As there have been a few reports of anglers getting good size bass early in the morning I decided to make the effort to get up at the crack of dawn and get in some fishing before work. I am not a morning person. I could happily head out at 11.00 pm and fish until 4.00 am but getting out of bed at 5.30 am was a bit of a killer. It was an overcast morning and had rained earlier, although the rain ceased by the time I got to the shore. The sea was quite calm, just gentle swells breaking over the rocks.
I worked my way around a small bay, tried a variety of hard and soft plastic lures but nothing was biting. I was intending to pack up at 8.30 am. By 8.00 am I started to work my way back. At this stage I was thinking I should have stayed in bed. Then just before 8.30 am I put on a Feed Shallow for a last couple of casts. Suddenly I was hit by a decent fish about 30 m out. It put up a good fight, I was trying to ease it into a narow gulley at my feet but it had other ideas and headed around the rocks into the next gulley, requiring me to scramble over the rocks. I then managed to ease the fish on to the shore. It was a 51 cm bass.
It was now 8.30 am but I couldn't pack up now that it looked like a shoal of bass might be moving in. I had a few more casts, then at about the same distance out I connected with another. This felt a bigger fish, it was pulling strongly and stripping a little line. I worked it in slowly, this time it came in to the gulley directly below me and I was able to grab the fish without having to scramble across the rock. It was a better fish alright, 58 cm and weighed about 4.5 lbs.
It was now close to 9.00 am, but I couldn't leave without a few more "last" casts. I cast out the Feed Shallow over the same area a few times. Then changed direction and as soon as I started the retrieve I was into another fish. This again felt to be a sizable bass and put up a strong fight. It was indeed the best fish of the session, at 59 cm and weighing just under 5 lb. So in the end it was well was worth getting up so early.
During the afternoon Pat contacted me to say he was going for a short session that evening and had some crabs which I was welcome to share. That sounded like an opportunity not to be missed. We met up at 8.00 pm and headed down to the shore. I have never bait fished over such rough ground. I lost my first rig on the first cast. Pat kindly gave me one of his drilled bullet weights and some beads to make up a rig similar to his.
Pat got the first bass, I think it was about 52 cm. We both lost a few fish, then Pat had a second, around 55 cm. I was still loosing rigs in the rough ground, I was down to my last 4/0 hook, when I felt a tug and struck. I hooked into a good fish, it was putting up a strong struggle. It was a fine bass just under 63 cm.
A little later I connected with another bass, it felt another sizeable fish but came off a third of the way in. We packed up at about 11 pm. I would like to thank Pat again for sharing his crabs and giving me some tips on rough ground bait fishing.