The boats handlining for bass are usually between 15 and 20ft in length and work from the many small coves and harbours dotted around the Coast of Cornwall and Devon. These fishermen use techniques and skills that have often been passed on for generations.
Each boat usually uses three lines – two attached to long bamboo poles (one on each side of the boat) and the other line over the stern. Each line is weighted by a 2 - 3lb weight and consists of approx. 50-60 metres of monofilament line with an artificial rubber eel on the end.
The lines are towed behind the boat at 1knot in a technique known as ‘trolling’. Some fishermen also use rods to catch bass. When a fish is hooked it is hauled to the side of the boat (by hand – not even gloves!) where a landing net is then used to lift the fish out of the water.
Fishing in this way is unpredictable and requires a great deal of skill and patience as often fish maybe there but not feeding. Therefore, when weather conditions allow fishing can be from dawn til dusk.