Bass on a Surfboard

July 27, 2009

We all have the odd crazy friend who is determined to blend their sporting passions to create new fusion sports. I seem to collect them, and Kayak Nick is the sanest of the lot. For the aficionados of these pages, you will remember my first excursion with Kayak and the aptly named Special John…John flipped the unflippable kayak in seconds, gaining his moniker and some very wet gear. So when Nick was being visited by angling journalist Toby Coe and asked me to come along, how could I resist?
The best time to catch bass on the fly are the bright early mornings of late spring, summer and early autumn when the light is low and the sea quite flat: the bass love to feed on the surface in these conditions, making them ideal targets for the fly. Fortunate conditions for 6ft plus blokes sitting on the equivalent of a surfboard with sides and juggling rods, paddles, and now a camera. Of course, the gods smile on the righteous, so I want to know what Nick has been doing: the day dawned grey, blustery, and altogether not bassy. But when a journalist comes to call, you make the best of things.
The unpromising weather was compounded by the council informing us they couldn’t retrieve (a certain journalist’s) car keys dropped into a storm drain as the Queen was due any minute. Launching our kayaks into the surf, we were off, exploring the fecund marks around the Portsmouth coast. We were into small schoolies straight away, but it wasn’t until the contractors arrived to retrieve the keys that I hooked the fish of the day. If only I’d had a camera to capture the esteemed journalist hopping down the beach, camera in one hand, waders around his knees. But with a 3lb bass on the line in one hand and the paddle in the other (fighting to bring the fight within camera range), I still would have missed the shot. We can’t control the weather, or guarantee the fish, but a day out with Kayak always produces cherished memories.
For those up for the challenge, this type of fishing takes you to marks inaccessible from land or bigger boat, providing great sport and the opportunity to see our native wildlife from a different perspective. If you are interested, get in touch before the bass move offshore for the winter.