Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Bass after a dry spell - 24th April 2012

I have been very busy with work over the last few weeks so was not fishing as much as usual, plus the weather has not been ideal. I had a few lure sessions at the weekends but the bass, if present, were just not interested. I also had a couple of bait fishing sessions but the results were poor, just a bunch of dogfish.

However, the conditions yesterday looked more promising. The morning was calm and the forecast for the evening was for light southerly wind veering to strong easterly closer to midnight. I planned on doing some lure fishing but brought along some crab as a backup. But when I got to the coast there was a much bigger surf than I expected and the water was the colour of milk chocolate. It did not look promising, so I had a change of plan. Fortunately I had also brought along the beach casting rods and reels so headed to a nearby beach where I could be almost sure of a few bass rather than waste my time firing out lures into the cold murky sea.

There was a good surf on the beach, I made my way to a favourite mark and was set up by 6.30 pm. I had a 4/0 pennel pulley on one rod and a 3/0 two hook flapper on the other, both baited with crab. Shortly afterwards I had a strong bite on the first cast of the rod with the pennel pulley. It gave a good fight and after a few minutes I hauled a gleaming silver bass out of the surf. It was a 53 cm fish.

About 20 minutes later I had another good tug on the same rod. This was not putting up such a strong fight. It was a 42 cm bass, but quite plump.

15 minutes later I had another bite, again this felt to be a small fish, this time a 41 cm bass. It was taken on the two hook flapper.

About an hour after starting, around 7.30 pm, I had a fourth small fish, a 36 cm bass, again on the two hook flapper.

After that the shoal moved on. It was very quite over high tide, no more bass bites, although I was getting flounder nibbles and eventually hooked a small one of 22 cm.

I was hoping it would pick up again after dark on the ebbing tide. But around 9.00 pm the wind began to swing to an easterly and gradually increased in strength. It looked like the cold easterly was putting the fish off. I was thinking of packing up, then had a very strong tug on the rod with the pennel pulley but by the time I got to the rod the fish was gone.

That gave me some encouragement to stay on a little longer, Then at about 10.45 pm I had another very sharp pull on the same rod. This time the fish was well hooked. It was fighting very strongly, then surged in towards the shore before putting up a strong fight in the shallower surf. I eventually hauled a good size bass out of the breaking waves and on to the sand. It was a 67 cm fish and weighed just over 6 lbs.

I fished on for another three quarters of an hour until the wind really began to pick up and the rain started. I left just in time, as I was walking back along the beach the rain became torrential. It was good to have had a few bass after a break of about three weeks.

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