Lets Go Bass Fishing
The area immediately south of Portland Bill is known as the "Race" or to give it its full name the "Portland Race".
The Race is an area of fast moving turbulent water produced by the combination of water being forced upwards from deeper water to spill over the much shallower muscle encrusted reef and the effects of the tide flow being diverted by the isle of Portland which juts out into the English Channel by about 8 miles.
Even on a calm windless day the conditions in the race can be 'Lumpy' add to this a wind against tide situation and you could be forgiven for thinking you were on an Alton Towers ride rather than a charter boat fishing trip.
On a flood tide the west to east setting tide meets a southerly tidal flow that has been displaced by Portland, this creates a confused sea state.
On an ebb tide the change in depth is more gradual so less lumpy although the shape of Portland Isle now serves to accelerate the east to west setting tide giving very high drift speeds, sometimes these speeds become too excessive and Bassing is abandoned until the tide begins to ease,
It is turbulent water that attracts the Bass and the most turbulent water in the front of the race often produces the bigger fish,
Anglers wanting to target the Bass must be prepared to put up with the uncomfortable conditions and be able to cope with fishing from a boat that is drifting over snaggy ground at speeds sometimes in excess of 5 or 6 knots,
The race does not provide non stop action for the Bass fisherman, instead there will often be times when the area will appear to be devoid of all sealife, in general, when the drift of the boat has dropped below 2 knots the bites from the Bass will usually stop, and when I say stop, I mean just that, they will stop biting almost as if someone had thrown a switch!
When this happens we will usually move to another area and try for something else whilst we wait for the tide to start running again, these periods of slacker tidal flow are ideal for targeting Turbot, Brill and Plaice on the Shambles bank, or, on the smaller tides Blonde Rays on the Kidney bank,
The most successful bait for Bass is Live Sandeel, these can be purchased from commercial fishermen (occasionally) or caught on small feathers called Shrimper Rigs at slack water on the nearby Shambles Sandbank.
Live Sandeels are not supplied by us although we will attempt to purchase of them on your behalf, on request.
With out any doubt at all the most productive rig for Bass fishing in the Race is the 'Portland Rig' this rig is used by the commercial rod & line Bass fishermen and has proven to be the most efficient rig to use in these conditions,
The materials needed to make up the Portland Rig are:
The picture shows the simplicity of this rig and why it is so efficient, especially when you compare this rig to say a standard running ledger rig or even a flying collar rig,
There is the absolute minimum of resistance to the tide and the rig is less visible to the wary Bass,
Coupled with the fact that the cost of the materials needed to tie it up is only a fraction of other less efficient rigs,
Three things to remember when tying your own,
1. Don't make the hook length too short (6' minimum and up to 20' at times).
2. Don't make the lead link or the sliding length too long(lead link 4") (sliding length about 12"-15" long).
3. Use a ball or pear shaped lead, avoid leads with flat sections. (Flat sided leads "Kite" in the tide causing tangles)