Bassing With Biggles
Headed out today to chase some bass with Biggles after being given a Father’s Day present of a fishing leave pass. The plan was for a late start hitting the water about 10-10.30 and although not ideal any time on the water is fine by me. Biggles was already kitted out when I arrived at the launch point and I quickly set up my kayak as I was eager for to hit the water. We also managed to bump into Feral as well as he too was setting out to take his daughter out for a Father’s Day fish.
The first pool was very open to the elements and although its banks were full of very inviting stands of timber the high light didn’t appeal to me as a quality bass haunt. We still attempted a few casts into any pockets of shade that we could find but the bass wouldn’t come out to play.
At the end of the pool we crossed a causeway and the river narrowed significantly into little more than a very skinny creek. The creeks surrounds were almost rainforest like and the creek itself had a sandy bottom unlike the majority of the systems that I regularly fish. The majority of the pools were very skinny but occasionally they became deep enough that it made it worth casting a surface lure.
In one such pool I cast out the Sammy and was rewarded with a small surface hit and a small 20cm bass was landed and although small I was happy to avoid a donut. At this point I put on the Sheleft HD Video sunglasses and in the very next pool another 20cm bass obligingly hit the Sammy 65 on the second cast to make another nice little video.
The scrub started to get a little thick and the portage became a little more strenuous but we eventually arrived at a small pool that had a cascade at the head that led back to the main river. When I arrived at the pool there was a large number of boils which I initially assumed was mullet. The first cast in walked all the way back to the bank before being nit at my feet. The pool was full of small bass and both Biggles and I scored numerous hits on the Sammy and Tiemco Soft Shell before both hooking up on rat bass and shutting the pool down.
The creek emerged back in the main system and we continued casting. The bottom half of the pool was again mostly fully exposed to the sun and we again tried targeting the small pockets of shade in the many timber structures. The banks lacked a lot of greenery and were a mix of exposed rock and timber from recent flooding. The full sun exposure forced me to go subsurface and I switched to my alternate rod that had a Yo-zuri 60mm Harcore Ghost Shad tied on. This enabled me to target the structure in full sun at depth where the bass were hopefully hiding from the midday sun.
It was on one of these exposed timber structures that I cast the Yo-zuri and was slammed by a good fish. Initially I thought I was onto an awesome bass when I eventually saw the colour but as the fish came to the surface I found I had managed to catch my first Yellowbelly at 46cm. I continued using the Yo-zuri Shad in a similar way and finally managed a better bass out of another mass of timber that went 35cm on the brag mat.
The banks became greener the further we travelled up the pool and I switched to a Sammy again in the hope that bass were hunting insects and other critters around the leafy banks. I copped a couple of hits on the Sammy and gained some confidence that the bass might be hunting on the surface further up the river. I had travelled a little further up the creek when I head Biggles yell out that he was on. I turned around and paddled back to find that he had managed a good bass on his Damiki 3/8 spinnerbait in brown shad. The bass went 37cm and we were gaining some confidence that some bigger bass may be found further up the river.
We continued cruising up the river and the structure improved significantly with much more shade and greenery on the banks. Biggles continued casting the Damiki spinnerbait and was slammed as he cast next to some heavy timber. This bass gave him a good run but eventually a 40cm bass was netted and released.
I continued peppering away with the Sammy and the small bass continued to hit the lure and miss. At one point two small bass harried the Sammy and hit it three or four times without connecting. Eventually I paused the lure and watched as the two bass eyed it from below before one of them got the confidence to sneak up and pluck it off the surface.
After the numerous hits from small bass I was completely unprepared for the next hit. I cast into some shade when finally a slab of silver muscle smashed the lure and buried me in some structure just below the surface. The sneaky bass then worked the lure loose much to my disgust! Initially I thought I had at least the concilation prize of capturing the hit on video only to find the video had switched off prior to the hit ( Later I was to discover that I had run out of space because I forgot to delete the videos from a previous trip).
I continued casting and eventually reached a nice bank lined with overhanging sedges. I cast in towards the bank and after a short “walk of the dog” was smashed by a good sized bass that missed the lure. At this point I had missed too many bass and was starting to get a little “shirty” with the world. I cast back in and was rewarded with another solid hit and the bass missed again and I thought the chance of a third hit was very slim. After a couple more casts into the sedge lined bank the hungry bass finally smashed the lure and the fight was on. The Duff rod Sneaky Stix got a good testing, but eventually the bass finally succumbed to the battle and came to the surface and I was happy to net a solid 40cm bass. He looked a little worse for wear with some damage to his dorsal spines but apart from that he was a healthy fish.
The afternoon continued with numerous missed surface hits and a number of rat bass being caught. At one stage I got a good hit from an average bass that connected and while I fumbled around trying to find a way to land the fish (I had dropped my landing net over the side earlier in the day!), Biggles hooked up on the opposite bank to another quality bass. Mine went 30cm and Biggles commented “Mines bigger!” (Cheeky bugger!)as he netted a bass that was at least 36cm or better.
We continued up the creek with numerous rat bass continuing to jump all over the lure and occasionally hook up. My last decent bass went 27cm and both of us managed another pocket rocket before we paddled back. We fished occasionally on the way back but were content with the days efforts. It was just past 4pm when we got back to the launch spot and for a small 6 hour session it was pretty good with excellent company!