Not much of a report really as the session was not even two hours long.
Over the summer I started adding some quick morning sessions into my regular trips and this proved quite rewarding. Usually I save these trips for some form of product testing which involves new gear such as lures, rods, reels etc but seeing as I haven’t purchased anything new lately and the rivers had settled a little I decided to head out for a quickie.
The intention was to launch at 4.30AM but as I was a little slow to get going I ended up launching at 4:50AM instead. I had a few casts in the launch pool without any luck and moved upstream which is through a very narrow section of water that was moving quite quickly after recent rains. It took four attempts to muscle my way up the rapid (paddling) as there was no portage access to the next pool without major difficulty and I had no intention of getting wet or dirty.
Reaching the second pool the upper reaches were very quiet and I had no interest on the Black jointed Arbogast Jitterbug I was using. The water levels were very high and the amount of submerged structure meant that the bass had a huge range of concealment options. This can make targeting them very difficult as they are able to hide in overhanging bushes that extend 2-3m out from the bank and I could only cast at the fringes and hope one was sitting at the outermost parts of the bush.
Eventually I reached some structure in the open that was a dead tree that had fallen from the bank, died and lost all its foliage. This gave me my first opportunity to target all parts of a serious bit of structure and my first cast was in the sweetest part of the tree. The cast landed inches from the base of the tree where the trunk leaned down into the water and I was very disappointed when the first few twitches were ignored. I started walking the lure back to the kayak and half way back the lure was blasted off the surface. An instant later and the drag screamed and peeled off in spurts, I even had to feather the spool to prevent the bass from making it back o the tree even though it was 3m from home. Eventually I turned the bass and after a spirited fight it slipped into the net. At 37cmFL he had played well above his weight a testament to the huge amount of oxygen now in the water after all our rain. He was also well conditioned and full of muscle.
After a couple of photos he was released and I cast a little further along the tree for the exact same result. Halfway back to the kayak water burst into the air as the lure disappeared from the surface and I was onto another bass. Again the fight was a good one although I had tightened he drag in case a larger model decided to eat my lure. I played the bass out and had it sitting calmly on the surface while I attempted to dislodge my net that had somehow got caught up behind me. As I stuffed around with it the bass gave another flick of its body and the lure was free and the fish swam back to the depths. Bugger!
This was the end of the session although I cast for another 1/2 hour or so. On the way back I had a few more casts into eddies of the rapids I had passed through on the way upstream. This time I was using a diver which I typically do on the return trip, re-casting at the best structures. On one cast the diver was picked up and the vibration up the line was a lot faster and it didn’t feel like a bass. In the end it was a bream and I was amazed at how far upstream it had pushed in the floods.
In the end it was a nice morning session before work and not bad for less than 2 hours fishing. After 6 weeks of almost no fishing that first surface hit reminded me why I love this game. More morning sessions to come!