper limpets, razor fish, squid, pilchards, sprat and herring. In daylight they hunt by sight near
the surface, where young sprats or herring gather. During storms they often come inshore using their excellent sense of smell to locate ragworm, lugworm and other foods.
Bass often can be found looking for food in amongst the waves just off shore. Sandeels, flatfish, crabs and shrimps are well concentrated in areas by the surf and present
a valuable food source for Bass. People often say of Bass fishing off beaches: 'just beyond the third wave'.
Bass take a variety of baits, spinners and artificial lures. Best baits include peeler crab,
sandeel, Mackerel strip, Squid head, lugworm, prawn.
How to catch Bass - Techniques at a glance:
Single and two hook traces, paternoster ledger, float fishing from rocks, drift lining, spinning.