Monday, 4 July 2011

The mighty Feed Shallow strikes again - 2nd & 3rd July 2011

2nd July:  When I left the house early Saturday afternoon it was quite overcast, with just a few breaks in the cloud, but by the time I got to the coast the clouds were gone, the sea was calm and the water was clear. It looked like a real summer's day, I had forgotten what those were like. I arrived at a reliable mark just as the tide was starting to push in. In April this was a particularly productive stage of the tide for big bass. However, this time with the calm conditions and bright sunlight, I was not so successful. I tried a variety of lures, I had a bass on for a few seconds on an Asturie but it came off. I moved along the shore as the tide pushed in, but no more bites.

After about 2.5 hours I moved to a small bay further along the coast. On about the fourth cast I had the first bass, only a small one of 37 cm, caught on a Feed Shallow, but a start at least, and my first lure caught bass since the end of April.

A few minutes later I had a second, a bit bigger at 43 cm, again caught on a Feed Shallow.

Not longer afterwards as I retrived the lure in close I could see a small bass following but it failed to bite. I had a couple more casts across the same area, then there was a good solid bite. It was another small 39 cm bass again caught on the Feed Shallow.

All three were taken within about 15 minutes. However, the bites died down after that. The shoal of small bass must have moved on. I switched to some surface lures and soft plastics but could tempt nothing more. About two hours before high tide I made my way to the other side of the bay. I began fishing from a mark where I had a number of 4-5 lb fish in April. After about 20 minutes I was rewarded with a good fish. It hit the Feed Shallow about 30 m out and put up a fierce struggle, but I eventually worked it in. It was the best bass of the day, a fine chunky fish at 57 cm and weighing just over 5 lb.

I fished there for a little longer and then made my way further along the side of the bay. I clambered along a narrow promontory and began to fish. A few minutes later I had a bass smash into the Feed Shallow only a few meters out. It was another strong fish, as I got it close it made several dashes for freedom stripping line. I finally got it to the edge of the rocks. I was leaning down trying to grab the fish when it made one final violent head shake and shook the lure and was gone!!! It was a bigger bass than the previous one. Its hard to estimate the size but I would guess it would have been between 6.5-7.5 lbs.

I had a few more casts, changed lures but could not tempt it again. I packed up about 30 minutes later. So while the fishing had been slow with a toal of 4 bass from low to high tide, at least it was a start to the summer lure fishing.

3rd July:  Sunday looked like been another hot summer's day. This time I lashed on plenty of sun screen and remembered to bring a hat and most importantly a landing net!! When I got to the coast the sea was even calmer than the previous day. Since the low water mark had not been productive on Saturday I decided to start in the bay where I had encountered the shoal of small bass the day before. Second cast out diagonally across some shallow reefs my Feed Shallow was hit by a bass. It fought strongly and I was surprised that it only measured 48 cm. The landing net came in useful this time as I needed to lift the bass up a ledge close to 1 m high.

Next cast I hooked another bass, but lost it two thirds of the way in!!!

A little later I made a long cast directly out to reach the seaward side of a reef. Just as I began to retrieve there was a massive splash behind the lure, the fish was hooked for a second or two, but then broke free. I continued casting across the same area, then a few minutes later I hooked another bass, but in closer. It was a 45 cm fish, again taken on a Feed Shallow. It was my 100th bass of 2011!!!

It was quite after that. I experimented with various lures but there were no more bites. So I moved to the other side of the bay. I fished the first promontory, and cast parallel to the shore, towards the area where I had lost the good bass the previous day. After a few casts I was hit by another bass, but not the big one. This was a 47 cm fish, again taken on a Feed Shallow.

I moved further along the shore but there were no more bass. I did get a couple of 40 cm pollock with the Feed Shallow. I debated working my way back the way I came but I was tired and hungry at this stage so decided to head for home. It was another slow day but at least I had three bass so I was happy enough and the Feed Shallow again saved the day.

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