Mist and Mirrors
After a bit of rainfall in the areas the previous week I headed down to one of my favourite systems that always produces a few bass with the potential of a good fish mixed amongst them. Arriving at the launch I was greeted with a morning that was sensational for surface fishing with mirror like conditions and a light mist drifting across the surface. Although this was great for fishing it also made taking photos early in the morning problematic. It was also clear that whatever rise in the water level that occurred in the previous week and been a simple pulse and had disappeared pretty quickly.
I hit the water and was a little disappointed when the bass didn’t instantly jump all over my lure, lol! However I was not surprised as there had been a dramatic increase in the number of people accessing the river at the launch site in recent years and I imagine quite a few bank bashers had made the most of the easy access and put the fish in the immediate area under a bit of pressure.
That said it wasn’t long before a cast into a nice bit of structure had a feisty little bass hit the lure hard and open my account for the morning. At 32cmFl it was an average bass for this system but a good confidence builder for the session.
Soon after my lure was plucked off the top on a pause which is always a little ominous and sure enough the “wet sock” fight was clearly indicative that a turtle had taken the lure. I hate it when this happens as turtles are never very cooperative with lure removal and never tire out enough to make removal of the lure an easy process.
The pool then went very quiet and it wasn’t until I reached the top that I managed my second bass for the morning at 33cmFl from beneath an undercut bank.
I made my way to the next pool and managed a 34cmFL bass on a snag that typically always produces a fish or two and always gives me an idea of how the pool was fishing. 20 minutes later I was on again to a fish that it took three casts to finally connect to the lure. It was only a small bass at 28cmFL but I still love to catch them at this size off the surface.
Eventually I reached a part of the pool that contained a serious amount of timber and the bass are only keen to hit a lure while the sun is off the surface. I always try to make my way to this section quickly before the sun hits the water but as I was fishing alone I had dawdled a little and the light had just started to creep its way out from the bank. I cast at some timber I good see jutting from the surface and walked my lure across the front of the snag. At this point a solid bass literally launched itself from the furthest side of the log and was half out of the water as it desperately threw itself at my lure. Once connected it fought like a demon and I had great difficulty trying to prevent it from dragging me into the tree graveyard surrounding its hideout. Finally netted it was only 39cmFL but gee it was solid and packed with muscle.
The sun came up and the river lightened up significantly forcing me to cast into some very tight pockets of shade. It was obvious that the fishing was slowing down and there was some obvious signs in the swaying trees that there was a change in the weather and that the wind was potentially going to pick up. I managed another bass half an hour later that smashed my lure inches from a Callistemon branch running along the waterline. At 36cmFL it was a nice fish to add to my morning tally.
At this point the fishing really slowed down. I managed a few hits including one massive hit that I am fairly sure was a massive eel, thankfully that didn’t connect! I also came across a large water dragon that wasn’t in the greatest shape and couldn’t get out of the water. I gave him some assistance but he kept running around in tight circles and eventually just fell back in.
With the wind really gusting strongly I decided it was time to head home. The water’s surface was starting to accumulate quite a bit of leaf litter which is really frustrating when you like fishing surface and I had already had a great morning.
Every now and then there were a few patches of river that were clear of any surface obstructions and I did manage a cast or two. On one of these I managed another good bass at 35cmFL. After two hours of fruitless casting it really felt like a little parting gift from one of my favourite parts of the world.