Bass Session Resurrection
After a couple of short trips to some local rivers I decided to go a little further afield for a full day three weeks ago. The overnight temperatures had improved a little in Brisbane and so I was hopeful the water temperatures had not dropped too far and that the surface was still a possible option late in the season.
I arrived at the launch in the early twilight and yet again conditions were perfect for surface lures, except that a quick check on the phone indicated that the local temperature was again quite low at 10oC. Hitting the water I headed upstream optimistic that soon I would see that almighty eruption around my home made popper as a bass smashed it off the surface. Unfortunately it was not meant to be.
The only highlight of my 4 hour morning paddle was a carpet snake that I spied amongst the foliage of a bank side pine sapling!
Eventually I made the call to pull the pin and after a quick phone call home decided to launch elsewhere for a quick 3 hour paddle in a system closer to home. I hadn’t fished this part of the river in a long time and I was quite keen to fire out a few casts and see if any bass were still in residence.
This little spot also has a really difficult launch involving a very steep bank that can be very I difficult to negotiate.
Heading to a very large pool I initially cast at the fringes with a surface lure but like the previous system the bass were again refusing to come out and play. After casting for about two thirds of the pool both surface and sub-surface with no interest I decided to go a lot deeper so I tied on a Jackall TN50 to bounce over the bottom in the deep pool. Of course 10 minutes after tying on the TN50 the water suddenly shallowed as I approached the top of the pool and I was forced back to using the Duel Hardcore Shad.
The water eventually became so shallow that I could see the rocky bottom and although I was fairly sure that no bass would be sitting here I suddenly had a thought. Maybe just maybe the bass were actually sitting in the shallows. As the water cooled it would sink being denser than the surface waters and thus you would expect the cooler water to be sitting down deep. So maybe just maybe any hungry bass would sit in the shallows where the water was able to be warmed by the sun. So for whatever reason I decided to keep casting in the shallows when normally I would just move on.
I eventually found a nice tree trunk running along the waterline and sent a cast in. After a few twitches and a short retrieve the lure was hit hard and I was onto my first bass for the morning. The fight was quite tough as the feisty fish darted in every direction in the shallow water but eventually I netted a healthy 34cmFL bass and I was ecstatic after a morning lacking any action.
Within the next 5 minutes the water shallowed further and I was fishing in perhaps 1-2 foot of crystal clear water. The bank was lined with a lovey fringe of Lomandra and I was targeting this being the only substantial cover at the shallow end of the pool. This proved to be a great move as a solid bass darted from cover to smash my diver only for the hooks to pull moments later and leaving me swearing under my breath.
The very next cast I targeted a spindly bush that had accumulated a huge amount of timber from a previous flood and seemed to have a deep hole beneath it. Casting a few inches from the bush the lure was hit moments into its retrieve and I was onto another quality bass in real skinny water. Bass in very skinny water try and hit everything in sight in the hope they will bump the lure off. This bass being so close to the bottom, hit every log and stone and darted everywhere as it tried to dislodge the lure. I was amazed at how solid these fish were and being able to watch the entire fight in the shallow water was exhilarating.
I reached the end of the pool and turned around to head downstream. On the way I reached the deeper section of the pool and decided to use the Jackall TN50 I had tied on earlier just to see what might be hiding in the depths. Most of these casts came back without a touch but one at least was not left unmolested. I cast at the bank and allowed the lure to flutter to the bottom before hopping it back towards the kayak. On one of the hops the lure was hit and I was fighting a bass down deep. It was another 34cmFl bass and was much more pale than the rest.
Reaching the pool downstream required some portage but it is one of the most picturesque pools out of all my fishing locations. Strangely enough on all my previous trips this pool had never yielded a fish. Casting at all the structures, the Duel Hardcore Shad was eventually belted again and a bass fueled in the cool oxygen rich water powered around the pool. After a morning devoid of anything that looked like a bass I was ecstatic to net another perfectly conditioned 36cmFL bass.
I continued downstream into a pool full of structure including a multitude of lay down timber and overhanging Callistemon. A cast in any direction could potentially yield a fish but as with many other trips almost all casts returned with no interest. It wasn’t until about half way down the pool that a cast into one of these “perfect” snags was belted and a 37cmFL bass was the final fish on a tough day’s fishing.
After such a successful few hours in this system considering winter was approaching I decided to hit it one more time before the season closed. Normally I would have finished fishing by this time in the year but decided I would fish the final day of bass season just to see what might happen