Sunday, June 19, 2016

Weathers too good...?

Weathers too good for Bass Fishing” I said to my understanding wife as I prepared to head out after lunch for a quick afternoon session last weekend. I’d noticed the wind would be switching From SE to S then SW that afternoon but had expected cloud cover, which I’d prefer, but in fact the sun was high in the clear blue May sky and splitting the stones as they say here in beautiful West Cork.

So off I went to the spot I had in mind, trudging across the sands past throngs of people in various stages of undress enjoying the fabulous beach weather with I feeling decidedly over dressed in my waterproof breathable fishing gear with hat on and hood up! On reaching my spot I found the tide had dropped a good bit from its high point on this very weak tide allowing me to wade quietly down a line of rocks, squeeze through a gap and position myself behind another lowish rock giving me a perfect position from which to both hide away and cover the area in front of me. The water was clear and weedless with nice little wave rolling in - perfect!

I selected a long casting shallow diver - The ever reliable Daiwa Shore Line Shiner 17 F-G and fired out the perfect cast diagonally across the rough ground and immediately started my retrieve in a “Jerk bait” style in view of the warm conditions…as the lure got halfway back to me it suddenly stopped and BANG the rod lurched round and the battle was on (First cast Syndrome strikes again)!!

Looking around me I could see wandering beach goers very close by, not wishing to advertise the location I kept the rod low to the water as it bent double and after a spirited battle I had the fish on the opposite side of the rock in front, which was at about chest level, I managed to steer the lively fish round that to me and I found myself in the close proximity of a very angry Bass, lure in its mouth, whilst waist deep in moving water…!!

So not being in the most comfortable of positions I paused after grabbing the fluorocarbon leader while I stowed away my rod to free up another hand and that was all the fish, of an estimated           7 lbs +, needed to  shake itself free of the barbless treble hooks and make it’s escape! For a split second it wallowed on the surface before realising it was free and as I lunged forward to grab it, the fish shot away at lightning speed with powerful thrust of its tail…I would have loved a photo but never mind. Needless to say I fished for another 2 hrs with no further action…oh well…J

Sunday, October 18, 2015

My Year So Far

Thought it was time I should write something of my fishing experiences of the last few months 
 if only for my own records... 

 My season didn't really start until well into July due to the pursuit of another outdoor project (Mt Blanc) which was successfully completed in late June. This was the longest break I've taken by far over the years but I felt it was needed and when I did get back into it all the old buzz soon had me keen and eager to get out on to the coast in pursuit of Bass and pick up where I'd left of in 2014.

I started out with a few day sessions to get a feel for what was happening and quickly moved back to night sessions which soon paid dividends with some fine fish, the average size of which was a great improvement on previous years, much to my relief.

A shortage of visiting fishermen and with my local Allie raising a growing young family has meant most of my fishing has been a solo effort with one notable exception being a session during a visit by a non-angler for Co Louth who, after a crash course in Bass Fishing landed a 5 LB fish with his second cast! That during a week when hardly a fish was landed, beginners luck was alive and well that day but as I said to him at the time, a lot of the time it can be first cast, worst cast, whatever, no matter how experienced you are - they all count and gives great pleasure to an angler and also in this case the Instructor / Guide.

Within the context of local times, throughout the summer of 2015 the fishing continued to be consistently good, when local knowledge was applied, but I was starting to feel the process of night fishing a bit one-dimensional and missing all the visual joys and varied methods that the day game brings, as one local Bass Angler said to me recently "One fish during the day is worth ten at night" not sure I'd go that far but I totally agree in principal. 

A late decision to fish with John Quinlan at Thatch Cottage, Kerry for a couple of days on weak tides along with some Salmon Fishing, depending on the conditions, proved to be a real eye-opener as has often be the case in my fishing. We targeted and landed Salmon on the Fly during Day One which reignited my dormant passion for fly fishing and has led me to dust of and upgrade some of my fly gear and found Bass in the Surf on Day Two which has set my Bass Fishing off in new directions and led to new discoveries locally...   

So now its mid October and the fishing is even stronger than the summer months which tradition says it should be despite the easterlies which although not ideal on paper do seem to be giving us conditions that suit our lure fishing and holding off the Autumn storms that can wreck it completely. The decision to start my fishing later this year and expose my self to new experiences has paid off in terms of late season freshness and enthusiasm, something I must try but will probably fail to do in the coming years...

Keep casting - David   

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Does This Sound Familiar...

