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After my poor weekend at the Scarborough Kayak Fishing Tournament I wanted a good session just to prove to myself that I can still catch fish.

As I was at my parents the obvious venue choice was the Humber Estuary and the target was bass. Over the years I have learnt this venue like the back of my hand, but this year have yet to have good session out there due to consistently bad weather every time I choose to visit, so hopefully today would be the day to turn that around.

Sunday evening I dug a few lug worm and at 8am on Monday I was launching into a flat sea. Heading towards the Haile Sand Fort I trolled a couple of lures as I paddled. This usually results in at least one hit but today there was nothing.

Arriving at the fort I spent half an hour casting a variety of lures around the pilings but again there was nothing. Hmm it didn’t look like the fish were here.

I anchored alongside the fort and set up a float rig. Trotting worm bait over the rough ground right alongside the structure usually guaranteed a fish, but they tended to be smaller than on the lures. However today I worked the bait down the tide again and again with not a single bite. It looked like yet another plan was needed.

Another change. This time to a light ledger rig, putting the bait tight to the bottom. The result was instant as the rod bucked over and a 3lb bass was soon in the net. I was a little surprised because if the fish are there the float usually finds them better than the ledger so I ran the float along the tide a few more times just to check but still couldn’t get a take. Back to the ledger and within minutes another fish had hit the bait, again another decent fish of 3lb. Things were looking up.

This continued until slack water over low water. Experience told me that as soon as the flood started the fish moved to follow the tide over the banks. This is one of my favourite methods of fishing drifting with the tide with an ultra-sensitive rod just bouncing half an ounce of lead over the sand waiting for the bass to hit. Soon enough they did and several more fish were soon on the boat.


It did go quiet for a period, when I heard a tell-tale snort behind me. I was drifting in just 5ft of water and expected to turn and sea a big bull seal investigating me. To my surprise it was a porpoise, it breached half a dozen times just sussing me out and then vanished. I have fished this area for thirty years and never seen one here before so to have one so close on the yak was a great feeling.

Back on the beach with four good bass I was once more feeling confident in my ability to catch fish. They weren’t on my expected method but if you keep making alterations to your tactics, you always end up catching more than just sitting there waiting for something to happen.