The Ups and Downs of Bass Fishing (Part One)
I got the green light for a bass trip today. I’ll never say no but the times I had been given were a little rough. It meant that I would be on the water at 10.30AM and off the water by 5.00PM. Not the ideal time to chase bass but I was fairly confident of finding a few in the daylight hours.
I had decided to go back to a spot I hadn’t fished in two years. Don’t know why I haven’t been back as I managed about 12 bass and I was only a newbie to bass fishing. I packed the car and hit the road arriving at my launch spot on schedule. Fitted out the tempo and then went to throw my old runners on. Bugger I had brought the left foot of two pairs of shoes, that can’t be good! Oh well.
I negotiated the yak down a very steep embankment to the water. My theory is if its hard to get in then it is rarely fished by anyone but the most enthusiastic basso’s. The first snag I see and in went the trusty Sammy. On the third cast I get a nice surface strike that made me confident that I wasn’t going a donut. He didn’t come back but about 5 casts later I get another serious “boof” further up the creek which really got my heart a hammering. Yet again the bass missed the hooks and didn’t come back for a second look.
This pool was about 100m long with a nice cliff dropping into the water and some nicely shaded timber at the far end. I threw a few casts towards the cliff and was rewarded with another hit on the Sammy which again missed the lure. At this point I was beginning to get a little frustrated as I was 0 from 3.
Towards the end of the pool I reached the first serious log and fired a cast in with the Sammy. A couple of twitches and the surface erupted as the Sammy disappeared in a spray of water. The line came up tight and I realised I was onto a serious fish which was quickly dragging me into the timber. The smart little bass managed to bury the lure into a bit of timber and freed himself in very quick succession (0/4). Further up the pool was some more timber and the Sammy again found itself twitching tight against the timber. A nice boil indicated that a fish had taken an interest and I twitched the lure a few more times before sending the lure into the typical Sammy “walk”. I swam the lure for about a metre before again the water erupted sending the little lure flying with another failed hook up and he didn’t return for a second look (0/5). By this point I was a little demoralised as I came to the realisation that I had lost my MOJO!
I dragged the kayak up another set of rapids to the last pool in this stretch of river. My confidence was shot as I reached the top pool and I fired a cast into the first snag that lay under some heavy shade. I began my typical retrieve and as the Sammy swam out of the snag there was a “boof” and I was on. You Beauty! The feisty little bass behaved himself and I netted a nice fish of 34cm to avoid the donut.
I cast at various snags with little interest until I reached the end of the pool where there was again a nice bit of structure in heavy shade. In went the Sammy and after a couple of twitches there was another massive spray of water as a bass attempted to engulf the lure. Yet again he missed the lure, and on the return cast he missed again before losing interest. I was not a happy camper as I headed back to the launch spot before heading downstream.
I switched to a Jackall TN50 to fish the deeper sections of the middle pool as I returned to the launch spot. I cast back into one of the snags where a bass had missed the Sammy and as the Jackall swam down in front of the snag there was a solid hit and the line went tight. The bass fought hard and I had to use a fair amount of skilled manoeuvring to avoid being bricked again. This bass went 35cm and was very fat, he fought well above his weight and it reminded me of Clarrie Hall Bass.
By the time I reached the launch point I was at least happy I had managed two bass for the morning. I only hoped that I would have a little more success downsteam of the Launch Spot.