Currently in the U.K we are on a limit of two fish per day from 1 March to 30 November 2020 making December, January and February catch and release only. The keep size for Bass is 16 ½ inches or 42cm. Some regional laws may be in place so please check first. With Bass having a large mouth they will hover up large baits no problem so using a larger hook and leaving a clear hook point is advisable for a good hook up. The bite can be varied some Bass take it with real vigour giving your rod tip a good workout where as some larger bass can be cautious feeders with small movement on the tip don’t always be too hasty to strike as a bass can eject a bait out of its mouth with ease.
PLEASE NOTE: Bass have extremely sharp gill plates and Spiky dorsal fins which can easily draw blood if handled wrong.
Paternoster rigs: 60lb Rig body & 30-60lb hook trace, hook size 3/0- 6/0. Running ledger rigs: 60lb Rig body & 30-60lb hook trace, hook size 3/0-6/0. Pulley rig: 60lb Rig body & With a long flowing trace of 3ft + 30-60lb hook trace, hook size 3/0-6/0.
Depending on the time of the year baits may change as what’s available locally on the shore as to what they are feeding on. Ragworm: This bait has to be one of the top choices of bait for Bass anglers for all year around Bassing, when used on a flowing trace it can absolutely deadly! Either used singular or multiples being used bunched and whipped together or threaded up the line. I would say Ragworm is the top Bass bait but again regional differences may occur around the UK.
Crab: Another top bait for many anglers whether hard back, peeler, cart etc everyone has their own way of using Crab and expensive bait but also easy enough to forage from the foreshore as well please check there are no local bait collecting laws in place. Sand eel: This is my personal favourite for catching Bass used either singular or whipped together in pairs or threes then lop off the heads by the gill plate and the tails as well. Or as many angler do is live bait with a sand eel very effective especially for larger bass! Lugworm: again a highly rated bait although a lot tend to not use as much due to the amount of other fish that will snap up this bait instead of the bass you’re looking for. Used either singular or in multiples like rag worm threaded up the line another good tactic is to make a “lug sausage” as I call it get 4 larger lug worms roughly fold in half and whip up with elastic and then thread onto your hook when using a lug sausage I use a Pennell hook as well for presentation. Squid: A great bait and versatile as well the only reason I wouldn’t use this bait as much for bass is because as the much as the pulling power of squid is for bass they also pull in all other fish as well including massive crowds of dogfish. But on the right day and the right place is researched another top bait.
Lures: With Bass being a predatory fish spinning is a commonly used tactic to catch them lures differ greatly but the two I find the most useful are a Dexter wedge and white or black and silver Paddle tail lures, I also highly rate the savage gear sand eel. Lures and plugs are more about choice of the angler and what they feel comfortable with and what they may find catch more. I personally think if you are not comfortable with what you are using then it won’t be used to its full potential. When spinning for bass be sure to wind in even when under your feet as many will follow your lure in and strike at the last minute.
Bass can be found in many areas surf beaches just behind the surf wave lines patrolling and hovering up all the bait being released by the surf action, that being said though you will find bass in a lot of places round structures, features on beaches, weedy ends of a beach and around rocky ledges etc you can catch Bass close in to shore or out at sea most of mine are caught between 4 yards and 30 yards. Which is why you probably see so many amateur anglers and holiday kids catching them on crab lines over a harbour wall etc or a bad cast in close, although wary fish they can also be Kamikaze in nature at times. Set your clutch!