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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Would be interesting to hear what the biggest bass other anglers have caught on ragworm is. Personally, I've only caught a few bass over 4lbs using ragworm but nothing over 5lbs. I don't tend to use it when targeting bass for this reason, as I can't seem to pick out the larger fish when using it. Either this is because the smaller schoolies get there first or the bigger fish aren't interested in it? Or maybe I'm wrong? Have only had larger bass on bigger baits. So, what is the best bass you have caught on ragworm?
 

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I’ve caught far more smaller bass on ragworm, usually schoolies, I’ve had a 6lb bass on a large ragworm bait, but it was the exception rather than the rule. The larger bass were there, as I caught 6-11lb bass on freelined pout.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I’ve caught far more smaller bass on ragworm, usually schoolies, I’ve had a 6lb bass on a large ragworm bait, but it was the exception rather than the rule. The larger bass were there, as I caught 6-11lb bass on freelined pout.
Thanks for sharing, live pout seems to be pretty productive for the larger fish. Were you fishing it close to structure?
 

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The mark was a large port in Southampton, (name of mark was Magazine lane) after dark flood tides were best in my experience. Now rag was the go to bait here, (I’ve not fished there since 2015 so it may well have changed) fishing into the main shipping lane produced soles, small hounds schoolies etc and after dark you’ll be hit by hoards or pout. As the depth was quite extreme (40-50ft at a guess) pout brought up from that depth would “blow” I think their swim bladders would expand and they would float on release. A slower retrieve would lessen the problem, but as it was snaggy, you couldn’t always do that as you’d get snared up. When I released said pout, they would bob about on the surface for a few minutes before their swim bladder neutralised and they could dive again. The flood tide would push them right against the rocks/boulders that made up the foreshore to protect against erosion from the ships wake/swell (I think!) and I noticed that every night about mid flood tide, several of these pout would disappear with a loud plop as a bass hit them tight to the rocks whilst they were bobbing about on the surface. Like carp taking bread in the margins at night. So I had a bass rod set up with a size 3/0 hook freelined which I would lip hook a “blown” pout too and leave to bob about with the multiplier with a loose drag and ratchet set. Just letting it bob about next to the rocks/boulders where a bass expected to find it. If a bass took it, I would let it run initially then tighten into it when it slowed/stopped to swallow the bait. Striking straight away, I would miss quite a few, the trick was to let it run with it, I don’t think they swallowed it on the spot, but grabbed it and ran into deeper water to swallow it. I never suffered a deep hooked fish.
 

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I've had a 6lber before on king rag. Clean sandy beach in February. Shore bait fishing is about 3% of my fishing so guess you can't read much into that really.
 
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Had one just over 11lb last august on a single large ragworm, holderness coast fishing about 30-40 yards. Not had anything approaching that on ragworm bait before or since, but it’s deadly for the smaller fish up to 3lb or so.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The mark was a large port in Southampton, (name of mark was Magazine lane) after dark flood tides were best in my experience. Now rag was the go to bait here, (I’ve not fished there since 2015 so it may well have changed) fishing into the main shipping lane produced soles, small hounds schoolies etc and after dark you’ll be hit by hoards or pout. As the depth was quite extreme (40-50ft at a guess) pout brought up from that depth would “blow” I think their swim bladders would expand and they would float on release. A slower retrieve would lessen the problem, but as it was snaggy, you couldn’t always do that as you’d get snared up. When I released said pout, they would bob about on the surface for a few minutes before their swim bladder neutralised and they could dive again. The flood tide would push them right against the rocks/boulders that made up the foreshore to protect against erosion from the ships wake/swell (I think!) and I noticed that every night about mid flood tide, several of these pout would disappear with a loud plop as a bass hit them tight to the rocks whilst they were bobbing about on the surface. Like carp taking bread in the margins at night. So I had a bass rod set up with a size 3/0 hook freelined which I would lip hook a “blown” pout too and leave to bob about with the multiplier with a loose drag and ratchet set. Just letting it bob about next to the rocks/boulders where a bass expected to find it. If a bass took it, I would let it run initially then tighten into it when it slowed/stopped to swallow the bait. Striking straight away, I would miss quite a few, the trick was to let it run with it, I don’t think they swallowed it on the spot, but grabbed it and ran into deeper water to swallow it. I never suffered a deep hooked fish.
I am also from Southampton water so know of Magazine Lane although never fished it. Could be a potential mark to try late summer/early Autumn though when I hope to target Sole. Thanks for the info, it always amazes me how close in the bigger bass patrol at night. There's been a few times where I've walked along the shoreline in the evening or night to see a sizeable fish with its back out the water chasing something almost onto the shore. This seems to happen as the tide ebbs. Near enough all the better bass I've caught have been within 15 yards of the shoreline.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Had one just over 11lb last august on a single large ragworm, holderness coast fishing about 30-40 yards. Not had anything approaching that on ragworm bait before or since, but it’s deadly for the smaller fish up to 3lb or so.
That's the largest bass I've heard of taken on ragworm, great catch!
 