I've made my plans to fish a wild remote rocky point and set off along the shoreline in beautiful November sunshine, I take in all that's around me, the group of Oystercatchers eyeing me with great suspicion before taking to the air, the patterns that the surf makes on the beach the distribution of the kelp that's been thrown up the beach, it's and endless feast for the eyes and senses that's all changing by the second...Suddenly I stop in my tracks and my plan has instantly changed! What I've seen rings all the right bells in my Bass Fishing head...

Surf is pounding onto the boulder field in front of me creating those classic "Boils" indicating the depth is perfect for a fish or two to be patrolling the drop off from shallow to deeper waters, waiting for food to be washed out and provide an easy meal for the spiny ones who may be lurking  there with intent...I instantly see a line along which I want my lure to travel and I know without hesitation which lure it's going to be...I reach for the Shore Line Shiner 17-FG (A-7) with its stunning chartreuse back, pearl white flanks and day-glow orange belly, there could be no brighter lure for this the brightest of days.

A gentle breeze is in my face as I clip on and fire out the lure which arcs out perfectly on the line I had in mind and in sync with the surf, a few quick turns of the reel handle and the lure "Bites" into the back of a wave and we're fishing...I start to wind slowly, full of anticipation...after about the third or fourth turn... KABOOM!! FISH ON!! Now here's were I have to fess up to a schoolboy error. I've left the drag very loose, as is my habit, at the end of the previous session the night before and as I start to apply pressure I see the fish which looks to be of a good size break the surface and angrily throw its tail into the air creating a spray of white water but, although the line is tight I can't apply the pressure I want to. I lock the spool with my finger and stumble backward up the shingle as I frantically tighten the drag, a second or two later I think I'm back in control but it's all about to go horribly wrong...

As I tighten down on the fish and the rod starts to bend further, but still only moderately, disaster strikes and everything goes slack...I wind furiously in the the hope that the fish has decided to sprint towards me but alas it's not to be...inspection of the terminal tackle reveals the horrible truth...I've lost not only the fish but the lure (Barbs had been crushed) the clip and 1 meter of 25 lb flourocrbon leader - Devastated... I know from experience at this location and at this time of year it will probably take a lot of casting before I get my chance again and I'm right,   
4 hrs of casting later, after covering the whole bay I'm still fishless...

Clearly yet another case of - FIRST CAST SYNDROME - but with a nasty sting in it's fishy tail !!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

My Summer - Part 2 (The kit I used).

Through the fine Spring and Summer of 2014 I noticed my fishing evolving a bit in certain directions mainly due to an increase in night fishing. The most noticeable change came in terms of the equipment I was using, I found myself scaling up to suit the most productive conditions I fish which usually involve movement... 

To match these conditions I found my 9' Daiwa Morethan Branzino 90M Shore battle Custom (Blimey that's a mouthful) Rated at 10 - 40g and weighing in at a featherlight 143 grams that I once considered a bit specialised, became my all rounder for hard plastics and bigger soft baits... (By the way, did you know that "Branzino" is the Italian name for our Bass? Ok you already knew - Sorry!!). I started to really appreciate the rod for it's length and power which allowed me to... punch into headwinds, cast further, use a longer leader without the knot passing through the tip ring, stop some fish in their tracks, keep fish away from snags, land fish quicker and more... I now use my previous all rounder the MTB 80 ML for the lighter, calmer, cleaner ground, fishing. I've also added a MTB 10'9" from Japan to my quiver which I coupled with a  Daiwa Ballistic 4000SH for a very fast retrieve when fishing at extreme distance, now that is certainly a specialised set up but it works and delivered me some interesting experiences with a few fish I might not have otherwise have had access to from the shore...

Lines stayed the same, either using Daiwa Tournament 8 strand 25lb or a white coloured Toray 8 strand in 20lb that Cian at Absolute Fishing put me onto which I really like. My 1st choice fluorocarbon is  Berkley Trilene in 20 or 25lb, depending on the location, which I love for its user friendliness and assured performance - it has never let me down. (I also like the large 91m spools that seem to last forever). I'm intending to try using it as a mainline for some of the rougher close range spots I fish - watch this space for a report on that if it works well...

