How to look at a new fishing mark

A guest blog write up from Dorset Bass Guide - Mark Padfield.

Now lets just say the mark is a biggish bay, gently sloping away, a few sandy patches here and there. 

Lots of rocks and weed with both sides of the bay flanked by rocks that you can't quite get out to on the point .... 

How, where do YOU start? 

Well, it should be a little darkish or light just turning on when you get there, maybe an hour before high, I would like to be there and fish the tide down. 
(to me most rock marks fish best on the drop and over low, but the start of the flood can be good to). 

Warning...... don't just charge straight in, and start throwing lures.
Just stay back for 5 to 10 minutes, let you eyes get accustomed to the dark, look for bait rings close in or even bass in VERY close, nosing about the shore line. 

I like to pick a very light plug (not to much splash) and plug the fringes, a light topper like a sammy, just tickled about can do wonders, a nice shallow runner, like a kommomo 11 would be next on, the orange red; if it was still dark get the sand eel one on. 
Then maybe a feed shallow after, I like to start small and no splashy or noisy lures to start. 

If nothing is in close, I would try and work out the direction of flow, as it passes the bay at the front. 
I would feel that if it was running right to left on the flood, then the lazy bass would enter the bay from the right and I would head there. I would again run some toppers and shallow runners as close to that side as possible. 
I love the zonk, so if its over high and the bay gets deeper I would be brave and count it down, maybe 5 seconds to start, then longer remembering to lift the rod and get it up in the water as it gets nearer as the bay gently slopes away. Hot shad as its dark, then pearl rainbow, then mullet, these colours and in the order I would use them. 

Then I would plug from there every inch of the bay, across to the left, then plug up tight to the left side of the bay hoping that any bait that came in with the flow, was pinned on that side and bass were near by. 

Still no joy.... 
Well, the next part for me, would be a tide minnow or similar (something slim that casts well) blasted out into the front of the bay, where the water passes across the front, (sometimes bass just stay in the flow and bypass little bays)
I found this to be the case on my last trip to Ireland, people playing down the fringes when the bass were out in the flow 60/80 yards out. 
They soon copied after our 8th fish. 

By now the tide may be dropping away, (ideally you would have checked this bay out on a huge spring low tide) but we don't live in an ideal world, and maybe you have just gone on holiday and know nothing about the area, 
(I know I always have to fish like this, camper vanning around Devon and Cornwall every other weekend).

It may be time to break out a few soft plastics, x slayers, sluggos, Fiiish Black Minnow touched about here and there as the gullies are starting to appear. 

I'm topping mad and would not be able to help myself but try a few, the more shallow it got, rock hoping back and back with the tide, exiting as you find fish sitting where you thought they would be, and believe me, they will be in those same gullies, behind the same rocks, sat in the same areas of weed, again and again. 

Sandborer sasuke, kommomo 11, feed shallows, would be getting a good airing by now, the sea should be a bit rougher, with a bit of white water and fizz, as the rocks act as breakers over low. 

Looking at the ground, and the deeper gullies as you follow it out, really, work them back an hr on the flood, or maybe 2 hrs or more, if your catching!

This is how i would attack a new mark shaped a bit like this.