Mud Skipping Morning!
After a failed night mission on Friday night which saw Rod and I arrive at our destination to find our system swollen and pumping, I had gotten a little lazy and left my kayak on the roof all of the next day. Late the following evening I realised my error and instead of taking off the roof in my pjs I decided to head off for a sneaky fish early the next morning. I didn’t plan on it being a long session, rather a quick recon for a potentially longer session the weekend after.
So the following morning I set off, albeit a little later in the morning than I had planned, and arrived at my destination just as twilight lit up the sky in its grey stillness. The conditions were perfect and it wasn’t until I dragged my kayak through the thick Callistemon, that I finally found another dirty, swollen river much to my chagrin.
Knowing that the following weekend potentially would entail another wet and sodden few days with some solid rain I didn’t hesitate to slip into the chocolate waters and just hope for the best. I decided to go with my Arbogast Jitterbug with the thought that the large noisy lure might have a better chance of encouraging a hit in the low visibility waters. It didn’t disappoint wither as within 10 minutes my under set drag screamed and I was bricked by a bass that had smashed my lure. Luckily it was only an average fish and after careful persuasion i was able to coax a 34cmFL bass out of some hidden timber.
I paddled upstream and in places casting and retrieving was extremely difficult as the current was so strong. I just couldn’t keep my lure in the strike zone long enough to entice a fish to hit. I continued upstream with nothing but a few platypus to keep me company and eventually I decided to switch to my Luckycraft Sammy 65 just to improve my ability to allow the lure to sit in a single spot and twitch.
Eventually a cast along a Callistemon trunk that was running perpendicular from the bank and along the water line was smashed by a better fish and thankfully it motored into the middle of the river where I could patiently play her out and slip her into the net. At 39cmFL it was my best fish in my last two outings and I was pumped. I then hooked up on a rat that threw the hooks early before I needed to move to the next pool.
The rest of the morning saw we doing some hard yards as I pushed upstream in a heavily swollen creek and often I had to drag my yak through rapids too strong to paddle. I managed to miss two cracking fish on the way upstream as well. One came off a log that would normally be dry when the river was at normal levels. I cast into the elbow of a large trunk and managed to hook my lure up on some floating grass that had accumulated when the river had been flowing at its peak. I tried to twitch the lure off it and of course that was when a cracking bass tried to smash it and missed the tangled trebles. The follow up cast saw it boil again at the lure but it had lost its concentration and eventually left me hanging.
Further upstream I missed my second big bass when it followed my lure well aware from another piece of solid timber and smashed the lure in a particularly strong current and then must have lost the lure as it floated swiftly downstream before I could reconnect with the lure and swing it back into action.
It was then time to turn around and I headed back downstream to the car. On the way I poked up a side creek that I had never fished but knew a mate had years ago and had some success. Much to my disbelief it was running crystal clear and I was a little disappointed when I realised I didn’t have the time to explore it further. I did poke up a few pools and it looked amazing! Oh well maybe next time.
I headed back to the car and manage to entice another another little rat to hit the lure opposite the launch but it failed to hook up and probably got washed downstream after it left the relative sanctity of its lair. I am not a big fan of fishing dirty, fast flowing water, although I know many are, but I was glad to get a few casts in and hoped that next weekend the weather gurus were wrong and a sunny, calm weekend was on the horizon,