Tuesday, 19 July 2011

A few bass in tough conditions - 16th & 17th July 2011

Saturday 16th:  The weather forecast for the weekend was not looking ideal. I headed to a favourite bass mark early Saturday afternoon just as the tide was starting its initial push in. The westerly winds had already disturbed the water which was now quite coloured and there was a lot of fine seaweed floading about. I spent about 20 minutes on the first mark but was snagging weed on every cast despite using Texas rigged soft plastics. I moved a couple of hundred meters down the shore to an area where I could cast with the wind. I was able to reach a good distance with a Texas rigged Giant Xlayer. After about half an hour my persistance was rewarded when I felt a strong tug on the Xlayer, a strongly fighting bass had taken the lure. It was hooked about 35 m meters out and put up a spirited fight before I landed it. It was a 55 cm, 4.25 lb fish.

As the tide rose I was pushed back off the mark, the surf was becoming bigger as the wind gained strength, and the waves were picking up a lot of loose weed left on the rocks making fishing difficult. I moved further down the shore to a small bay. I fished around the margins of the bay until close to high tide. The water was highly coloured so I stuck to the soft plastics and fished them close to the bottom but didn't have a bite.

Sunday 17th:  By Sunday the wind had swung around to a northwesterly and was now gale force. I decided to try a rocky peninsula in a bay that I thought would be relatively sheltered. The wind was blowing off-shore but there was not as much shelter as I had hoped for. I was nearly blown off the rocks a couple of times by strong gusts. The tide was just beginning to push in when I arrived. I was fishing across an area with many barely submerged rocks and lots of weed in places so stuck to using Texas rigged Giant Xlayers. As my back was to the wind I could cast them out considerably further than normal. Less than half an hour after starting I was struck by a bass. It was hooked about 40 m out and struggled fiercely all the way in. As I got it close it saw me an made a last break for freedom, turned and stripped a few meters of line before I regained control and coaxed it the rest of the way in. It was a 57 cm fish, a bit more slender compared to the fish I had the previous day and weighed about 4 lbs. I laid the fish on a flat rocks and reached into my bag for my camera but discovered I had left it at home!!!

Shortly afterwards as I was retriving the Xlayer in the final meter a good size bass must have been following the lure, saw me and made a large splash as it turned and surged away.

I continued fishing in the same area for another half hour until I was pushed back by the tide. I moved to the left, and fished into a small bay that had now become filled by the rising tide. I did see another large bass follow the Xlayer in very close but it turned a couple of meters from the shore. I tired a variety of other lures but could tempt no more fish. However, given the gale force winds that were flattening out the sea I was happy enough to have caught the one bass.

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