September to December can produce some very big bass from the shores around Cornwall.
It’s best to go just after a very stormy period, so the sea is still rough, and surf quite large.
Fish an incoming tide (about 2 hours after low tide is best), in the evening just as its going dark. I advise you get there a little earlier so you can setup in the daylight!
The best baits for most shore marks around Cornwall are peeler crabs, sandeels or ragworm tipped with squid. Fish the baits which suit the surroundings, for example around rocks, peeler crab is most natural. On the beach, sandeel or ragworm is best.
My personal preference is fishing from a cliff edge onto a sandy area. Fishing from a rock I can easily cast into the 3rd breaker back, which is where the majority of bass feed. Its also more pleasant, as you don’t have to keep moving you gear back due to an incoming tide like you would if fishing from the beach.
Anywhere around Cornwall will produce bass, but my preference is the North Cornish coast, good marks include Porthtowan beach, Perranporth, Crantock, Fistral beach, Porth Island to name a few…
The best rig without a doubt is the paternoster with a pennel hook, this rig allows the bait to flow a few feet off the bottom, so a bass will literally swim along ‘smash’ the bait and keep running. The bite from the bass is normally very noticeable, a heavy thump of the rod, and normally followed by a run. If the line goes slack reel in fast, as this usually means the bass is hooked, but is swimming towards you!
Remember if you catch a sea bass in the UK it must be 36cm and over if you wish to keep it (it is illegal to take any bass under this size and in Cornwall it’s 37.5cm). Personally I would recommend you return a fish of this size, and only keep it (if you must) if its over 50cm. By adopting this approach you are at least helping the majority of fish to reproduce, and helping future stocks for us all to catch.
Some Bass Fishing Books and DVDs to help improve your skills: