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Six years ago when my dad first suggested buying kayaks it was solely to target the bass in the River Humber. The first time we launched we knew nothing, but we both caught small bass and immediately all the cost of getting rigged up was forgotten, just those two small fish on a summer morning made it all worthwhile.

Since then I have spent a lot of time chasing those bass, and refining my tactics and approach. I think I know where they hold at certain stages of the tide, what tactics work in different areas and the perfect time to fish for them and it is with a great deal of excitement that I plan my first trip of the year targeting them. Well today was that day.

I had arranged to take a couple of friends out launching at 5am. In the event one had to cancel and Karl was going to be late so I was launching on my own but deep down that is just the way I like it. The sea was like glass and paddling into the rising sun with the Haile Fort in the horizon is one of my favourite launches.

Arriving at the Fort I had a couple of hours of the ebb left. This stage of the tide always responds to float fishing worm along the pilings. It is just like fishing a river trotting the float down the tide and I was confident of instant action.

An hour later nothing had happened, then suddenly the float buried in a classic bass bite. To be honest it took me so much by surprise that I completely messed up the strike and that was the end of that. After another half hour of nothing happening I decided a change was in order. I set up my second rod with a Picoleau Eel and cast it out. These lures have a fantastic action and retrieving it the rod instantly bucked over. Fish on.. and it wasn’t a bad one. On the surface it looked over three pound. I was busy setting up the cameras when it all went slack…Fish off. It looked like it was going to be one of those days.

Now the flood had started and I knew that the fish moved off on to the banks. Karl arrived and we started drifting light leads over the sand. A couple of drifts later and I was beginning to doubt all that I thought I knew. Then finally a bite – but not the hoped for bass, just a small flounder. It was quickly returned and a minute later another bite, but this was no flounder and my first bass of the year was soon in the net. Not a big one but a relief to get the target fish. This was soon followed by one of around two pounds and my confidence was restored.

However that was it for the day. Not the hoped for fish fest but still one of my most enjoyable launches of the year. It is a pilgrimage I will continue to make and just goes to show that when you think you have a venue cracked the fish always have different ideas.