Bass on live bait – catch and cook

With mackerel in abundance off Portsmouth and Hayling Island these past few days, I went for a dawn high water session down in Portsmouth. First order of business was to catch some mackerel. After lots of fruitless trips to Hayling Island in June, catching the odd one, this was a real treat. At times it was fish a cast as soon as the feathers hit the water. I caught enough for the bait freezer and then set about seeing if there were any bass about.


Using a pulley rig and a 5/0 circle hook, I used smaller sized mackerel as live bait, catching to order really, whenever I needed to change the bait. About an hour into the ebb, the rod sat there, the rod tip motionless. I continued feathering to get a few more for the freezer and a couple I promised to the neighbours. Suddenly the rod tip bent over and line started being taken from the reel, fish on! Quite a savage take.

I grabbed the rod, tightened the drag and reeled into the fish. It thumped away and felt not massive, but decent enough. A lad near me offered to help with the net and I gingerly got the fish ashore. Into the net he went.

bass 4lb

My first bass on a live bait, it weighed 4lbs.  Once I got home I knocked on my neighbour’s door and gave them a couple of fresh mackerel.  Kevin’s face said it all, very happy.  I got a couple of nice fillets off the bass.

bass fillets

Then decided on how to cook it.  I’ve tried baking, frying, steaming etc.  This time I went for something quick and very tasty. I cut the fish into chunks and fried them in batter.  I added some potatoes from my garden to compliment. Very nice and thanks to the fish gods for providing.

bass goujons

The quest for the double figure bass continues…..

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