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What a stunner, Amazed that it got taken on ragworm!
Was a strange session, flat calm and very little colour. One small flatty on the up and nothing else until well on the ebb when that took hold, what a battle close in! Followed it up with a smooth hound, glad I stayed that bit longer!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Was a strange session, flat calm and very little colour. One small flatty on the up and nothing else until well on the ebb when that took hold, what a battle close in! Followed it up with a smooth hound, glad I stayed that bit longer!
It's interesting because I've heard on many occasions larger bass being caught as the only fish of the session or during a quiet period where the bites stop. Bet it was a cracking fight!
 

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A great catch for February, was there a bit of surf running?
No, it was in a bay here that never sees surf as such. It was a very calm evening and there was a slow rolling wave. Hooked about 30 yards out in 2.5 ft of water. Went well on the carp rod!
 

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I am also from Southampton water so know of Magazine Lane although never fished it. Could be a potential mark to try late summer/early Autumn though when I hope to target Sole. Thanks for the info, it always amazes me how close in the bigger bass patrol at night. There's been a few times where I've walked along the shoreline in the evening or night to see a sizeable fish with its back out the water chasing something almost onto the shore. This seems to happen as the tide ebbs. Near enough all the better bass I've caught have been within 15 yards of the shoreline.
well magazine lane is a love/hate type venue, I used to finish up a days soldiering on Tidworth Garrison, shoot down to Poingdrestres and pick up a box of rag, then head over to magazine lane. I would head to the little beach at the opposite end to the sailing club/car park where I caught a few sole after dark. For the bass, I would fish on the rocks themselves along the first 1/3rd of the sea wall from the car park. Using the methods described above. If I was having difficulty with the pout diving into the rocks while freelining, or the pout was a dead bait, I would cast a rod out with a 2-3oz lead tied to the end of the line, (via a weak link) about 10-15yrds, then have a short hooklink tied to a snap link swivel. Flick out and tighten to the lead, put the rod in a stand, then clip the snap link onto the main line and slide the pout down the line. This keeps it suspended beneath the surface out of the reach of crabs. I much preferred the freelining methods as there’s less resistance.
Cheers was quite a shock at the time!
View attachment 1368681
Cracking fish mate, very well done!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
well magazine lane is a love/hate type venue, I used to finish up a days soldiering on Tidworth Garrison, shoot down to Poingdrestres and pick up a box of rag, then head over to magazine lane. I would head to the little beach at the opposite end to the sailing club/car park where I caught a few sole after dark. For the bass, I would fish on the rocks themselves along the first 1/3rd of the sea wall from the car park. Using the methods described above. If I was having difficulty with the pout diving into the rocks while freelining, or the pout was a dead bait, I would cast a rod out with a 2-3oz lead tied to the end of the line, (via a weak link) about 10-15yrds, then have a short hooklink tied to a snap link swivel. Flick out and tighten to the lead, put the rod in a stand, then clip the snap link onto the main line and slide the pout down the line. This keeps it suspended beneath the surface out of the reach of crabs. I much preferred the freelining methods as there’s less resistance.

Cracking fish mate, very well done!
Thanks for the info and advice, very much appreciated! Hopefully I'll be able to get out and have a few good sessions over the next couple of weeks. Tight lines
 

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About 6lb in a shallow sandy bay, very calm night.
I was actually fishing for sole, or trying, but that was the only fish.

Had loads of undersized schoolie on rag or lug in the past and stopped using worm as a bass bait for that reason. If I’m going to be pulling in small stuff all night I’d rather stay at home.

But bass are opportunists and eat almost anything. Imo it’s not that the bigger fish won’t take worm, just as you say, the small ones get to it first.

Incidentally, we do catch a lot of bass on bunches of maddies when estuary flounder fishing in the autumn.
My best is probably around 5lb but I know of fish up to 9lb caught by friends, so in that setting they will take it.
A bit different to king rag in that maddies is the dominant bait in that river so presumably it’s what the fish are expecting to find.
 
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