My First Lure Caught Devon Bass

I had an entirely different blog post lined up for today.  However it is fair to say that right now I am buzzing.  The buzz that only fishing can give you.  To be honest I really should have been sat at the fly tying vice sorting some sand eel patterns for James & Cian of Absolute Fishing … but instead I went fishing.  Sorry guys!

Heading out to the North Devon coast with long time angling buddy Wayne Thomas  the goal was to catch a Bass, not with flies, but with lures.  It might seem like stepping backwards, using lure tactics when I have caught a stack load of Devon Bass with fly.  But that’s not what this blog post is about.  If you want to know my feelings on fly/lure crossover fishing then have a look here.

For this inaugural Devon lure outing I could not have been in better company.  Wayne is a well known all round angler with a few books to his name and regular articles in the angling press.  This guy knows his stuff, so much so that last week we aborted the trip because a strong North Westerly had “blown” the area we had hoped to fish.  Believe me learning all about tides and weather systems is all important if you fancy tackling the salt; that is with fly or lure.  So if you can find a sea fishing mate as knowledgeable as Wayne, hang on to their every word.  There is a safety aspect too.

Lure fishing on a North Devon Bass mark

Wayne found us some awesome looking ground

All that stood between the mouth watering looking ground and our lures was a pretty impressive near vertical climb over a series of jagged rocks.  I followed Wayne very carefully!  It was well worth it as he had dropped us right on to some of the ground that I have come to know as Bass country through my travels to Ireland with Henry Gilbey.  This place looked just right!

Small devon school Bass caught on a lure

A "Basslet" got the session off to a good start. Wheres your mama?!

Within 5 minutes Wayne had landed a Bass on an IMA Komomo SF-125 in the Plasma Candy colour.  OK, so the lure was almost as big as the Bass, but it was a great start in my eyes!  At least there were some fish around.  And then he moved!  Always willing to experiment Wayne had gone off to have a play with some soft plastics, so without any hesitation I jumped into his spot and gave the area a bit of a pasting with a Feed Shallow (or is that a Shallow Feed?!)  No joy.

Small school Bass taken on an IMA Komomo 125

Now that is one hungry little Bass!

Looking into the depths of my new Shimano lure box (thanks to James Barry for the heads up on that) my eyes settled on the Megabass X-140 GG in what I think is the Inakko colour.  Don’t ask me why it is called Inakko, it doesn’t matter.  All I do know is that it reminds me of a Sandeel, has a really nice action and is easy to use for a lure beginner like me.  There was a fair bit of water clarity too so I felt that something not too garish which I had confidence in would be worth a chuck.  It was!

I am not too sure who was more surprised, me or the Bass!  What I did know was that it was a good bit bigger than the lure as it stuck a lovely curve into my Mazzera 742, (just 7’ 4” and a dream to cast) an ultra lightweight rod that offers real sport with these fish.  Making sure the fish did not dive and cut my braid I soon had it on the surface, caught a wave and it was mine!  We reckoned it was 3lb, a school fish by most standards, especially Ireland.  But I did not care one bit and the fish might even have been 2lb.  I wouldn’t have minded if it had been even less although I had better get myself a new BogaGrip, just in case!

Nick Hart with a lure caught Bass from a Devon rock mark

My first ever lure caught Devon Bass - stoked!

I will always remember that fish it because it was my first lure caught Bass, on the coast of Devon.  The light was not great for pictures but I think the grin says it all, moments later the fish was back home possibly wondering how it had been so daft as to take an X140 dangled b y a newbie!  For the rest of the session I kicked myself that living so close to our glorious coast line that I have not been out there pounding the mile upon mile of wonderful ground available.  Our session did not start and finish there because we had some more follows and in one excellent spot where the water really came to life as the tide flooded we rapidly increased our tally to 4 fish apiece.  These were small schoolies up to a pound and a half although I connect briefly with another half reasonable looking specimen that shook the lure and we had a real thrill seeing fish chase the lures to the rocks.

There are plenty of perfect Bass fishing marks in North Devon

Devon is home to mile upon mile of stunning Bass ground

Could I have caught these fish with fly?  Quite possibly and next time maybe I will give it a go especially as the long range casting qualities of the lure fishing gear had helped to show where the fish hang out.  But I have to say that once again I cannot thank Wayne enough because it was his knowledge regarding where to find those fish that was so important, leading to my first Devon Bass on a lure.   We must have been on the right track as we bumped into Joel Squires who has had some serious Bass this season and operates a lure guiding service.  Anyway I had better shut up waffling and go and do some work … and tie those flies … although I might just sneak a look at the tides first.  Er Houston “we have a problem”.

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7 Responses to My First Lure Caught Devon Bass

  1. Nice stuff guys, makes my day to read stuff like this. Be careful though, the slope to full-on addiction is a slippery one !!

    Henry Gilbey | July 25, 2011 at 11:15 am | Reply
  2. Nice one Nick , you do realise the addiction has started and there is no way of stoping it .
    We will let you off with the flys seen as it was for a great cause .Nice to go out and catch bass on a new mark.

    Cian O Halloran | July 25, 2011 at 12:47 pm | Reply
  3. Its too late Henry, the brakes have failed quite badly! But its all good and I reckon it is very cool that your blog (http://www.henry-gilbey.com)is inspiring people to get involved. I am certainly loving every minute of the journey.

    Nick Hart | July 25, 2011 at 1:23 pm | Reply
  4. Cian, I promise I will get on with those flies!

    nickhart | July 25, 2011 at 1:29 pm | Reply
  5. Excellent stuff Nick!! Always nice to get the first off a new mark… and heres hoping a lot more to follow.

    James Barry | July 25, 2011 at 6:11 pm | Reply
  6. Hi Nick, good to see you again and well done on getting some fish, we had 5 between us that eve to 3lbish,and yes the waders are great, anytime you are free, give me a call and we could get out for a fish, thanks for the link to my website, many thanks Joel

    joel squires | August 4, 2011 at 11:33 am | Reply
  7. Nice one Joel. Just had a look at your blog and see you have been getting in amongst some nice fish. That X-140 seems to be awesome!

    nickhart | August 4, 2011 at 5:50 pm | Reply

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