After the success of Wednesday night I headed to the same beach to fish from low tide through the first half of the rising tide. The previous night all the bass came in a one hour window between 11.00 pm to 12.00 am as the shoal moved along the beach, so if they were consistent in their feeding pattern I reckoned Midnight to 1.00 am would be the most productive. However, the surf was a lot weaker compared to last night but at least it was still weed free.
I set up two rods with 4/0 and 6/0 pennel pulleys baited with full razor. It was quite for the first hour, apart from small fish (flounder and/or coalfish) nibbling on the bait. Then as the tide began to push in more strongly I noticed subtle twitches on the rod with the 6/0 pennel. I thought it was probably the small fish pulling on the bait again. I picked up the rod, I could feel very gentle tugs, let out a bit of slack, the fish picked up the bait and started a run, I struck and connected with a strong fish. Definitely not one of those small bait robbers!! It was pulling strongly as I retrieved, especially when I got it into the shallow surf. Then as the wave retreated I could see the glint of sliver on the beach. It was a 50 cm bass.
However, after that it was very quite for a long time. There were lots of slight knocks on the rod tips but it was just small fish chewing on my razor. I hooked a tiny coalfish at one stage.
I had seen a headlamp way down the far end of the beach. Just before 1.00 am I noticed somebody was approaching from that end, it was Pat, he was heading home. As we were chatting he spotted a knock on one of my rods. I thought it was just the small fish again and ignored it. But as he was heading off there was another knock so I picked up the rod, there was indeed a fish on the end. It was putting up a reasonable struggle although much less than the first fish. It was a smaller bass just under 40 cm.
I had intended to pack up at about 1.00 am but decided to stick it out a bit longer in case a shoal was moving in. A little latter I had a good tug on the rod with the 6/0 pennel, and the line went slack. I grabbed it and rapidly wound in the slack, then felt resistance and struck. I had a good fish on the end and it was pulling strongly. I had it in close then, only about 5 m out, the weight was gone. It felt like the fish had come off. I reeled in but found a small coalfish on the end!! No way could it have given a fight like that. However, when I examined the fish it was damaged just below the gill cover. It must had been munching on my bait, got hooked and then a bass grabbed it. The bass was either holding on tight, not wanting to loose a tasty feed of coalie, or it got lightly hooked itself and shook the hook when I had it in close.
I decided to pack up at that stage and when I brought in the other line there was a 23 cm flounder on the end.
I was happy enough with the result, two bass despite the slack tides and a weak surf. With calm conditions for the next few days it looks like a return to lure fishing for the weekend.