With not long before the bass closed season I headed to a beach that has been consistently producing bass over the last few months. I had a good stock of big juicy lug, dug the evening before, and a couple of packets of razorfish, the two optimum baits for this mark. I arrived shortly after 9.00 pm, just as the tide was beginning to push in. I set up two rods; one with a 4/0 pennel pennel pulley, the other with a 4/0 running ledger both baited with plenty of lug.
Shortly after casting out, I spotted some subtle twitches on the rod with the pennel pulley, I picked it up, felt a slight tug, struck and started to retrieve. There seemed to be a fish on the end but it wasn't putting up much of a fight, soon afterwards I hauled it out of the surf and was surprised to see it was a bass, a 44 cm fish. That was the most lethargic bass I have ever caught, he couldn't be botherer putting up a fight and just coasted in. However, it surged off with a powerful twist of the tail when I released it. But it was a good start, a bass on the first cast so I thought I was in for a good session.
Unfortunately that was it, I had no more bass bites, although I was plagued by small flounder robbing my bait. Within seconds of casting they were onto the bait, stripping the hooks in minutes. I resorted to the razor, tied on with plenty of elastic, it lasted a little longer, but I still needed to rebait every ten minutes. I caught three small flounder in the 21-24 cm range, including one that was not hooked at all, but had got the bait elastic stuck in its mouth! In amongst the flounder there was also a small coalfish.
I was hopeful that the bass might turn up close to high tide and fished all the way up. But still no bass. By 3.00 am I was out of bait so packed up and got into bed by 4.15 am, after setting the alarm for 8.00 am for a final lure session.
After about three hours sleep I struggled out of bed at 8 am on Saturday morning and headed to a relaible rock mark. However, the water was still highly coloured and there was a lot of weed. Met Pat there, we fished for a few hours, without a bite between us. Pat said he was heading to another mark which had been clear the day before so I joined him. The water was crystal clear so it looked good. But again the bass were not biting. Pat could see them swimming up and down, he had a couple of follows and I think he briefly hooked a fish but I didn't have a bite. By high tide at 3.30 pm my back was aching from all the casting and I was feeling the effects of the lack of sleep so packed up.
So that's the end of bass fishing for the next month until the 16th June. Time to service the spinning reel, replace some of the rusted and bent triples on the lures and maybe do some wrasse and pollock fishing.
May was a poor month for bass fishing, the conditions were tough with strong winds and gales at the start of the month and kelp choked bays. Lets hope for good conditions for the reopening of the bass season next month.