I found myself using bigger lures to suit these wilder conditions typically around 25 - 30gs old favourites such as the Daiwa Shoreline Shiner 17-FG,  IMA Barbarossa 120 set up with Varivas 1/0 Twin Assist Hooks,  Zip Baits Slide Swim Minnow 120 also with assists and in the softs the Megabass Dot Crawler 7" at 28g which I caught on in just about every pattern over one hectic and sunny 24 hr period the 7" Sawamura One up Shads, 7" Yamasenkos all mostly fished weightless, you get the idea...

New discoveries such as the 152mm 31g Daiwa D'Minnow which I really like, along with the Seaspin Mommotti 180 SS the 190 SS both slow sinkers became my go to's for lively conditions and accounted for a LOT of fish. It's worth pointing out that all these three lures retail for well under €20, currently Cian has the D'Minnow on offer at €9 !!

As usual I don't know if this all means I fished more effectively than anyone else would under the same conditions but it certainly felt like I was on the money, well most of the time anyway! 

Looking forward to the odd session over the winter and of course the Spring of 2015, 
keep casting keep catching and most importantly - keep putting them back...

Friday, October 24, 2014

My Summer - Part 1

It all started pretty well for me this season, that is there were a few fish to be found at all of my usual locations, plus a few new ones, as it continued to build things here were on a par with my season of 2010 which was one of my best so far within the context of where our bass fishing seems to be at the moment.

So it was all looking good as a trip to the SE, booked well in advance, crept closer and the anticipation built! I knew it was going to be tough as it was apparent that not all the country was fishing well and reports of a near collapse of stocks in the E & SE were being discussed online which bore out my own experiences of the last few years, but I would have time on my hands and I was all set for a challenge...

As the day finally came to set off it quickly became apparent that my timing could not have been worse, the calm weather of the summer was breaking fast as I pulled off the drive with my estate car loaded with enough gear to open a high-end tackle shop and by the time I got to the ferry there were white caps on the estuary and big swells breaking into the bays beyond as a deep low roared in from the Atlantic. None of this was a big surprise as I'd seen it coming a week ago on all of the forecasts but plans had been made, time booked off work, accommodation paid for etc, etc.

Again not surprisingly, what followed will go down in my fishing memory as THE FIFTY HOUR BLANK yes fifty hours of fishing night and day putting everything I've learnt into practice at places I know well with all the time in the world, without so much as a touch and you know what? I loved every minute of it, every cast, every stride along the wild shoreline, every spectacular view, every photo taken...

As the week's fishing drew to a close I realised that, having totalled up my expenses for the week I was on the quest for a....ONE THOUSAND EURO FISH...yes and it wasn't to come from anywhere that I'd travelled to, that included an extra 2 days spent on the Copper Coast fishing all the spots where I'd caught in the past as the conditions were slowly improving which probably took the blank to over 60 hrs and the expenses to about €1200 but we won't quibble over that...

So back I went to beautiful West Cork, back to work and routine, I settled back in and surveyed the conditions from the laptop, all starting to look good again...which was confirmed by a tour of the coast so, out I went to one of my more reliable spots the next evening 3rd cast.......
Kaboom!! Is that the €1000 fishing bending my Branzino 90m in half? Oh yes it was and I'm pleased to say it soon became the €500 euro fish as "normal" service was resumed for the rest of the summer.

So the moral of the story must be that, as always, it's the conditions - conditions - conditions that are the most important aspect of our Bass fishing...

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

On Hold...

As you may have noticed this blog has been quiet for a while, so with time on my hands (Backing off from bad conditions on a fishing trip away as it happens) I thought I'd finally post something.

 Its not that I haven't been fishing, quite the contrary I've been fishing as much and as hard if not harder than I ever have been in the past, loving every minute and probably having my best results locally since 2010. 

The major cause for a lack of posts has been due to a big change at work that has taken all my efforts to get under control and which I'm pleased to say is settling down again. The stress this caused me seemed to kill my creative side in a way I've luckily not experienced before.

I can't say I've missed social media in general as I was never mad about it and some aspects of it I do less than ever or very sporadically

So now I'm back so to speak I'm wondering what do you my fellow Bass anglers really enjoy reading about I wonder? Hopefully your comments via the contact me button top right (If I get any) will help me decide on a way forward, if there is one... one topic that HAS to stay on my blogging agenda is to be marine conservation. Things seem to have got so bad in some areas of Ireland's Bass fishing that people are starting to talk which will hopefully lead to some discussion and a plan of action so watch this space...

Thanks for reading - David Norman 

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Some Silver (and Blue) at Last !!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Hit or Run?

