I haven’t managed to get out for a fish since the start of the season and so I was desperate to hit the water knowing my next couple of weeks was looking very busy. Initially the weather was a bit mixed and although no rain was forecast and the temperatures were up there were still some quite strong wind gusts and it was a full moon. However I had already decided that this season I wouldn’t be so easily put off by weather at night and so after a call around I finally had a partner (Rod) to head out with.
Reaching the launch point at 7PM I found Rod geared up and ready to go. After I excitedly did the same we finally started the long portage to the first pool. Sadly the river was also very low, probably the lowest I had ever seen it, and as a result there was a lot of weed growth (Salvinnia) at the upper reaches of the pool. The river really needed a good flush and hopefully that will happen in the next few months.
So both of us began casting with Rod hitting the right bank and me hitting the left. It was initially quiet but finally as I retrieved my black jointed jitterbug along in the dark it was belted and I missed the first bass of the night. It’s been a while since I headed out at night and that first hit reminded me why I love surface fishing in the dark for Australia Bass!
With the night so bright with the full moon, even though it was behind a thin veil of cloud, we could clearly see the timber on the banks and I finally reached a long fallen tree that I began methodically targeting. The casts were spot on but I could not entice a bass to smash the lure close to the structure. Eventually on one cast the jitterbug was smashed off the surface a good 5m into the retrieve and I was finally on to a nice little bass, At 32cmFL it was no monster but it was a start and I was a happy bass fisho.
Soon after I was on again in a similar scenario and I netted a smaller bass at 25cmFL. I hit Rod up to take a photo and maybe a minute later there was another “boof” in the night and he was also on to another bass of 30cmFL.
We continued downstream and we kept sporadically getting a few hits here and there. The strikes were a little lethargic and the bass would not return to have a few extra shots at the lure. Eventually it was time for us to head back upstream to the cars. The return trip was quiet until we reached the first pool. Rod managed a hit in the last 100m at the top of the pool and sadly the bass did not return for a another shot at his lure.
Soon after I cast at a log sitting parallel to the bank that was sitting a few metres downstream of the flotilla of weed. Casting past the log the jitterbug landed near the weed mass. After a few twitches I walked the jitterbug past the log were it was belted by a bass. I must have had a metre and a half of line hanging from the rod tip when the bass hit and it began flipping out on the surface when I raised the rod to set the hooks. It took me a while to net the fish as it was unable to truly take off with its head out of the water but I eventually netted my final bass of the night which measured 40cmFL. It was one of the skinniest fish I have caught in a while and I wondered whether it was a post spawn fish?
That was it for our first night session although I did find another interested bass in some real skinny water that hit the lure twice before losing interest. It was a great night and much better than sitting at home watching TV. There will definitely be quite a few more night sessions this season!