Wednesday, 29 June 2011

A fine bass - 26th June 2011

I have been very busy over the last couple of weeks so have not had the opportunity to do much fishing. I did have a couple of evening lure sessions last week but was beaten by the weed and murky water. So last Sunday evening I decided to have a beach session. I dug some lug over the last hour of the ebb and headed to a beach mark.

There was a nice surf, not big, just moderate rollers, which is what I prefer for this particular beach. It was a nice warm evening, very little wind, it finally felt like summer! I got set up at my favourite spot. But I was not alone there were five anglers a hundred meters or so down from me and at least two at the far end of the beach.

I set up two rods, one with a 5/0 pennel pulley, the other with a 3/0 pennel pulley. I cast the larger hook rig out as far as I could and the other to moderate distance. It was quite for the first hour but as soon as the sun had set and the light began to go I had a strong tug on the distance rod. I grabbed it and stuck, hooking into a decent fighting fish. I few minutes later I hauled a gleaming silver bass out of the surf. It was 53 cm and a little over 3.5 lbs. A good start!!

A few minutes later as I was returning from the bait bucket with a couple of fresh worms I spotted a sharp pull on the other rod, dropped the worms and ran to the rod. I picked it up, struck, but it felt like I was stuck into something solid. For a moment I thought I was snagged, but then it began to give a little, I hauled on the rod, but there was only a little movement. I  thought I must have snagged a huge clump of kelp, but then felt a kick, suddenly I realized there was a very good fish on the end. A fierce struggle then ensued, after about 10 minutes I had it in close, then a clump of kelp appeared out of the water. At first I thought it was on my shock leader knot but afterwards discovered that I had snagged somebodies lost line which was tangled up in the kelp. That caused a bit of a panic as I tried to clear my line, got it clear and fortunately the fish was still on the end. As I eased it into the shallows it thrashed about ferociously and eventually I had it on the sand. It was a fine bass, in great conditions, stocky and powerful. It was not the longest bass I have caught this year at 71 cm but it was the heaviest. It weighed 8 lb 10 oz, so was a new personal best. It had been feeding well since spawning and was above average weight for its length.

The fight must have exhausted the fish as it was very slow to recover when I tried to release it. For a while I thought it wasn't going to make it, a wave knocked the fish out of my hand and it floated on its side but when I reached to grab it again it gave a powerful sweep of the tail and surged off. Maybe I will meet it again next year when it may weigh over 10 lbs.

About 30 minutes later as I was moving the rods and rod stand back I had the drag loosened so I could move the rods, but after I repositioned the stand the line was still spooling off one of the reels. Was there a fishing running with the bait? I tightened the drag, reeled in some slack and struck. I could feel a good fish on the end. It took a while to reel it in as a lot of line had spooled off the reel and the fish was fighting strongly. It was another good bass, 60 cm and weighing 5 lbs.

It was quite for a while after that, then I spotted some twitches on one of rods. I held the rod and waited, I thought it was probably small flounder pulling on the bait but then felt a stronger pull. I struck and hooked a fish. This was not putting up such a strong fight and turned out to be the smallest bass of the night at 47 cm.

I stayed on for about another hour, but then the weed became very bad. It had been fine most of the night, just a few strands now and then, but suddenly it appeared, dragging up the line and bending the rods over. In amongst it all I did manage to get a 35 cm flounder but it got too difficult to fish so I packed up. However, I went home very happy, 4 bass including a new PB!!

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