Glenn Kilpatrick

Bass Fishing Methods

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Five Ways To Catch A Bass

The Best Methods For Catching Bass

There are numerous methods to catch bass from the shore in the UK. This article will discuss the top methods favoured by successful bass anglers on our coastline

Essential Further Reading

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1. Bait Fishing For Bass With Ragworm.

Of all the baits used by anglers aiming to catch bass in the UK, the humble rag worm appears to be the favourite.

Fished on a long flowing pulley rig or with the flowing trace method, ragworm is the number 1 bait for bass around these parts. Favoured hook sizes are between 1/o and 3/o and lead weights used are usually between 2 and 5 ounce grip leads.

Ragworm is a great fishing bait for bass from both rock and beach marks. It is advisable to vary casting distances although more often than not bass are caught very close to shore.

As with all methods the best times for Bass fishing from the shore are either first light of the day at dawn or last light on an evening.


Ragworm for bass fishing

Two Bass Caught On Ragworm In Scotland

2. Catching Bass With Lugworm.

Another top bait for bass anglers is the lugworm. Mostly used over the soft ground around sandy beaches a single large lugworm or a bunch of small lugworms, fished on a pulley rig or running ledger style are said to be deadly.

Again you should vary your casting distances and optimal times for bass fishing with lugworms are either early morning or late evening. For that extra bit of scent trying tipping your lugworms with half a small peeler crab.

Catching bass on lugworm baits

Bass On A Lugworm

3. Catching Bass With Peeler Crab.

Local bass angler Chris Mack who fishes the Holderness area swears by the shore anglers favourite bait – The Peeler Crab.

Chris says “there are 2 ways of doing it on Holderness, Small rag worm baits on a carp rod about 20yds out behind the surf for the school bass is one method, but for the really big bass blast a big crab bait out at distance” .

Again the rigs best utilised are the running ledger and the pulley rig as discussed above. Several small peeler crabs or one larger crab can be whipped onto a 3o hook using elasticated cotton to hold it onto the hook for casting purposes.

Green shore peeler crabs are an excellent bait for bass but sometimes for that extra big bass a larger velvet peeler or soft velvet crab can be what is required.


catching bass on peeler crabs

Bass On A Peeler Crab

4. Livebaiting For Bass with Sand Eels And Butter Fish

With a slight bit of surf running and clear water conditions some anglers use a livebait to try tempt the bass from our coastline.

Free lining either a sand eel or a small butterfish can be an excellent way to catch bass with live baits and the bites you get when utilising this method are said to be ferocious.

For live baiting on snaggy ground around rocks and kelp it is better to use a light lead to anchor your sandeel so it can not swim under a boulder and get you fast up.

5. Bass on Plugs And Spinners.

Well this is a topic that you could write a book about so how can you possibly do it justice in just a few lines ? In brief bass can be caught from the shore using spinners, soft lures and plugs.

Best time as always is either first thing on a morning or last thing at night. To be a successful lure angler you must be willing to put in the time and spend many hours trying various plugs at different venues.

Bass fishing plugs

Mull Of Galloway Bass – Just Ounces Short Of The Scottish Record – Harry Cook

Useful Spinners For Bass Fishing

Two very good spinners for bass fishing from the shore are the dexters wedge and the traditional abu toby.

Plugs for bass Fishing

There are an abundance of plugs for the shore bass angler. Favoured makes include those from Rapala, Yo Zuri, and Owner.

For fishing in shallow waters surface poppers like the Maria Chico Boco, Storm Saltwater Chug Bug, Yo-Zuri Mag Popper and Rapala Skitter Pop are all said to be excellent bass fishing plugs.

For the angler who fishes the deep water plugs such asRapala X – Rap Saltwater SXR10, Rapala Down Deep Husky Jerk and Teklon DNA Rocket Diver.

There are also various bass plugs for fishing at water depths between the surface and the depths offered by the deepest diving bass plugs. To read more about bass fishing with plugs, please either consult the right hand side bar links or click to read the topics below


Garry Watson – Bass On A Maria Chase Fake Bait

Bass Fishing Marks.

