Before the Storm (Part 2) NEW!
The morning session had been amazing and although the portage between pools had been tough the hot surface action we had experienced had more than made up for it.
The next pool was another prime bass habitat although it was bordered by a house that had its lawn more or less cleared to the top of the bank. As a result I was questioning the amount of activity we would experience with the possibility that the owners had given the locked in pool a good working over. I was the first to launch in as Rod was taking his time to minimise the damage to his under-protected feet.
I started casting and missed my first fish before a cast along a shaded bank was smashed off the top by another solid bass. It ran down deep for a bit and I marveled at the strength of these average sized fish. Eventually netted it measured 36cmFL. Rod arrived and began casting as well missing a few fish while I managed to net a couple more rats.
The portage between pools began to get longer and longer and Rod’s feet were coping a hiding. Luckily the next pool was a long one and although it lacked and significant structure it did have beautiful lush sedge lined banks that were obviously undercut and providing perfect ambush sites for hunting bass.
While Rod paused for a lunch break I began casting the left bank. Immediately my Sammy began coping hits which ended up being the story for this pool which was filled with bass between 25-30cmFL. By the end of the pool I had managed 5 bass including a hat trick and Rod had managed the only bass that topped 30cm with a cast behind my yak that when it hit work me from my day dream.
Much to our relief the next pool was not far away and although short it had a long cliff along its opposite bank with about 2 metres of shade extending from its base. I expected it to be a bass bonanza but after Rod managed a bass on his Bett spin down deep and I only got one serious hit from the cliffs base that failed to hook up and another solid miss on a hedge lined bank at it head we moved on.
Our hope that the portage issue had finally been resolved was overly pessimistic as we lugged the kayaks around and down the next bend expecting to see our next pool and instead saw a vertical stretch running off into the distance. I could imagine Rod’s thoughts as he rounded that bend and wondered whether the awesome fishing was worth the foot pain and effort. Amazingly enough I managed to find one solid bass in a very skinny pool in the middle of this section of portage. He screamed out as the Sammy landed and in the shallow water it was quite spectacular. It was just a shame that my video camera was recharging at the time and I could not record the footage.
Although we were killing ourselves reaching the next pool the bass continued their willingness to smash surface lures and at times it didn’t matter whether the lure was in the light or shade. The larger models were all hiding amongst the best real estate and had taken the prime timber with near permanent shade to themselves.
However long casts down the creek would be rewarded with hits from the rat population and this kept us entertained as we waited to find some quality structure to cast at. The smaller bass would often need multiple strikes at the lure to finally find the trebles but the bigger models tended to hit the lure once and either hook up or miss without returning. Often the bigger models would hit the lure so hard that they would breach the surface and on one occasion a bass hit the lure so hard it fully launched its body out of the water in an attempt to hit the lure.
As we headed into the early afternoon we could see that the clouds had started to build up and were starting to look ominous. Eventually we had our first shower which although short was quite heavy and we commented that this did not bode well. Luckily we had heard no thunder and although thunderstorms had been predicted for the afternoon we did hope that they were going to be late giving us a chance to exit the creek without rising waters or being drenched head to foot.
By this point Rod was over the portage as it had really taken a toll on his feet. The rain slowed the surface bite down somewhat and the last reasonable fish went to Rod on his Bett spin again! To make matters worse the clouds began to get darker and eventually a rumble from the heavens indicated that a storm was announcing its arrival. We could hear the sound of heavy rain approaching through the trees and hoped that it was only rain and not serious hail which we can often get in SEQ. Luckily, so to speak, it was only rain but it was torrential and we could not see further than 100m where a veil of white had dropped over the countryside.
At this point we decided to make an early exit with the potential of rising levels in the back of our minds we decided that portage through the narrow sections was not a good idea. As we dragged through the bush adjoining the creek the river widened into another pool and I could see the exit point in the distance. I couldn’t resist that one last cast to try and net one last fish in the pouring rain. Surface was not an option and so I tied on a random shallow jerkbait I had in my tackle tray and had a few casts. Eventually I had a boil at the lure near the kayak and n the subsequent cast I hooked up on my final bass for the session.
Finally we reached our alternate exit point and I dragged my kayak up the bank only to discover I had lost my tackle box in the last 200m. My heart sank as I imagined it filled with water and sitting at the bottom of the last pool and I began the desperate wade back to see if I could locate it. At the last set of rapids I found Rod dragging his kayak and was relieved to find my tackle box cradled under his arm. Phew! He looked a little worse for wear and I can imagine his relief as he dragged his kayak from the creek bed.
After pulling the kayaks along the roadside Rod began the long 2.3km walk via the road to his car but even he said this was a relief compared to the epic trek through the stream bed. For me it had been a great day and although the portage had been significant it was just another day’s bassing and part of the process of finding relatively untouched waters. For Rod the last 1-2 hours were horrendous but even he admitted that the surface action was hot. We had managed over 50 bass during the session with most of them taken off the top! Hopefully I have not scarred him too much and that when he upgrades his footwear he might consider another walk on the wilder side of bassing! Thanks for the company Rod!