Thinking back over previous seasons, as one tends to do with a new one just around the corner, and as always wondering what I can do to be a more effective Bass Fisherman, especially after a season like most of 2013! 
Based on what I've learnt a tactic stands out to me as something worth considering.

I've mentioned what I've experienced quite often and have come to call "First Cast Syndrome", or a variation on it, a number of times in posts such as Here & Here and its making me think of a possible alternative approach.

If there's a high chance of getting a fish or two in the first say five casts or not at all why not fish very limited sessions, at a number of locations, at optimal times, until something happens rather than spending all my time in one or two places, or an area, if nothing gives. I haven't fully thought out exactly how and where to deploy this tactic but they would need to be locations close together and with easy access - not always a given in Bass fishing!

There are lots of situations where this wouldn't make sense and of course it can backfire and lead to a lot of Bass miles, or walking and not much fishing as can happen but its just another approach that may pay off for me when the fish are few and far between.

I equally appreciate the value of settling in to an area, taking my time, watching things unfold, getting into a rythm, working through the options etc etc but if I'm looking to be effective and beat the odds in tough conditions then it has to be said that it is too easy to get comfortable and a bit lazy when a move or two could make it all kick off for even if its only a fish rather than none. There has to be a massive difference to the drive home having landed (And released) something rather nothing.

So if during the coming season you see an Angler arrive in the distance take five casts and walk back to the car, as if some piece of equipment has broken and drive off, you'll have a fair idea now who it was ;-)

Sunday, February 23, 2014

All change at the beaches...

Went for a walk and a bit of a sniff around a few of my favorite places - not to fish - its been way too wild for that with record wind speeds and rainfall but it has also been very mild. I was shocked but probably shouldn't have been surprised at the scale of the changes I saw. Sand dunes cut back by the enormous surf with vertical drops of a couple of meters in places that could do with edge protection to stop an unsuspecting walker or runner having a nasty accident, walls that have exploded across roads, steel cages of rocks intended for protection from costal errosion thrown aside like a discarded tea bag and one of the things that surprised me most was a near flat strand that's now about a meter higher at the high water mark than it was last summer. Its really hard to take in the scale of the changes to places I once knew so well. So with all this having happened above the surface you'd have to wonder what's changed under the water..of course these changes are happening all year round but these winter storms have been quite exceptional in their power and magnitude. It remains to be seen what effect it will all have on our bass fishing when it starts to kick off again which hopefully isn't too far away now. I think it will surely make sense to be a bit more open minded than usual on the when and where until patterns start to develope as the season progresses...

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Self Taught?

Wrong place wrong time maybe?
A question came to mind last year whilst chatting to an experienced Bass angler as to how many of us as anglers are truly self taught? I would argue none, unless you were born on a desert island with no other anglers or media to observe, we all learn from others it’s to what degree is the question.

 A very experienced guide told me recently that over the years he’d learnt the most from the people he'd been paid to guide
– a very honest and revealing admission – but also a very understandable one. I think we all evolve our own styles of fishing based on what we see and experience, those who fish with others, have the best chance of all to further their knowledge quickly, fishing in isolation can lead to false assumptions, I know because I've benefitted greatly from guided fishing, made many false assumptions in the past and will undoubtedly make them again in the future as I move up the never ending learning curve that keeps this area of fishing so interesting to those of us that are lucky enough to take part in it.

 I take my hat off to those at the top end of other areas of fishing - coarse, game, deep sea, etc but fishing the wild unpredictable and tidal shoreline with the conditions changing by the minute, if not the second,  for a fish that rarely gives visual clues as to its whereabouts or activities, often in poor light or even full darkness,  has to be well up there with angling challenges for lure anglers and that’s before you consider Fly.

To balance this it does have to be said that with the techniques and equipment now available to us Bass can be RELATIVELY easy to catch if they can be located at the right time but therein lies the challenge. To be consistently in the right place at the right times across a range of conditions and tides rather than repeatedly hitting a favourite mark at a prime time is a tough call and one that I’m sure, I for one will never fully perfect…

So there's my two penneth worth on the subject of learning, for what its worth. With the new year underway and the days already starting to get longer I've begun to think of new ways to fish the areas I know and love, ways to maximise my time, ways to be in the right place at the right time and to make the most of what's available. So lots of new ideas to try, can't wait to get on with it in a few months time... 

Happy New Year and Thanks for Reading as always.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Have a Break - Have a Winter Off.

