On Sunday I decided to return to an area I fished for the first time a week ago. That previous session had been poor, with one small bass and a few pollock but the venue looked superb with lots of areas that one would expect to find bass moving in on a rising tide.
I got there at about 6.00 pm just as the tide was beginning to push in. It was a nice evening, partly sunny with broken clouds, a light southwesterly breeze and gentle swells breaking on the rocks. I started off on a rock platform fishing into an area of two intersecting gulley. I reckoned that the back wash from the tide would wash food back though the gulleys. I fished there for about 40 minutes but just had two pollock on Slug-gos and missed a few more.
I then moved to the other side of the platform and cast towards some shallow reefs. After a few casts I had a bad wind knot. I spent about 20 minutes trying to undo it but in the end gave up and had to cut a sizable amount of line off which left me with not a lot remaining on the reel.
I moved into a small bay that was rapidly infilling with the rising tide. Cast a Slug-go across some quite shallow ground. After maybe 8 or 9 casts the lure was grabbed by a very strong fish, there was a massive splash as it pounced on the lure. Then it turned and powered off out to sea like a locomotive, line was just peeling off the reef and I realized that within seconds it would have emptied the spool. I tightened the drag and the rod bent over as I tried to stop the fish, I turned it and was beginning to bring it back in. It was thrashing about on the surface and then the hook came out!!!!! I could see a bulge on the water surface as it surged back out to sea. It was a very big bass, easily specimen size.
In future I will bring a spare spool, I may have still lost the fish but if I had more line I could have played the fish differently and might have landed it. A little later I had another strong bite again on the Slug-go. The fish fought strongly but this time it was well hooked and after a few minutes I had it at my feet. It was a well fed 59 cm bass.
I stuck with the Slug-go and had a few more casts. Then I spotted a lot of activity further out, but no way did I have enough line left on the reel to even come close. I did have a spool of 20 lb amnesia in my bag so I loaded that on and resumed fishing. I worked my way out along a finger of rock to get nearer the splashes. Then got a good size pollock. Maybe it was pollock that were breaking the surface.
At that point I spotted a lot of splashes back where I had been fishing previously. Ran back as fast as possible across rough boulder strewn ground and started casting. Then a seal popped its head up right in front of me and stared at me for about ten minutes. That killed off all the fish activity. It remained quite even after the seal moved on. I moved a little further along the shore and had one more small pollock. It was dark at this stage so I began to work my way back. I stopped close to the spot where I had the previous bass for a few casts. On the first cast the Slug-go was struck by a bass very close in, no more than 4 meters from the shore. As it was so close and it shallow water it was easy enough to land. It was a 51 cm bass.
I stayed on a little longer but there was no more bites. It was a better session than I expected, the last time I fished there on full moon tide in very similar conditions I had just one small bass, this time on the neap tide, when the fishing is predicted to be slack, I had two good bass and lost a potential specimen.