The 2011-2012 Season was a good one with plenty of rain and plenty of bass espescially 40cm+ fish which was awesome! I managed to get out with a few new bass addicts and also introduced a newbie to the world of bass fishing. I broke no PB’s size wise with the biggest going 46cm but did manage to crack my Session PB with over 60 bass caught in a single day (Blue Sky Bassing). I also ventured into surface fishing for bass at night and found it exhilarating. It was a completely different realm, with the lack of sight creating a dependence on feel and hearing to identify when bass were smashing the lure.
The go to lures for the season were the usual Luckcraft Sammy 65, Tiemco Soft Shell Cicada and Yozuri/Duel 60mm Hardcore Shad. However, night fishing led me to discover a new high performer in the Arbogast Jointed Jitterbug in black.
The weather was great for the bass but at times difficult for fishing with multiple events of heavy rainfall sending my local systems into minor to major flood. Luckily I have found a couple of systems that clear quickly so managed to get out at times when many couldn’t.
I also explored a number of new systems and was ecstatic with the results with one system in particular being a real surprise with some quality bass in residence. The start of the season involved a quick trip on foot to a system easily accessed from the bank. I arrived at my location without the yak and my travel rod and backpack were taken out from under the back seat of the Navara. It was late afternoon and I would be lucky to have an hour before the darkness arrived and I was forced to return home. With trembling hands I tied on my favourite lure the Lucky Craft Sammy 65 and was soon casting.
The first pool was relatively clear and completely covered by the rainforest canopy. It was covered in large stones along the bottom and at best was 3-4ft deep at the opposite bank. After a few warm up casts, I targeted a log that ran parallel to the opposite bank and was rewarded with my first surface hit. The feeling was electric and I was reminded why I looovvvve chasing bass on the surface. The bass refused to hit the Sammy again after repeated casts but I could have gone home happy as watching old videos and You-tube just doesn’t give you the same feeling as the real thing.
I moved downstream and the first half of the next pool yielded no bass. This stretch of water was a lot deeper and was completely different in structure. The bank I was walking on was exposed with a steep sloping moss covered granite which was treacherous to traverse to say the least. A few large boulders were visible in the slightly dirty water and the far bank had some awesome structure that screamed bass. The best of these was a tree trunk with the root ball exposed at one end. This sort of structure is a favourite of mine as it provides perfect habitat for bass where the trunk nearest the root ball has a space beneath it for bass to sit under.
My first cast was absolutely perfect, hitting the trunk just above the water line and rebounding deep into the apex of the tree. With heart racing I gave the rod tip a flick and the water in the apex of the tree exploded. My heart rate must have hit 200 as a mixture of adrenalin from the excitement of the hit and the disappointment that the bass had missed the lure coursing through my body. Holding my breath I patiently paused the lure while the bow waves of the hit drifted across the pool, The next twitch had the bass destroy the Sammy and it disappeared into the murky water. The bass tried hard to remove the offending lure and headed straight to one of the many boulders in the pool. After a good fight a 41cm bass was landed and the lure was nowhere to be seen as it had been completely engulfed by the bass’s bucket mouth. Some careful surgery removed the Sammy from the bass’s gill rakers without any damage, much to my relief and, I was ecstatic with my first fish for the 2011-2012 season.
The afternoon quickly drifted into darkness and I managed to miss another three bass in the next few pools before I reached my last stretch of water. This pool was shallow at its head except for a small pocket of granite boulders with an overhang creating a dark patch in the dim afternoon light. First cast and the Sammy was hit and missed again much to my frustration. Luckily this bass was extra keen and after another five casts and another miss the bass finally slurped the Sammy off the surface and after a shot fight a 30cm+ bass was landed (Sorry about the photo! My camera went flat after 3 months of no use and I had to use my phone in the twilight!)
That was the first bass of the 2011-2012 Season!!