Persistence is Rewarded
After a tough week at work I needed to unwind and so I decided to head off for an early morning fish. I decided to head off to scope out a system that I had considered fishing for a full day last weekend but had baulked at the idea due to our lack of rain and the potential for low river levels. This system has some considerable portage in it and the thought of dragging the kayak long distances did not appeal, especially considering the spawning bass had had o opportunity to move up.
The early start saw me hit the water pre-dawn on a river that did indeed have low water. The gusty wind that had been blowing the night before had disappeared thankfully, and as the dawn arrived I was greeted with perfect overcast conditions.
Sadly the light also revealed how shallow the first pool had become ad there was very little of it that the cobbled bottom could not be seen below the water. However the second pool, which was my main focus, had maintained a reasonable depth due to the water backing up on a rock wall that spanned the river between the two pools.
I began casting, and casting, and casting at every potential structure that could hold a bass and I did not get a touch! That said the ambience was really nice as this river had retained much of its riparian rainforest and was full of whip birds, and a few other feathered friends, that had joined the dawn chorus to celebrate a new day. It’s one of the reasons that I love early morning sessions as even when the bass action is slow I still come home feeling refreshed and invigorated.
I reached the end of the pool a little disappointed with the complete lack of action both at the surface ad sub-surface. So I made the decision to head back to the car ad head home a little dejected but still loving the fact that I was on the water in some very pretty country. As I paddled downstream I spied some timber that seemed fairly simple o the surface but dropped into a nice hole between two rocky outcrops. I sent my Luckycraft Sammy 65 perpendicular to the log and began to walk it from the bank towards the trunk. Just as it reached the log a bass rocketed up and smashed my Sammy off the top. It gave a great fight and I was very pleased when a 36cmFL bass slipped into the net.
With a bass landed I decided to head to the next pool and after some reasonable portage I slipped into a narrow section of the river surrounded by palms and figs. Unfortunately like the previous pool the lack of winter rain had left it very shallow. I glided into the deepest part of the pool but no bass flew out of the timber fringed Lomandra to belt my lure as I twitched it across the surface.
As I reached the end of the pool the water shallowed considerably but there was some nice looking structures that looked too good not to cast at. So I sent in my Sammy to land perfectly next to a large log and after a single twitch the there was a “thok” and a huge spray of water and I was onto a solid bass. The river was really narrow and the lack of depth made the fight a tough one. The bass streaked across the river and literally rammed itself into the opposite bank. It did this repeatedly as I desperately tried to manoeuvre it away from the structure, fearful that it would dislodge the trebles. Eventually I managed to coax him out into the open water and finally slipped a beast of a bass into the net.
It was a good fish at 44cmFL but what made it even better was the size of the fish. It was one of the heaviest bass I had caught and for a river fish it was very chunky. It had obviously missed the last run to its spawning grounds and had that typical look of a post spawn fish you often see in September.
I decided to head upstream just to see what was “around the next bend” and although I didn’t cast with the same frenzy as I had earlier in the morning I did miss another good fish while I explored. I found two good pools and one was huge and absolutely filled with timber. I didn’t have the time to cast at it fully but knew I had found another potential honey hole for another time this season.
So instead of the donut I had accepted as being my reward for the morning I had managed to resuscitate my session with two quality fish. Gotta love these morning sessions!