Some may think i’m mad or worse maybe. I went for a boat dive today. I have taken the gear out a few times lately but decided against getting in,instead using my fishing rods and staying dry and slightly warmer.
I have had a theory for a few years now on where i could get Bass around the Plymouth area through the winter. I regularly get them this time of year in close to shore on plugs and live baits but never been able to find where they lay up to. I have ideas but never been able to test them out. Usually we have long spells of wind and rain this time of year making it difficult to dive. Its either bad viz due to rough sea’s,bad viz due to rain run off into the sound or both. This year its been a while since we had rain down this way and the winds been offshore for a few weeks,meaning good viz.
I did a shore dive Saturday just east of Plymouth to check out the viz. There was cloud cover and the sun was low making it hard work in the still poor viz. I did manage a 5lb bass and 2 flounder.
Sunday i was up early,my dive belt and harness was frozen solid in the back of my car still from Saturdays dive. Mad was going through my head as i walked down the beach crunching ice under my feet. I still had 2mm socks and gloves with holes in. Must get some new gear. A lot of ground covered in the short time i was in and no bass seen. I did get 2 more flounders. The viz seemed worse than the day before and the sea had come up a bit. A cold E N E wind had picked up from the day before forcing me out of the water early and home to mothers for a Sunday roast.
It would be a few days before i get back in and try my theory now. My brother had bass on Sunday while i was diving to 13lb7oz on live herrings no more than a mile from where we moor the boat.
Thursday the wind is due to come up again with rain and sleet forecast so i wanted to get in before then. Leaving it to Wednesday at the latest hoping the viz was going to be a lot better. Picking what i thought was going to be the best tide to dive the spot i left the mooring 11.30am. I decided on the boat today and taking my fishing rods in case i didn’t fancy getting in again in such cold conditions. There wasnt a cloud in the sky today,the sun was low but it felt warm. I tried with the plugs when i got there,i tried for 40mins at different spots with nothing happening,then i caught a small 2lb size bass. That was it i thought get in and see what else is there. Anybody who’s put there gear on in a C-SKI knows there in much shelter. It seemed to take for ever to get kitted up in the cold weather. I was glad to get in the water to warm up,sea temp was a nice hot 11C. Both Saturday and Sunday was 9C.
The viz was a lot better today and the sea a lot calmer. 30 mins of searching above the kelp with not much seen other than small pollack and big wrasse was starting to make my theory just daydreams. I was diving to about 12m each time,i decided to out deeper to a drop off. I have done this spot in the summer many times with nothing seen. Today was different,there in the kelp i seen my first big bass. He was soon on the float line with a few more to follow. Lots of small bass in amongst the kelp which i left alone. Some dives i could of taken bass but opted just to take the bigger ones if i could find them. I called it a day after 3hours in almost bare hands and 2mm socks. The bass were getting hard to grip in my numb hands.
Back in the boat i pulled the anchor before getting changed,good thing i did it was stuck fast. In the water again and dive down 19m to free the anchor. Then the fun of getting dry and dressed in the C-SKI for the short run in. The biggest bass of the day was 10lb7oz. I haven’t weighed any of the others yet,3 were only slightly smaller.
My theory was right even if it did take a lot of hard work to find them. Looks like the weather will put a stop to me getting in again for a while.