I arrived at a reliable mark just after low tide on a nice sunny morning. A fairly brisk ESE wind was blowing but it had not yet created a big surf and the water was still crystal clear. It was quite a warm day despite the wind direction. I began to work my way along a productive stretch of the shore with shallow reefs alternating a Feed Shallow with various soft plastics. Since the wind was quite strong I mostly cast diagonal to the coast to achieve greater distance. As the tide began to push in I moved westwards. I had been fishing for about 40 minutes and cast a Feed Shallow almost parallel to the coast across an area of barely submerged boulders and was suddenly hit by a big bass no more than 2 m out from the shore. It was fighting ferociously and stripped a little line. I gradually worked it in but when the fish was close it began to thrash about violently making it very hard to land. Eventually I got it into a very shallow pool and managed to lift it out. It was just over 8.5 lbs, my best ever bass. Unfortunately I forget to bring my ruler so I didn't get a length. The fish was quite slender so was well below average weight for its length. It would not surprise me if it exceeds 10 lbs by September. I got some photos and quickly released it. I do keep a few bass for the table but a fish of that stature has to be put back.
After releasing the bass I put my camera back in its case but failed to close it properly and before I could place it somewhere secure it slipped out and into a rock pool!!!! The end of another camera. That's about the sixth camera I have ruined in four years. As if that was not bad enough about 10 minutes later as I was crossing a narrow but deep rock pool I lost my footing and fell in ending up with one wader leg full of water!!!!
I continued fishing. As the tide pushed in I moved further to the east and fished across a small bay. At first I was using a Feed Shallow but as the tide rose I had to move back and was fishing across a very shallow area so switched to surface lures. On about the fifth cast my Asturie was grabbed by a bass. It was a small fish, just over 2 lb, but my first on a surface lure this year.
Close to high tide I moved down to a small cove that has been fishing well in the last hour before high tide. I worked my way around the bay, trying a variety of hard and soft plastic lures. I reached the far side of the bay and switched back to a Feed Shallow. After about 10 casts the lure was hit by decent bass. It was putting up a reasonable fight and I almost had it in when it got sight of me and made one last dash for freedom, stripping some line, before I turned it and coaxed it back it. This was a 3 lb bass.
So despite ruining my camera and getting a soaking I went home happy with a new personal best.
Afterwards I did a calculation on the length of the fish using the length of the Boga grip - works out at just over 79 cm!!!
The average weight for a 79 cm fish should be about 11 lbs so the fish should fatten up over the summer and easily exceed 10 lbs by September.