What can I say about August this year, well I suppose two words spring to mind, Bass and Tope! Rather that should be lots of Tope and not many Bass. With the sea temperature now at its peak for the year August saw our usual run of Tope finally start to pick up.
As documented elsewhere on this site I had one really good day on them (all 40lb + fish), others have reported decent catches of these run away trains of a fish and I even noticed that our North West coast made it into this months Sea Angler because a few lads from the big island picked up a couple from the shore. So yes there have been fish about but I would still hazard a guess not as many (certainly of the smaller pack Tope) as we’ve seen in the last 3 years, judging by the various charter boat reports I’ve seen I’d say this is a pretty good guess.
One thing that hasn’t been in short supply this year, and certainly not this August, is Mackerel. Whilst you can’t expect to go anywhere/everywhere and drop your feathers bringing up full strings it’s certainly still possible to get enough for a days fishing in 20 minutes. I know from experience that the end of July/beginning of August has seen the large shoals leave in previous years so it has made a nice change. It’s certainly a change that the Bass appear to be appreciating because at the end of August I got to see something I’ve never seen in these waters before. Large numbers of large Bass chasing joey Mackerel to the surface. Of course a large variety of lures were thrown at them as quick as possible but the force 5/6 winds made it a hell of a job to find the disturbance on the water surface. A couple of attempts at live-baiting for them on subsequent days didn’t bring much success, just a few missed runs. And then the weather killed the rest of the month.
Whilst the south of the UK enjoyed a fine end to August and beginning of September us poor folk in the North have been stuck with a pattern of force 4,5 and 6 (at best) winds. It’s left me a very frustrated angler, knowing fine well that this can be the best time of the year for specimen fish but having strong winds in such a direction as to make fishing impossible. It really is a giant pain in the ass. One good thing from this is that it’s forced me to try a few different shore marks, one of which I really like and will be writing about soon.
In short then, lots of good fish about with very few chances to get out there and catch them. I really should emmigrate!