Soggy but Satisfied on Sunday!
So after being flattened with glandular fever for the past 7 weeks I was itching to head out chasing bass on the weekend. While I had not been in the yak while I recovered, I was able to get out and do some reconnaissance of a new system that I had heard a rumour held some big bass.
So while on a drive with the family I poked into two potential launch spots, the first looked promising except for the weed which had taken over the pools above and below the launch. There were however a few potential places to cast and so out came the travel rod to test out the waters. I tied on the Megabass Dog X Jnr and after a few casts above and below the causeway I finally hooked up on a good fish. Between the slow action of the travel rod and the weed he managed to remove himself from the lure in a “long distance self-release”! I was still happy as I now knew the system had some bass of decent proportions.
I jumped back in the car and headed off to another launch spot upstream. The upstream pool was heavily weeded up but the lower pool looked awesome. Heavy shade, undercut banks, a deep pool and running water dropping into the top of the pool. I spied a smaller pool with an undercut bank above the main pool and fired in a cast. The Dog-X was smashed and the fish had me all over the place in the skinny, skinny water. I finally landed a bass of 39cm that was in awesome condition.
So after such a successful scouting trip I mapped out a longer trip for the following weekend and gave Tristan a call. Tristan and I planned a 9km trip through unknown country where I now new bass resided. The week prior to our trip had rain predicted to fall on the Saturday and Sunday, this kept me on the computer almost daily watching rainfall, river heights and the forecast rainfall for the area. Somehow on Saturday the system had avoided major rain and by the morning had only risen about one centimetre.
So on the day of departure we left ridiculously early as usual and a quick check of the weather showed scattered showers but they were only very light which was encouraging. The drive to the launch however was plagued with incessant light rain which did not bode well as I hate fishing in the rain. Arriving at the exit point it was still raining but we were both here so we decided to launch anyway. Tristan and I threw his yak in the back of the ute and we headed upstream to the launch.
The rain continued and we headed upstream first to see if the heavily weeded pools would clear and enable some casting to occur. It was still dark but we could still see that the weed was really thick in the open pools however we could cast under the trees where the weed was not able to grow. We tied on some nice noisy lures to begin the pre-dawn. Tristan tied on a Bassday feathercrank and I was using a Tiemco Softshell cicada. An hour or so of casting in the heavily weeded pools yielded one hit and so we decided to head downstream as the sun had risen and the rain continued to fall. By this point we were drenched.
With the light we both tied on Luckycraft Sammy 65’s and finally Tristan managed a fish of 35cm followed by a fish of 37cm in the top pools. However, these fish were caught in the space between showers and although we persisted with surface lures for the majority of the morning the surface bite was completely absent in the rain. We made the decision to switch to sub-surface with Tristan tying on a Mid Depth Atomic Hardz 38 and I tied on a Yo-zuri Duel 3D suspending minnow. This provided almost instant success and we finally managed to score some serious numbers of fish.
The creek and its structures screamed bass! The timber in the creek was simply spectacular and many spots were permanently shaded, it was simply awesome.
Average fish (low 30’s) to seriously tiny fish took an instant like to Tristan’s crankbait and he was catching at least a fish a pool for most of the day. At one stage he even managed a fish that went 10cm to the fork. I was missing a lot of the smaller hits on my jerkbait which was a lot bigger at 65mm, but was managing to interest a larger average fish than Tristan. In a couple of pools we managed double hook-ups and at one stage I dropped a fish, cast straight back into the snag and dropped a bigger fish and then cast into another snag twice nearby before hooking a nice fish at about 35cm.
Tristan switched to a Jackall Aragon Jr and then to a Betts spin and continued picking up bass after bass. Although I was not managing the same number on the Yozuri, it was consistently attracting a larger average fish. At one point the Yozuri was hit really hard and I managed to catch the biggest fish of the day, which was just short of 40cm and had me and the yak in a spin in the tight little creek. Most of the bigger fish came out of big log jams and the larger logs and the smaller fish were literally everywhere.
The majority of the bass were caught subsurface but towards the end of the day Tristan remarked that the rain had let up and encouraged me to switch to the Sammy again. First cast and I was on with a nice surface hit which then led to the remark that catching a small fish on surface is so much better than a big fish on sub-surface. I managed a few more surface caught fish including a nice surface hit by a 38cm bass on the Sammy before the rain began again and we switched back to sub-surface.
We eventually reached a massive log jam and had to drag the yaks around it to get back to the creek. Below the log jam the fishing went dead and not long after we reached our exit point.
It must have rained virtually continuously from 4.00AM to 2.00PM. We were so wet that our hands were pale white and wrinkled and on many occasions removing lures from the bass and retying knots was impossible. I can’t remember a time I have been sooooo wet for so long and it was lucky we managed to find a few fish as I think I would have gone nuts in the incessant rain. Photo opportunities were few and far between as the rain made decent shots difficult. It was a shame as the creek was a beautiful waterway and would have provided some nice shots. Regardless of the weather it was a great day and I was glad to be able to get on the water after a prolonged absence.