While the Rain is Away!
So with recent heavy rains the bass have had a great chance to move upstream after finishing their spawning run. Tristan (Enjoyfish) and I planned a trip to one of our favourite systems to see whether they were ready to chase a few lures. As the day came closer for our intended trip the forecast looked more and more ominous. Although the wind was perfect the weatherman predicted yet again more rain with storms thrown into the mix. Who knew when the next chance would arise to go for a fish so we took the risk and went anyway.
Tristan loves to fish the dark just before sun up and so an early start was in order. We dropped his car off at the exit point and threw his yak into the back of my car and made our way to the entry point. With eager anticipation we launched and made our way to the first set of rapids in the small side creek that was our entry to the main system. I’d planned to pull the yaks up away from the head of each pool with the intention of casting to the flowing waters at its head. I began casting and Tristan soon joined me with a buzzbait he had planned on testing out after reading Graeme’s (The Cod) many reports. Three casts in and the first “boof” of the day was heard and Tristan fought the first feisty bass of the day that went 37cm. I can’t really remember the fish sizes very well and will edit them when Tristan tells me the error of my ways.
We entered the main river and I headed downstream in the first pool while Tristan headed upstream. After a few casts Tristan called out “Yep!” and he as on again with the buzzbait. This was a good fish and eventually a nice 40cm bass came yakside which was a great start for Tristan. I continued to throw the Sammy with continued persistence but no interest.
The dawn arrived to show the water was still quire dirty and still had a reasonable amount of flow. Places which had required portage last time were easily kayaked, which made for a much easier day paddling. It was also very foggy which gave us the advantage of a long dawn and hopefully would keep the bass on the surface for longer. Tristan missed a nice hit on the buzzrbait at the top of the next pool and watching him retrieve the lure I was surprised that a bass would hit it considering the retrieve speed. However, I must admit the action was a perfect imitation of a small lizard running along the surface.
After continued casting I finally got my first hit on the Sammy but after a short run the hooks pulled. It gave me a little more confidence especially watching Tristan continuing to receive hits and score fish while all I could do was watch. I finally managed a decent fish when a tree I had managed a fish on during our last trip yielded a nice 36cm bass that caused me a little trouble as I had set my drag too light.
The morning continued with Tristan having a great session catching bass on a multitude of lures. The fish seemed smaller than our last trip with many under the 36cm mark. I managed a 35cm fish and another smaller fish and although I was getting a few I was very impressed with Tristan’s form as he was consistently hooking fish.
In one pool I cast into a small pocket of dark shade which had a small bush on it and an overhanging boulder. The Sammy hit the water and without even a twitch the lure disappeared in a spray of water. The bass fought hard and I knew I had a decent fish on which when netted was a reasonable bass at 43cm.
After a nice paddle down a set of rapids the next stretch of water had some deep shade just off from where the flowing water entered the pool. I turned the yak 180o after entering the pool and settled into an eddy and fired a cast into the dark water below an overhanging branch. After a few twitches the lure was engulfed and after another strong fight a 42cm bass came to the yak.
We continued on with Tristan continuing to pull fish from all over the creek. At one point he cast a bettspin into a snag and was smoked in seconds with no room to move. A little further on his Sammy was nailed and again he had no answer to the pulling power of the bass. A comic effort by both of us had us both in the shrubbery overhanging the water trying to extricate the fish, and Tristan’s Sammy, from the multiple logs it had snagged him in. Unfortunately during our tug of war the leader eventually abraded and the bass and Sammy disappeared
I managed to drop at least two more good fish and Tristan continued getting a few fish before we finally reached the exit point. The weather had been near perfect all day, we had seen at least 8 platypi, a goanna, a carpet snake and a few wallabies and it was still only 2.00PM. As we packed the cars we could hear the rumbling of thunder in the distance and we decided to quickly check the BOM and hit another system before heading home in the hope it fired the bass up.
The BOM showed a nasty storm nearby but it seemed to be heading away from us so I took Tristan to a pool in another river that had easy access. As we rigged up our yaks the sky darkened and the wind picked up. The sky began to crackle and thunder and we knew our time was limited. We were both casting Sammys and soon Tristan was onto a good fish that came to the yak and was 41cm. Small bass started hitting the surface everywhere and Tristan managed a small fish of about 24cm which is our smallest in a long time.
Repeated casts yielded another small bass for both of us and numerous hits and misses. As always the impending storm had fired them all up and brought them to the surface. Tristan managed another cracking fish that went 42cm to finish the day.
This pool yielded 5 fish in under 30 min and numerous other hits and misses. When the rain started we made a quick dash to the car and were packed and dry in no time. It was a great day and Tristan had managed 15 fish to my paltry 6. Well done mate!