Bassing in the Mist
During Easter I heard from a Simon’s rat that a local population of dam escapees had really started hitting the surface at all times of the day and so I decided to give them a crack on a quick mid-week morning session during the Easter holidays.
Arriving at the launch I was soon on the water and was pleased that it had lost the dirty brown colouration and that the banks had grown back enough vegetation to make it seem a little more visually appealing. The river was also heavily laden with a blanket of mist that clung thickly to the water that was polished smooth by the lack of wind. The conditions were amazing and I was eagerly anticipating the first big hit from a monster bass.
For the first hour or so I worked the banks downstream and apart from a few half-hearted little taps the fishing was very slow. I decided to head upstream instead and eventually found a bank where the vegetation had grown thick enough on the edges to house enough insect life to tempt a few interested bass that may cruise by. Casting tight to the greenery dangling invitingly over the water I finally found a reasonable bass that sucked at the lure and I briefly felt the weight before the hooks pulled and I missed it.
Moving along the bank I cast into a pocket in the bank that was thick with submerged timber. About two metres into the retrieve the water exploded around my jointed jitterbug and I was finally onto a solid bass. Somehow I managed to negotiate the fish through the timber although on multiple occasions I felt the braid brush some unseen structure below the water line. In the end I netted a 36cmFL bass and I finally had a fish for the morning.
I continued making mw way along the bank but was distracted by multiple bust ups occurring in the middle of the river. Initially I couldn’t see them too well through the mist and I assumed that they were just mullet. However, after years of bass fishing my ears were keenly tuned to the sound of a bass hitting in the distance and so when the noise continued and didn’t sound like mullet I went over to investigate. As the mist parted I finally saw a school of feeding bass busting up around a school of what I assume was bony bream.
To be honest when I saw this surreal site I lost all ability to think clearly and act in a considered manner! Lol! Watching the video footage my casting became frenzied as I desperately tried to entice one of these bass (and some of them were big!) to take my lure. They didn’t seem interested as I retrieved the black jointed jitterbug through the school but eventually I managed to hook up on a good bass that reacted to the lure as it landed in the water. Unfortunately as it took off towards the bank the hooks pulled much to my dismay. 2 minutes later the action was over and I returned back to casting at the fringes where I missed another fish before heading downstream.
At this point I switched to a pale Luckycraft Sammy 65 in the hope it would mimic a lost bony bream. This lure change was a success and soon after I managed another 30cmFL+ bass casting at the greenery on the river’s edge.
This became the pattern as the sun rose and many parts of the river edge became exposed to full daylight. Much like the bass in other systems these fish had started to spread amongst the timber and were sitting in the shady sections waiting for unsuspecting prey to fall from the banks foliage. I managed another 3 bass around the 30cm mark fishing this way and I was a little disappointed when I finally had to pull the pin early due to other commitments.
My plan had been to hopefully catch a big bass smashing a surface lure on video but it was not meant to be and with winter closing in it will to wait till next season.