For the first time in 7 Seasons I'll be taking a break from the Bass over the remaining months of winter to pursue other outdoor projects and return fresh and revitalised in the Spring when there will hopefully be a good head of the Spiny Silver Ones to target.

That will naturally mean less posting to this blog and I may get tempted to do some sporadic fishing between now and April ish but the time has come to take a rest from what has been a relentless (C&R) hunt and reflect on the many hours spent that have contributed to the 260+ posts to this blog over the past 4 years. For every photo I've posted there were probably on average about 50 I didn't so there must be around 13,000 fishing photos on my various hard drives at this stage and yes I have backed them up!

The beauty of being just an angler and blogger is that I don't constantly need to find material to blog as a front window for a business so this holiday will come at no cost to me other than probably some lost readers. Another plus of my position is that I can tell it as I see it without the need to hype things up, worry about fishing politics, or always make out that everything in the garden is rosy...

Along with many others I have noticed the fishing get progressively harder of late, despite the stunning advances in equipment and techniques, and as a result it has been it has to be said, less rewarding in say the last three seasons. I am realistic that this is the mere blink of an eye in Bass fishing cycles and I'm ok with the theory that this is weather and other variables related for now.

So if you don't find much new to read here for a while you know the reason, thanks as always for reading. 

Merry Christmas and a Fishy New Year - David Norman

Saturday, November 30, 2013

2013 – A Game of Three Halves

A welcome but all too rare summer of 2013 fish.

It all started with the big chill, weeks of Easterly winds that blew and blew and with them came the low temps that had the knock on effect of keeping our Sea temps low and our catch rates even lower.
And so we waited and waited...Eventually it came, the second phase, a glorious summer and those first nice gentle onshore breezes that warmed the air, stirred the sea and raised our hopes but ultimately delivered very little by way of fish landed for most. It got so bad that at times it felt that our Bass Fishing no longer felt like a worthwhile “Full time” hobby for the Day Game and a glimpse of a future none of us want to even contemplate, so a lot of time was spent prowling the coast after dark in the hope of improving our chances...This worked to degree but it was still tough going. 
Fast forward to the Autumn and the third phase, it stayed warm until quite recently and thank God the fish started to show when the conditions were right, all's well that ends well...

So what will 2014 bring us, nobody knows but I'm looking forward to finding out... Thanks for Reading.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

A November Bass...

As bad forecasts go this one wasn't too bad, the storms of the previous week had calmed but I knew that dirty water as a result of all the rain we've had and suspended weed would be an issue. I went with my favorite lure for these dirty conditions a big white shad to which I added a rattle for good measure. This particular shad was the Sawamura One Up 6" mounted on a 5/0 EWG Springlock 5.25g which is weedless, flys a long way and presents a nice big target with a sound signature to match.  When you add it all up A lot of time and effort went into catching this fish, loading line, tying leaders, mounting soft plastics onto hooks at home, packing the car driving to the area, overnight accommodation  an early start struggling into clothing and waders and that's all before the fishing actually starts!

So was it all worth it for one fish? For me, and at this time of year, I would have to say YES...

(Scale samples were taken from this fish to be sent off and an entry made in a logbook 
both as part of the Inland Fisheries Ireland - National Bass Programme)

Sunday, November 3, 2013

November Shorescapes…

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Irish Angler October.

IA Oct has been out for a while now
and I have a little article on Mullet in there...

Sunday, October 20, 2013

First Cast Syndrome !!

Yesterday it happened to me again, in fact I've got to taking it as a bad sign if it doesn't happen. I'm talking about the number of occasions where we make contact with a fish on our first few casts bringing with it the hope of an epic session followed by nothing. The most recent of these occurred yesterday in conditions so wild I could hardly get my Duo Tide Minnow 145 SLD lure to hit the water at all let alone land where I wanted it to such where the howling side winds that also pushed up the surf right to the limit of my comfort zone for the location I was in, but sure enough it still happened first cast. 
I'd checked the lure mid flight reducing my casting distance but at least starting to deal with the massive wind induced bow in my line, got the road tip as low as I could, wound fast to get the lure to bite which was quite impressive considering the sea state and with the rod tip still dangerously close the rocks at my feet I slowly began my retrieve as the set waves paused temporarily, a few turns of the handle and BANG! fish on. The unhappy ending to this is that after a few seconds of the fight I felt the line make contact with the rocks and PING! it was all over and my brand new TM 145 would not be coming home. At least I could be confident of the fish quickly shedding the lure as I always crush the barbs on my trebles. I spent the next 100 or so casts trying to replicate what I'd done with the first without a sniff of fishy action :(