Although bass fishing marks are a close guarded secret there are several marks which are known to most anglers where decent bass can be located.

Within the Whitby area both Sandsend Car Park and the sea wall at Whitby are reliable bass fishing venues. At Robin hoods bay the terrain is almost perfect with a fair mixture of rock and sand, so the bass angler willing to do his homework on this stretch of the coastline should be rewarded for his hard work.

In the Scarborough area the Sandy beaches in the Cayton area are thought to be quite successful bass fishing venues as are the long sandy beaches in The Filey area.

Many of the areas rock marks which we fish for winter cod are now also turning out good numbers of bass for anglers fishing plugs. To learn more about How To Identify Good Bass Marks – please click here.

There is lots more information on our site about UK bass fishing. You can find a list of available articles in the sidebar at the top right hand side of this page.

Article By Glenn Kilpatrick

Photography : Glenn Kilpatrick And Garry Watson.

Further Reading

Bass Fishing Gallery

14 Responses to Bass Fishing Methods

  1. jimaru09 May 25, 2010 at 1:11 pm

    I have just came back after 3 week’s in Dover and on 1 trip over 100 bass wre caught all on mackeral traces or pirks all the usual traces were used nothing special just the shop bought ones.

  2. Harry cook August 10, 2010 at 3:34 pm

    Fame at last, every time i go Bass fishing i think of the beauty i caught in scotland,
    if you want to give yourself the chance of a good fish ,the advice here is superb,

    fishing at night i find is the best time to lure that elusive big fish,
    the Bass will find your lure ,and hit it more confidently in the darkness.

  3. Marc Galloway August 27, 2010 at 8:37 pm

    hey there ,what alovley lot of pics esp the two caught on rag in scotland,ive never caught a bass on rag before maybe ill give it a try!just lookin at those pics makes me want to go fishing i think there fantastic well done gentelman keep it up…have a nice day and happy fishing…:)

  4. Graham Hill October 12, 2010 at 7:35 pm

    Harry,,what a fantastic Bass so near to the Scotish Record and on a lure too

    great stuff

  5. Harry cook October 13, 2010 at 8:10 pm

    Thanks for the comments Graham,
    i have been to the same venue,s we visited last year,
    we have had several more big bass, one of the lads had
    a 10lb 1oz in august this year, it seems the best month up there,
    if you get the chance visit the mull of galloway,
    if you find the bass you wont be dissapointed.

  6. bradley October 25, 2010 at 5:36 pm

    hi guys im new to sea fishing can you tell me the best way to catch bass

  7. Carroll Stirn January 3, 2011 at 3:20 am

    A man is what he thinks about all day long. – Ralf Valdo Emmerso

  8. Pingback: 7 Deadly Bass Fishing Secrets For Your Succesful Bass Fishing | Bass Fishing Tips Today

  9. Kawit January 16, 2012 at 4:02 am

    where is the best place to catch bass? I live in Berkshire.

  10. Richard May 6, 2012 at 7:36 pm

    Best bass fishing in Plymouth or Cornwall .

  11. jcjayski May 28, 2012 at 11:26 pm

    hi nice fish im from the south of england in a place called HASTINGS and or bass fishing is the best it semes we fish the same methedes dut fell lures from the sore brings the best fish

  12. Danny August 8, 2012 at 7:58 pm

    Know one has said if it matters about the tide? does it? if your spinning from the beach does it make a difference? or is it just early in a morning and at night? tide in or out? know difference? cheers Danny.

  13. Franck Jeandon August 3, 2013 at 4:17 pm

    Hi all of you,

    I’m would like to learn how to fish sea bass from the sea side. I did catch some but on open see.
    Live in London, open to any suggestion. Thank you very much to answering me back.

    Kind regards.

  14. alan b August 10, 2014 at 2:15 pm

    hi everyone my names alan im fishing on canvey island essex and have had a fair few bass out off the black jetty just in the quarry 50-70 yards out from shore and a few flattys all on rag worm any suggestions for anywhere else to fish the thames round here for bigger bass ?


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