Around the Bend!
Not having managed to get out very much has been killing me of late so I was very keen to try a new section of a local river when I got a text from Rod. As always the plan was to hit the water pre-dawn and we arrived early for a bit of a hike down to the water. Conditions were cracking early and as the sky lit up the river it looked perfectly set for a surface session.
It wasn’t long before the bass decided to play and casts into the structure started to be belted after a few twitches. The fish weren’t huge but they were keen and it was a great start to the morning getting a few fish in the yak early.
However, it wasn’t long before the easy access and popularity of the area resulted in four more yaks hitting the river and proceeding to paddle a few hundred metres upstream and fishing the banks. As a result we decided to head in the opposite direction and fish a section of water that Rod had never explored before. He had heard that the downstream waters were thick with timer and potentially unpassable which to be honest just got me more excited. I love the thought of fishing waters that most others would baulk at, the harder to access the less pressure and hopefully greater opportunities for a hook-up!
The downstream run was very different to the main section of the river as it was much skinnier and the water was flowing quite strongly through the huge fallen trees that created massive obstacles to the current. This created eddies and backwaters that looked like they had to hold a bass or two. However, it made holding position and casting accurately much more difficult let alone fighting a fish in the tight conditions.
It wasn’t long before we came across a massive log jam with a narrow passable section through the middle of two fallen trees. The water funnelled between the two trees and created a strong current and eddy that screamed bass. I sent a cast in tight to one of the trees and gave it a few twitches across the eddy when it was hit hard from a good fish. To be honest I really didn’t think too hard about what I would do if a fish smashed my lure in the tight country and it was a tough fight negotiating the bass back to the kayak. At 35cmFL it wasn’t huge and I must admit a bigger bass would have been very difficult to extricate from the timber.
As we headed down through the twisted maze of logs we picked up a few bass and missed a few others that again weren’t huge but made for an entertaining morning. However, the sheer volume of timber and strength of the current made it impossible to get the lures into every nook and cranny where a bass might have been hiding.
Eventually we emerged from the narrow section of river into another large wide pool that seemed much more exposed than the upstream section. We continued casting but the bass had disappeared and we did not get a touch for a considerable length of time. As a result we decided to head back into the timber and explore on foot to see if we good get a few casts into some of the tighter spots.
As we re-entered the log jam I immediately pulled up on the kayak and hit the bank. The grass was high and thick and the bank was really quite steep so I was confident I was going to get a few casts into areas where few lures had gone before. It wasn’t long before I sent a cast into some really thick timber and after walking it through a clear patch of water I watched a monster bass smash it at my feet. There was no way I would have been able to land the bass if I had hooked up and in a way I was glad the fish had missed as I would have definitely lost a lure.
I continued to dance around from log to log casting at every opportunity into areas that would have been impossible to cast at while drifting in the current in the kayak. Eventually my lure was smashed again and this time I hooked up in water that was a little friendlier. However, the bass was a good fish and I was perched 4-5 feet above the water line on the massive trunk of a fallen tree. It was impossible for me to land the bass alone, and so I tried to get Rod to assist me in his kayak, but even he was having difficult netting the bass in the fast moving current. After many failed attempts we eventually managed to net a quality 42cmFL bass to finish the session.
We continued upstream back towards our launch and even headed upstream for a bit to see if we could find a bass or two but they had shut down and so we decided to pull the pin late in the morning . In the end it was a solid little morning but it would be good to have a bigger session soon.