I guess I am like a lot of anglers in the UK, when I pack for holiday I always try to squeeze in a small rod of some sort…just incase. Knowing I was going to spend a week in Teignmouth, I packed a small Bass rod or light sea/spinner rod and a handful of plugs, lures, weights and hooks. Could I get time to go for the Bass in the river mouth?
Arriving in Teignmouth, I visited the local shop and also quizzed the local anglers on what was being caught and on what bait. Getting a bit of local knowledge is the best way to increase your chances of catching, and gives you a little more confidence as you look out on a mass expanse of water.
Being June I was imagining the estuary being full of bait fish or fry, bringing in the bigger fish. But as I soon gathered from the locals, due to the late spring, water temperatures were behind by at least 3-4 weeks, meaning the Bass and Mackerel were scarce, but there were still a few coming out. Livebaiting with sand eels was suggested to me as the best way to catch them, but this was by the bait seller! Lures and plugs were also mentioned and having these in my box, I decided to stick with them.
Flounder were still being caught in the estuary, but having never caught a Bass I couldn’t resist giving them a go.
I headed down to the mouth of the RIver Teign, looking across to Teignmouth. A long line of rocks, containing a small lighthouse, offers a great place to cast from and also allows you to move up and down the river.
The weather was a little overcast and breezy, but as I only had a short time to fish, I headed down with my family and launched a lure out in to the water. Within about 10 mins I had snapped up on the bottom, so decided to go for a plug with a leger weight to increase casting capability. The plugs I had were from a cheap pack that everyone seems to have tucked away in their tackle box, and I selected a bright pink one!
A few casts in and I felt what I thought was another piece of seaweed, but then felt the very familiar head shake of a fish! I struck, and suddenly realised I may actually have a Bass on!
It put up a spirited fight, surging left to right, and even when I lifted it on to the seaweed bank in front of me and wrapped my hand around it, the dorsal fin reminded me it still had plenty of life in it!
Bass need to be 16 inches or 38cm to take out or you could face a fine, but I had heard that Bass are yet another species that are over-fished and struggling, so without checking the size, I had my picture with it and released it back to the clear waters.
What a great result! It wasn’t a monster, but that doesn’t bother me in the least, it was a great little trip and a beautiful place to stand, flicking a plug out in the the sea.
Bass fishing is great fun, the fish are stunning, the fight spirited, but if you do catch one, have a little think about the struggling stocks!