At long last the bass ban has finished!!
I reckoned that the strong steady southwesterly wind during the day would have blow up a good surf on south facing beaches. I arrived at the beach at about 11.20 pm, made my way down to my favourite mark and proceeded to get set up. It was a lovely night to be out, mild, very light breeze and the beach was illuminated by a bright full moon on a clear night.
I decided to use three rods in order to fish a range of distances. I used 4/0 and 5/0 pennel pulleys on the two rods cast to long and intermediate distances and a 4/0 running ledger on the rod cast in close. I had a good stock of freshly dug lug plus some razor. There was a moderate to weak surf, I had expected it to be bigger, although it did increase as the tide pushed in. As the surf was not too strong I reckoned that lug would be the best bait.
I had all three rods set up and baited with lug just before 12 am, and on the stroke of midnight began to cast them out. Initially I snagged a few clumps of kelp on the rod at distance, so began to cast that to intermediate distance also. Low tide was at 12.30 am and it was quite until the tide started its initial push in, then there was a sudden sharp tug on one of the intermediate distance rods. I struck and began to retrieve. From the fight I was sure it was a bass, but not a big one. A few minutes later I hauled a 43 cm bass out of the surf - a good start!!!
Maybe 20 minutes later I had a second, much the same size at 44 cm.
This was followed by another three bass over the next hour or so. They were all of a similar size range, 43 cm, 41 cm and 47 cm and all hooked on lug at intermediate distance. The rod in close was quite, so for a lot of the time it was out of the water, but I was intending to use it again closer to high tide when the water depth in close increases as the beach steepens up.
It was quite for about 30 minutes after that apart from a small 21 cm flounder. Then as I was returning from casting out one of the rods I spotted the line on the other had gone slack. I grabbed it and rapidly reeled in the slack. There was a lot of slack line but eventually I caught up with the fish. This was putting up a better fight compared to the previous bass and was pulling strongly as I got it into the shallows. I could see it splashing about in the moonlight. It was a 51 cm bass, the best of the session.
I had been thinking of having a lure session at dawn but as the sky lightened I could see large waves crashing on to the rocks to the east. It looked too rough for that and the water in the mark that I wanted to fish would very likely have been highly coloured and weedy. So I perservered with bait fishing.
I had one more bass after that at dawn, a 45 cm fish.
The fishing then died down and all I had was one more tiny flounder of about 18 cm.
I packed up at high tide at 6.30 am after using all the lug. So not a bad start to the reopening of the bass season, 7 bass ranging from 41-51 cm and a couple of small flounder.