Friday, 15 April 2016

First sessions - first bass of 2016

It has been a while since I last did a post. My fishing for 2016 got off to a slow start, I didn't have my first session until late March. Normally I would do a lot of fishing in Jan-Feb but I couldn't be bothered to go out in the cold wet weather. Eventually on a dry mild day in March I got organized, dug some lug at low tide and later headed to flat beach that can fish well in daylight in the 2.5 hours before high water on big tides. I was not too hopeful of catching anything big so scaled down my hook sized to 2/0 circle hooks on one rod and 1/0 J-hooks on the second baited with lug. After about half an hour I had a good tug on the rod with the circle hooks and felt a strong fish on the end which put up a good fight all the way in. It was a plumb 4.5 lb bass, my first fish of 2016 !!

I had a couple of tugs after that but the fish were not hooked. Close to dusk small coalfish came on the feed and I had about six in quick succession, all but one on the rod with the circle hooks.

I had some lug left so the following day I headed back to the same beach for a couple of hours. I got there at about the same stage of the tide although this time the surf was much weaker. I fished about 200 m farther along in a location I had spotted the previous day before the tide came in. A trough had developed behind a sand bank, and was drained by a shallow channel that cut through the sand band. I thought it looked a like a good mark. The first fish was a small flounder quickly followed by a small bass.

Again small coal fish appeared close to dusk. I caught five before all the lug was used up. I had some old refrozen razor but the fish were not interested in that so once the worms were gone I packed up about an hour before high tide.

I returned to the same mark last Saturday to fish the big tides. I got there just was the tide was filling in over the flats. I used the same set-up with 2/0 circle and 1/0 J-hooks. The surf was weak and the fishing was slow. I got two flounder and a coalfish before dusk. As there was a storm forecast for the following day I decided to save what lug I had left and head out early in the week after the storm had passed.

On Tuesday evening (12th April) I ventured out. It had been fairly calm all day and when I got to the chosen beach I was surprised that there was still such a big surf, probably too big as the scent of the bait would just get lost in the cauldron of churning surf. But since I was there I reckoned I would give it a go regardless.

I got set up and had only been fishing for about 10-15 minutes when there was a good tug on the rod with the circle hooks. At first I thought I had a small bass but when I hauled it out of the surf I found it to be a 35 cm flounder.

About 15 minutes later I had a stronger knock on the same rod. There was no mistaking it this time; it definitely felt like a bass, pulled strongly and thrashed about on the surface as I got it into the shallows. It was a 3 lb fish, but a fairly energetic one which gave a stronger fight that you might expect from its size.

As the light faded I had a flounder-coalfish double followed by another four coalfish after dark.

All fish were taken on the circle hooks which were baited with lug. I was using razor on the other rod but did not have a single tap on it all night. When the lug was used up I switched to razor on both rods but the bites eased off. I got one more coalfish, again on a circle hook, but as the tide began to drop the fishing died off so I packed up about an hour after high tide.