It’s been a slow start to the season fishing wise for me. It seems that the world has kept me away from the far to reach places that call to me more and more as Summer approaches and the cicadas start to sing. I finally got my first opportunity to get away and immerse myself in nature and solitude and I hoped that the bass were keen to make a memorable day.
It was an early start as always on Sunday so that I could arrive at my destination just as twilight started to lighten the horizon and the birds began calling to each other. Upon arrival the wind was also still, although the previous day had been quite gusty and I knew that a flotilla of debris would welcome me in some of the pools I had planned to visit. It was also clear that water levels were very low, as typically upon stepping from the car I would hear the steady trickle of water from the river as it passed under the road, but on Sunday this was absent.
After fitting out the kayak I made the reasonable portage to the first pool and was greeted by tea-tree stained waters so smooth that they created a perfect mirror. Conditions could not have been more perfect for throwing a few surface lures. The first pool had never produced a bass for me and I didn’t really expect to on this visit either. However, instead of paddling to the next pool I would always tune my gear just to make sure my reels were set perfectly for the day’s action.
I cast at some amazing structure and as I had predicted not a fish stirred. As I cast at typical structure there was a splashing commotion in the shallow water behind where I was casting and I immediately went into action rapidly winding my lure in and firing it into the ripples emanating from the disturbance. A bow wave appeared spearing straight for m lure and I knew a bass had honed in on the Sammy 65. The slightest twitch and he smashed it and missed before I twitched it again and he exploded around the lure and I was on. A second later and I was off as the multitude of rocks in the foot deep water gave the bass a plethora of lure removing opportunities and he had made the most of this rocky environment.
My focus now switched to the ultra- shallow bank on the opposite side of the pool. It wasn’t long before I spied another slight bow-wave cruising parallel to the bank in inches of water. Casting inches in front of the wave the bass did not hesitate to smash the lure and miss before freaking out in the shallow water and shying away.
Having cracked a pattern I sat for a bit just watching the shallows and hoping for another chance to sight cast a marauding shallow water bass. Minutes later and I spied another possible bass hunting in the shallows. The lure landed and the water stilled so I assumed that the fish had been spooked. I let it sit there for a bit before giving it a few twitches and sending it into a walk when there was another explosion of water and I finally netted my first bass of the morning at 32cmFL.
I made my way to the next pool and the fishing quietened significantly as the twilight settled into the early parts of the day. However, by the time I reached the end of the pool the fish seemed to have settled into their day time pattern of behaviour and managed another couple of average bass to make the session rewarding.
Reaching the next portage it was clearly noticeable that the water levels were well down. The river had some run as it trickled between the small boulders but the rocks exposed to the air were covered in leaves that had obviously fallen over the winter and not been washed away by the water. It was quite pretty as it created an autumn-coloured blanket over the granite stones.
I reached a pool that to me always looked like bass fishing heaven with a variety of structures providing a number of casting opportunities. After bass fishing for a long time I calmed the initial impulsive urge to cast at the best looking structure in the pool and instead planned a systematic casting pattern that would enable me to potential hook-up on multiple fish without disturbing other structures.
The first cast in and a bass hit the lure three times without touching the trebles and that was the start of a 20 minute session of multiple hits, lost opportunities and 4 landed fish. It was one of those penultimate moments and although the fish was not huge the anticipation of the next hit and what might be had the adrenalin running. I managed some footage on the Sheleft Video sunglasses of the entire session which was awesome fun.
After the bass quietened off I continued upstream and the bass continued to jump on the lure. There was no pause as bass after bass smashed my Sammy 65 and I missed a few and caught a few. The debris on the surface caused some irritation but the sheer number of fish hitting the lure meant that a few missed fish meant little to me. The bass continued to be quite small with the majority in the low thirties but I did manage one at 36cmFL which was my biggest fish for the day.
The sunglasses finally went flat and so I set up the GoPro as I launched into a pool that always held some quality fish and great videoing opportunity. I managed 4 bass in this pool that was deep and covered in shade as well as having some quality timber and a cliff face that I now bass love to sit below in anticipation of falling insects. I was quite excited about the footage I was going to see as some of the bass hits were spectacular but when I turned to check the camera I realised some dumbass had forgotten to press record!!!! He and I had a few words at that moment!!! Lol!
Flicking the GoPro on I managed a small bass before reaching the pool were I always reserve some battery time for. As always it did not disappoint and I managed 7 bass from 8 hits and caught it all on video. The bass were still average but it was awesome fun.
At the end of the pool it was time to turn around and I hoped I would find a few fish that had not seen the lure on the return journey. It seemed I hadn’t missed many as the pools were dead quiet until I decide to target structure that sat in water much shallower than what I would normally cast it. This enabled me to catch one more token bass that put up a great acrobatic fight in the shallow water.
So by the time I reached the car at 2PM I had netted well over 30 fish and missed countless others. It was a great way to get back into the fishing after such a slow start to the season.