I had not been fishing for three weeks. I was away on business for one week and over the remainder of the time the conditions were very calm so not ideal for beach fishing, I couldn't be bothered going out and catching nothing more than a few small coalfish, flounder and dogfish. However, the weather forecast for Thursday looked promising with moderate southwesterly winds. I would be fishing neap tides so it would be the least prospective according to solunar predictions but I reckoned that the rapidly dropping barometric pressure after a prolonged period of high pressure along with a moderate surf would bring the fish on the feed.
I arrived at the beach and had two rods set up just after 7 pm, one baited with fresh peeler crab and the other baited with lug. There was a nice warm southerly breeze and a moderate surf, so it looked good. However, I got off to a bad start. First cast on the rod with lug I spotted a small knock, struck but nothing was hooked. I waited for the few minutes in case the fish returned before retrieving but then found I was solidly snagged. Eventually I had to break the line. As I was beginning to attach a new shockleader there was a strong tug on the other rod. I grabbed it but after a couple of turns of the reel I found this was also snagged, requiring another break. So with having two shockleaders to replace it was 7.45 pm by the time I got fishing again.
Shortly after that I had a couple of small coalfish on the rod with lug. Then a little later I had a 42 cm bass on crab. It was quite for a while after that, apart from one or two more coalfish. Then the bass onslaught commenced. Over the space of the next hour and a half it was total mayhem - I had another eighteen bass. Most were in the 40-47 cm range, the largest was 51 cm and a few were undersize.
Sometimes the bait was barely in the water before it was snatched by a bass. They typically ran slackliners in towards the shore and I missed several as well.
The majority of the bass were taken on crab. I did get maybe a third on the lug as well as a few more coalfish.
Close to high tide the bites began to slacken off. I was also running out of bait. But the time I had the nineteenth bass I had very little left and resorted to using the crab claws and legs hoping to make it to an even twenty. But once the tide began to drop the fish had moved on; the last bite was another small coalfish. Still a total of 19 bass and 6 or 7 coalfish was a good night's fishing!!!