Fly Fishing Techniques for Bass, Pollack and Mackerel
Fishing Skills, Fly Fishing

Fly Fishing Techniques for Bass, Pollack and Mackerel

I was invited by a good friend Vaughan Thomas to visit him and try fly fishing for sea species together with another experienced sea fly fisher Alan Parfitt.

This was an area of fly fishing completely new to me in that I hadn’t seriously fished for sea fish with the fly since I lived in Gibraltar over 25 years ago.

The journey down to the Pembroke coast was one filled with worries over the weather and excitement at the thought of catching something different.

You may well ask exactly where we were to fish. Well, the truth is I have promised not to say. Not to be difficult or to be clever but to protect the marks where the fish remain.

To explain further the Pembroke coast is a vast area of potential and some areas are far better than others.

Many are known to you all as identified in the Sea Angling press but there lies the problem in that commercial fishermen find out where they are and in a very short time there is nothing left to catch.

Fly anglers themselves can be their own worst enemy in that in the excitement they tell a friend who tells another who tells someone in a pub and the next thing you know everyone is on the same spot. The other issue, of course, is that there is money to be made in selling fish but all that is changing as you need a license to sell fish and the E.A. and Fisheries Officers are hard on the trail of those that do not fish legitimately.

For those of you that like to eat these fine fish all I ask is that you take thoughtfully. By this I mean do not try and fill the freezer but take a bass between 3 and 5lbs as they have already spawned and replaced themselves and any bigger fish will lay more eggs so we can increase the numbers and enjoy this aspect of our sport more regularly.

I will get off my soapbox now. I do not mean to criticise but merely try to educate.

The point of the article however is for you to take the initiative and get down to the coast and find your own areas of sanitary. Many of you will be going down to the area with the family for a holiday this year. See if you can negotiate a couple of hours away and take your heavy fly kit. Once you have caught your first sea fish on the fly you won’t want to stop I can assure you.

Click on play on the three videos below to watch the video clips.

Fly Fishing for Pollack – Sunk Line Techniques

Fly Fishing for Bass – Popper Techniques

Fishing Chug Bugs for Bass

The set up that I was using to fish was simply a heavy Stillwater or sea trout set up with a Greys Platinum XD 10′ 8# rod and a deep sink line with 15lb leader. I found this adequate for all the pollack that I caught but to be honest I wouldn’t want to catch anything bigger on this set up than the 1lb 8oz fish that we had as they are unbelievably strong fish.

If I intended to do this properly I would use a 10′ or 11′ 9 to 10 weight rod with shooting-head lines. Provided that you have a line that will travel to the bottom fast and one that will sit on the top of the water you will need nothing else as they are either on top or down on the rocks.

The photograph below is of all the flies that caught us fish on this trip. We caught over 20 pollack between us and although they were all small it was great fun. We only saw one bass and didn’t touch the mackerel but who cares.

Another reason for visiting these places is that you will see sights that will gladden your heart.

To end the day with the boat on the trailer and to look at the bay that we just left and be greeted by a sight such as this was worth every mile travelled. In a word fantastic.

If any of you are interested in hiring Vaughn’s services for a day’s guided bass fishing from the shore then you can contact him through this site by e-mail to and I will pass on your requests.

Tight lines.