Cork Harbour angler Decky Collins has spent 10 long years chasing silver in the hopes of landing a specimen bass. Starting from scratch he quickly became a soft plastic specialist and racked up some impressive catches over the last few years. In a single season he has exceeded 300 bass caught and released, but despite many 60cm fish he rarely hit the highs of a 70cm plus bass.

Deciding that new fishing grounds were needed he gave up his east Cork haunts and headed off to Waterford casting a line from a variety of small, small boats. He almost instantly had success with a 69cm fish on his first outing. This was surpassed by a 70 only a few casts later. Returning to Waterford’s waters he had another near hit, with a heart breakingly close 74.5cm bass.

Even closer! 74.5cm bass

Not to be deterred he went and bought a smaller boat of his own to add to his fleet. On his maiden voyage in his new craft, once more off the Waterford coast, he hit the jackpot with a smashing bass of 75.5cm. A few photos were taken to record the moment and the long fished for trophy was released, no the worse for wear.

To prove the point, he followed up his fish of a lifetime with yet another close call, a 73cm bass, on his very next cast. It’s been a long road to his specimen bass, but it wouldn’t be surprising if he had another specimen off the Waterford coast before the year is out!