Thursday, 20 October 2011

Calm conditions at last - 19th October 2011

After nearly 6 weeks of blustery weather and rough conditions along the south coast we finally had some northwesterly winds which flattened out the surf and allowed the water to clear. I finished work at 4.30 pm and headed down to the coast. I got to the shore shortly after low tide. It was a nice mostly sunny afternoon but rather chilly and the sea at that location was the calmest I have seen it since June.

I started fishing with some soft plastics (Hazedong and Slug Go) and then switched to a Feed Shallow. Nothing was happening on the first mark so I began to work my way westwards along the shore. I reached an area with several barely submerged reefs with intervening deep gulleys. On the first cast diagonally across the gulleys a mullet-coloured Feed Shallow was grabbed by a strong bass about 30 m out. It stayed deep most of the way in and only broke the surface about 5 m out. It put up a good fight and stripped some line on several occasions. I eventually got it in close, surfed it over the reef in front of me on the crest of a small wave and eased it on to the rocks at my feet. It was a well fed plump 56 cm bass with a weight of 4.5 lbs.

A few casts later another bass snatched the Feed Shallow in much closer. This gave another strong fight, made a couple of darts for freedom as it stripped some line. I coaxed it across the same reef and on to the rocks. It was a 58 cm bass but was not as fat as the first with a weight of 4.25 lbs.

Shortly afterwards another bass struck the lure about 20 m out. It was a smaller fish but still put up a good struggle. I had it in very close, just at the edge of the reef but as I tried to surf it over the rocks the bass gave a strong head shake and shook the lure free. It looked like it was just hooked in the gill plate by a single barb on the lower triple of the Feed Shallow.

A few cast later there has a big splash behind the lure 5 or 6 m out as a good size bass attemped to strike the lure but it wasn't hooked. I had a few more casts with the Feed Shallow but there was no further interest so I switched to a Slug Go, followed by a Hazedong but I could not tempt the fish again.

I then spotted some activity on the surface about 30 m out so changed back to a Feed Shallow. First cast the lure was snatched by a bass. This again fought well although it was not as strong as the two earlier fish. I eased it in and on to the rocks. it was a 53 cm bass weighing about 3.5 lbs.

I continued fishing for a while into darkness but there were no further bites, not even pollock which normally are a pest on this stretch of coast at dusk on a rising tide, so I packed up at about 7.50 pm.

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