There are more and more anglers taking to the salt looking to catch bass on the fly. If you have a reservoir outfit of a 7 or 8wt rod and line then you are ready to join the ever growing ranks of UK saltwater fly fishers.
Usually a floating line will be perfect for the job but an intermediate or sink tip is worth bringing just in case you are looking to get your flies deeper. Even some stillwater flies will catch bass and we have used Minkies and Zonkers to good effect. Also there is the added excitement of a bass hitting a popper and again your stillwater flies can come up trumps. A stripped boobie will do a great job and can work really, really well!
Bass are not line shy so we fish leaders of 9ft or sometimes shorter level 12 to 15lb fluro.
We prefer to fish the incoming tide and will often see bass in the estuaries waiting for the tide to turn before they head over to likely feeding areas in search of crabs, sandeels and bait fish. A dead drifted fly can work well but working your fly like something that is looking to escape these fearsome predators is what works best for us. There are times when you can’t strip your flies fast enough and you’ll keep feeling that pull as the bass hits your fly or in some cases tries to stun your fly and then hits it again. It is sometimes worth stopping your fly for a few moments when you have had a pull from a fish and then a quick, short pull and you will be in business.
There are lots of things to consider when bass fishing. Be aware of the tide and the speed it is moving. Never put yourself in danger or in a position where you could get cut off. One extra cast just isn’t worth it. A life vest of some sort also can help bring peace of mind too.
Remember bass have plenty of spines and some sharp gill covers. Handle with care, but also respect. They are a precious resource and are incredibly slow growing. Although there are size limits in place we strongly reccommend catch and release on all fish.