When I organized my trip down to Portugal to spend some days bass fishing and testing some new lures, I wasnt expecting to coincide it with a major storm, that was causing bad weather conditions all across Europe, with huge waves , rain and freezing east winds.
The windguru had given waves all week between 3.7 and 7.8 meters!
There was no option to cancel as I was also over to visit family, so I decided to make the most of it, get out and fish when it was possible and try and keep safe!
I arrived at the airport got my hire car and headed straight for the coast hoping to fish before the main storm hit!
Unsurprisingly I didn’t see one fishermen the whole week and guessed they were waiting for calmer weather, which is fine when your living locally and can pick and choose your days for more suitable conditions.
But I hadn’t been on a fishing trip for a few months now, so although it was a terrible forecast I was rearing to go!
When I arrived at the coast
The waves were already big with 3 meter plus sets coming through!
You really have to be careful in these conditions and never take your eye off, or turn your back on the ocean!
To make matters worse There was a biting east which made getting into wetsuit that much more uncomfortable!
I had to wait between sets just to get a cast in! But With No luck I went home
The next day the swell was still big but had dropped a little!
I headed for the most sheltered spots that could handle larger swells.
The fishing was very slow when suddenly I hooked into a big bass!
It wasn’t easy around the rocks with the strong currents, but I knew the spot and had put on some strong leader in anticipation.
The bass was 11.2lb and I was satisfied that if I didn’t see another fish the rest of the week! This would make it all worthwhile!
Over The next few days the storm hit with huge waves, rain and winds which I expected to discolour the water make fishing impossible.
The south coast had turned to a brown color and was unfishable with lures, which was a shame as I had the idea to go and fish some estuaries.
But to my surprise the water on the west coast had remained a perfect blue colour.
The waves were still big but at least it was fishable in 1 or 2 spots.
In these conditions you need to find spots that offers some protection for the Bass where you can imagine they could patrol through in search of food! Without too much extreme currents and water movement.
Apart from one bump things were were very quiet!
I popped into my local tackle shop to pick up a few things and was disappointed to hear that this years bass fishing was again slow like the previous year.
I have noticed the steady decrease in the number of bass around over the last 20 years! But I guess it’s the same story the world over!
The next day I tried another old spot I knew. Which could handle big swell.
I perceivered in the strong wind but had to leave when a big thunder and lightning storm passed over and I thought how dodgy It would be holding a rod in my hands.
Fortunately by the time I had got to the top of the cliff it had passed and I decided to head down another cliff further along that had what looked like a deeper channel on the inside.
This spot looked great for the conditions but It was really catching the wind which made casting and retrieving a bit of a mission.
Being about 4-5 meters high up, I had a great vantage point.
Then I saw a site I was hoping for! I spotted a big bass following my lure! The wind was dragging my lure a little but I managed to get out most of the slack and give it a few tweaks of the rod tip giving the lure that injured fleeing fish look.
The bass slammed into the lure and I was on again.
This one was not in the easiest of places to land a big fish and the swell made it tricky.
The fish was washed up against the rocks in an area I was unable to reach it.
This meant I had to bring the fish back through some rocks without touching the line .
Fortunately I managed to bring it back between the rocks keeping tension on the line at all times, and lay it up against a rock whilst I climbed down between sets to grab the leader!
It was big relief to finally get that fish out after praying that the line didn’t catch the sharp rocks or it doesn’t come unhooked during the fight knowing how easy a hook can make a hole in the mouth of the bass when it’s been on a while!
Fishing alone is always more of a challenge but very rewarding when it works out!
I started the week with a nice 11.2 lb bass and was fortunate to end the trip with a bigger one weighing 12.3lb
I was definitely going back home satisfied that the lure I came to test not only looked good in trial but worked a treat in the challenging conditions!