A Chilly Night for Rod!
Last night I decided to head out for a session in the dark hoping to beat the chill creeping into the air as winter approaches. So Rod and I met up at one of our regular night time locations in the hope of finding a few willing surface feeding bass. Arriving at the launch point we had both anticipated the potential cold and the extra layers we were both wearing was indicative of the near end of the surface season for us.
We hit the water and to be honest conditions were perfect except for the temperature. The water was like glass and even though there was a bright quarter moon in quickly disappeared behind the mountains to make for a very dark night. The start of the session was really very quiet for this system and we wondered whether the bass had already shutdown as it wasn’t until we reached the top of the pool that I managed a 32cmFL bass on my Tiemco softcada. He had been holding in some really shallow water on a rocky outcrop and I had barely heard the hit as he must have just opened his mouth to slurp at the lure.
The water levels were also very low so we had a few moments as we made our way upstream where we ran aground due to our poor vision. It makes you jump a mile when you paddling quite strongly and suddenly you hit an object I the dark.
We continued upstream and although we had a few slurps at the lure the bass seemed to be a little quiet and we were a little pessimistic about the rest of the session. We eventually decided to paddle up to a section of the system that consistently produced bass for us and it didn’t disappoint. I managed another bass that must have been close to 18cmFL just as we arrived at the small pool and soon after there was a “boof” in Rod’s direction and he had managed a 34cmFL bass that had belted his lure at the rod tip just as his leader had reached his rod tip! Rod managed another soon after casting his Tiemco Softcada towards the fringes and this one measured 37cmFL while I was missing a few hits on the opposite bank.
We reached the end of the pool where there is always a little bit of flow and we had found the bass congregating early in the season and managed multiple hook-ups. After a few casts I managed to get my lure tight with the undercut rock wall and heard the cicada get belted by another average bass of 32cmFL. Rod missed a bass casting into the current and then my lure was smashed by another bass that fought well and slid nicely into the net at 38cmFL.
While I was removing the trebles I heard a bass smashing away at something a little downstream and after the 7th “boof” in the darkness I decided to head downstream a bit while Rod continued to pepper the head of pool. I followed the aggressive sounds of the feeding fish and finally found a large bank of grass that grew over the waterline a long way from the bank. I cast around for a bit but knew the fish was most likely deep in the grass chasing insects and eventually gave up the hunt.
Continuing downstream I did manage another solid hit and missed the fish before Rod informed me it was 11PM and time to paddle downstream. We were a fair way from our launch and so it was a solid paddle home with no casting for the both of us. The only highlight, so to speak, was Rod capsizing his kayak at the only serious portage point and dropping himself into the river. I can’t imagine how cold he must have been on the journey home although he did manage to pull up for a few casts as we approached our exit point. You have to applaud the commitment!