Estuary Bass ..best way to catch em ?

Philip

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I will be near a small Estuary with a good head of Bass in it. Classic canal type estuary. Pretty open; 50m wide @4m deep, clear water, plenty of rocks in the margins for the Bass to hide in but not too snaggy. In a fairly urban area so quite well lit. I’ll be fishing a few hours after Dark.

My intention was to lure fish it, dropping soft lures into the margins or wobbling plugs and spoons around but in the past its been very hit and miss & I never do too well with them.

Anyone have any tips of the best way to go about it ?..thanks..
 
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markg

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I have found them difficult to catch when they go up rivers but estuaries must be different. I used to see small bass caught in pools on an estuary in Devon when the tide went out and they got trapped. I would think the normal methods should work, they may be feeding around the rocks looking for crabs so peeler crab might be a good bait. I would be tempted to lob out a big float with a sand eel on the hook, let it work round the rocks and "trot" with the incoming tide but I am only guessing as I don't know what the estuary is like and would be difficult after dark. I definitely would watch the water at low tide, look for where the channels, rocks and depressions are where the bass might come in with the flood tide but this sounds like a narrow urbanized estuary, not the wide open ones.
As to lures, John might know some that work, he caught some last year, the classic rubber eel might work, try red ones, I believe I have heard they work best but frozen real ones, sunk and drawn or under a float. Lots of choices to make, as long as the bass come in the estuary I imagine most will work, a matter of how you want fish Phillip at the end of the day, sounds good though.
 

waldi

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I spent many years living on the Dart estuary in Devon. If the water's clear and more saline (Estuary mouth area) then you'll catch bass on all the usual methods, lure,leger or float. On the upper reaches where the water is dirty/coloured nothing will outfish peeler crab. The bigger bass are often close to or in the wrack looking for them. You'll often see big bass mixed in or close behind a shoal of thick lip mullet.
If your close to the estuary mouth try scraping through the weeds with a fine-ish mesh net. you can (Or could) get some nice size prawns that way. An excellent float bait.
 

bullet

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Is there much tide flow?
If so, a 4 inch white redgill can be deadly, fished on a 3 or 4 ft trace with enough weight to get it down a bit depending on the strength of flow.
Savagear sandeels also work.
Live Prawn is also good, but I find these are better over intertidal reefs.
Absolute mustard bait is live sandeel, but hard to get hold of, fished in the same way as the Redgill.
I wouldn't discount a surface lure either, maybe something like a Patchinko 100 or 125, should be able to cast that across a good way.
 

markg

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Reading a very old book with a section on tidal river bass fishing, a dead roach dead-bait was recommended, however, that would be sacrilege for some but a dead bait of some sort might be another choice, plenty can be bought from freezer tackle shop freezers.
One river I fished a few times a local angler told me once that bass do not feed when they travel up rivers but I don't think this is true but maybe there is something in it, they might feed around estuaral areas but are they just coming up rivers to get rid of sea lice and therefore not interested in feeding. I really don't know but I know this one tidal river I fished for bass, I have never caught one. Tried lug-worms, sand-eels and squid but not a dead bait. However eels could be a problem I imagine.
That estuary I mentioned in my previous post was the Torridge near Westward Ho, I was young at the time but amazed seeing the bass caught in pools there; gave me a life-long angling appetite for them. Ideal surf beach fishing there but no rod at the time, love to go back there one day and do that, might put it on my bucket list.
Just had a thought, may have the ideal estuary float, some I did up during knockdown, the two on the left might do the job, thought they might come in handy for something.
floats 2.JPG
 
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Philip

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Great stuff fellas. Some very useful advice there from guys who clearly know what they are talking about !

I am actually back now but I will keep these tips in mind for the next time.

PS - nice floats ...the slider 3rd from left in particular looks ideal.
 
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