We Need Rain! (NEW!)
So I headed out on a solo mission today and headed to the upper section of one of my more picturesque locations. I was a little apprehensive as I knew the lack of rainfall over the past few months has caused a serious drop in water levels in some of my more local systems and was unsure how the dry spell might have affected this creek. That said the weather gurus had predicted a hot day with little wind and I hoped this might make for a good day surface fishing
I arrived at the launch spot at 5.15AM a little later than I had hoped and the sun was not far off the horizon and I had hoped to fish the grey light of dawn. The small set of rapids I was launching from was still running but only just and the first pool looked really fishy with water levels appearing quite normal.
Launching the kayak I began casting in some awesome looking structure that was well shaded with the water perfectly still and allowing the full action of the Sammy to ripple across the surface. However, one side of the creek was completely unfishable as the strong winds the previous day had dumped a huge amount of leaf debris on the surface and pushed it onto one bank.
It wasn’t long before a tiny bass stared bumping my lure and eventually a cast behind some timber lying parallel to the bank was plucked off the surface by a small bass. Although small the cast had been across a number of pieces of timber and I had to high stick in an attempt to get the bass up to the surface and over the dangerous timber. Although small at 25cmFL I was at least off to a start! I then managed a similar sized bass a few casts later tucked in tight to an undercut bank.
I continued up stream and managed to get a bass just shy of 30cmFL that smashed my Archer Bee Sammy 65 off the surface with exuberant flare for such a small bass. This was all within 30 minutes of launch and I was quietly optimistic that I was in for a quality session until I reached the top of the pool!
When I arrived at the pool’s head it was then that I realised just how low this particular creek had become with barely a trickle of water flowing through he small section of rapids. It was obvious that the only reason that the first pool had maintained any depth was that the solid rock at the bottom of the pol had backed the water up. It was at this point I realised I was in for some serious portage and that many of the pools I had planned to fish would possibly be un-kayakable let alone fishable.
I did manage a couple more hits from rats in the subsequent pools before I reached a section of water that had lost a significant amount of water. In the past I could drag my kayak over a large log at the head but now the log was almost 2 foot above the water line. Looking up stream I could see a good 300m of portage which in the past was spaced out with kayakable pools and at this point I decided to head back downstream where I knew a number of deep pools could be found. I was hopeful that the portage would not be as bad as it appeared to be upstream.
Heading downstream I missed another rat while I was distracted watching a lace Monitor forage along the river bank. It wasn’t long before I realised that the portage was going to be as bad as the upstream stretch. I then spent about 10 minutes deciding whether I should pack up and head to another system or keep exploring downstream. In the end I decided to continue heading downstream and hoped that the few deeper pools might hold a few bigger fish.
I managed another rat off another snag at the head of the next pool and managed a few odd fish and misses as I headed downstream. Many of the pools were now too shallow to fish and a few involved long stretches of portage through ankle deep pools that could not be paddled.
I travelled along a long stretch of virtually unfishable water before I reached a pool that always looked good but strangely had never yielded a fish on three previous visits. The top half of the pool continued previous trends bit eventually a cast into some shade between two bushes was smashed on touch down and I was onto a better fish. Although not a monster at 34cmFL it was a significant upgrade from the other fish caught during the session.
5 minutes later a cast into similar structure was again smashed off the top and this time a 35cmFL bass took off in an attempt to bury me in the structure.
Frustratingly the next few pools that would have been deep enough to hold fish were covered in a leafy debris that had formed a 1 foot pile at the bottom of the pool and I had to trudge through the mass to access further downstream. I now realise that I am not a fan of fishing such low water!!! Grrrr!
I reached the second last pool that I planned on fishing before heading back to the launch spot. This pool in the past had yielded numerous bass although this time the water level was significantly lower. At one point I spied some nice looking structure in the bright sunshine and decided that it was worth a cast. The water erupted around the Sammy after a couple of twitches and after a solid fight I netted another upgrade of 36cmFL.
The end of the pool had some heavily shaded structure and I managed a hit off one log that saw the bass pick the lure up and drive back into the timber. Halfway back the bass let the lure go and wouldn’t return for another look. The next cast targeted the next piece of timber and another bass surged out from the log hitting the lure and connecting. I managed to fight the small rat back to the kayak only to see the lure pull at the end of the fight.
I hit the next set of portage and realised I was up for another long walk and drag. About halfway down there was a small tinnie and I knew there was a fair likelihood that they had fished both the pool I had just fished and/or the one below. I decided to pull the pin and head back upstream deeming the long portage and potentially fished waters not worth the effort.
I had a few lazy casts on the way back but the only entertainment I got was a magpie hassling another Lace monitor sitting in a Bird’s Nest fern half way up a pine tree. I reached the car and began the journey home. Part way back I spied a large lizard on the road that kept wanting to chase the passing cars. I quickly did a U-turn to find a large Bearded dragon on the road and anytime a car passed he would go into a threat display and then chase the car. Grabbing him by the tail I was able to carry him off into the scrub and let him loose. He had a little blood coming out of his mouth but really seemed pretty good as he ran off into the bush.
I managed to take some video of a few surface strikes but as Murphy’s Law would have it, the bigger bass came out while the video was charging. You can see the video in the Bass Fishing Videos Tab in the Menu!
So overall it was an ok day, the bass were small but keen to hit a surface lure. Hopefully we’ll get some better rain soon!