So how does happen so often that the one and only contact comes in the first few casts to be followed by nothing such as I've mentioned before. Plenty of theories abound on the subject such as arriving late as the the fish are moving out of the area but I don't personally subscribe to that because it happens too often and not in places that I would consider particularly timing critical. Another favourite is that the hooked fish spooked the others but having seen fish excitedly escort a hooked fish in the hope of having a go at the same lure and experiences of a fish coming off to be quickly replaced by another I'm not convinced about that explanation either. John Skinner in his book "A Season on the Edge" from the US striper world even has an interesting if humorous theory about "Sentry fish" fish that are detached from the main group to investigate an area for the good of the shoal. Looking on the positive side the possibility that the action can start so quickly can be a wonderful thing if it works and I'm so used to seeing it happen now to myself and others that my fishing heart sinks a little if nothing happens immediately on arrival at a location. I guess all we can do is keep casting and learning, and enjoy the fact that we'll never totally figure it all out when it comes to Bass behavior..

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

A Time to fish?

Conditions out there seem to be pretty good out at the moment if this evening is anything to go by. With air temps still around 15c+ at dusk and with a gentle Westerly breeze blowing as the sea calmed after the latest blow there seemed to be plenty of Autumn fish around and on the feed. I may just have hit a little window as the winds continue to swing NW-N-NE and the tides weaken but I'll be heading out a few more times this week to see if I can find some more. After all, it's going to be a long winter of dreaming about the return of the silver ones in Spring 2014 so we may as well make hay while the sun (Or moon) shines...

Friday, September 27, 2013

Crawling with Fish...

Actually that should have read crawling for fish, sorry about the cheap gag! The opposite has in fact been the case of late as I've been having some epic blanks including a best forgotten marathon 10 hrs of Day / Night fishing last weekend in KERRY but I did manage a couple this week including this 7lb+ beauty (Yes I know it looks more like a Conger!) which fell to the 7" Megabass Dot Crawler seen here in 03 UNAGI pattern. I think we may have yet another classic bait from Megabass in the Dot Crawler, it's ideal for our bass fishing  and at 28g out of the packet for the 7" I think they are pretty unique - They smell pretty unique also!

Sunday, September 15, 2013


Slowly retrieving my weightless soft plastic through a jungle rocks and and weed as the early Autumn evening light fades, I feel the lure get hammered by an aggressive fish but all to quickly it’s over and the fish has gone... When I gathered my thoughts all I could liken it to was touching an electrified cattle fence only not as painful, my reaction to what I was feeling up through the braided line and down the rod was so fast (Well obviously not fast enough!) it was totally involuntary and similar to that tensing sensation one gets from a mild electric shock! I’ve never thought of it that way before but it perfectly describes that moment we all crave and the 100’s of other times I’ve experienced something similar when fishing. I was certainly wide awake after it and I’m looking forward to the next one!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Hard to Explain...

Lots of strange things happen when we go Bass fishing here's one that happened to me this week...

I turn up at a very wide strand well after dark, stand back and pick my spot. I decide on how to cover the area and proceed to my starting point. I wade into the small surf, cast out at about 45 degrees to my left and start to retrieve my Shore Line Shiner  very very slowly (Where would we be without them).....halfway back to me I get an almighty hit and the line is ripped off the reel, luckily I've set the clutch about right, just as the fish slows everything goes slack, oh well! I recast in the same direction, halfway in and exactly the same thing happens! Wow I'm in for a mega nights fishing I think to myself!! This time the fish is landed, a nice 6lb fish which I notice when unhooking has fresh injuries from hooks under its chin but the fish is lip hooked - definitely the same fish hooked twice in my opinion. The fish is released and I continue to fish the whole of the strand for the next 2 hrs trying everything I have without the merest hint of a fish. This episode raises so many questions for me.

If this was indeed the same fish did the fish "understand" it was hooked on the first occasion?
If so why would a hooked fish attack the same lure a second time? (Once bitten...... not this bass) !!
How could there only be one, very aggressively feeding, fish in that huge area of water?
What are the chances of my putting a lure on its nose with first and second cast in total darkness?
Did my released fish panic others in it's group?
How many times do we take a fish in our first five casts, release it and get nothing more...

I could think of a few more questions and I'm sure you could to...