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A trip to Old Passage, South Gloucestershire

These are the details of a trip I made in summer 2007 to fish at Old Passage, near Aust, in the Bristol Channel. I took a friend along and let him use my gear to try and catch his first bass. Subsequently he did, and caught another one, elsewhere, the next day!

High tide was at about 2.15pm, and relatively small at 10.8m above the Avonmouth datum (biggest are 14m+). Bait was lug on one hook of a two-hook paternoster, with a lug/rag cocktail on the second hook. The ragworm was to hedge our bets with regard to sole, or maybe a conger.

This first photo was taken just before we started fishing at 12.35. Not the usual scenery for a few hours sea fishing.

The view at the start

Things were slow to start, but it was nice weather to sit in the sun. If fish are about, here, you usually get one first cast, so things were looking a bit uncertain. However, at 1.20pm there was a good bite on one rod that broke the lead out, and I couldn't help shouting "it's a bass!". And it was!

It was returned, alive.

A bass about 3lb

After this, bites were coming fairly regularly, each cast, after the baits had been out for 20 or so minutes. It looked like flounders were responsible, but they weren't hooking themselves, and the first one that did dropped off on the retrieve. Finally, at 2.25pm a small one did get the hook in its mouth.

A small flounder

By now the tide was on the way out, and so brought the chance of some different species, and the better chance of hooking biting fish. At 2.50 there were a couple of good firm knocks that produced this dover sole.

A dover sole

Shortly after the sole an eel was caught that managed to tie the trace into the type of slimey knot that only an eel can. But, it was another species, and so added to the fun. After that we decided to call it a day as the tide was nearly out on the mud. Although none of the fish we caught had been especially big, it was an enjoyable few hours sea fishing in the Bristol Channel, with plenty of bites.