Catch Fish with
For anyone unfamiliar with the site always check the FRESHWATER, SALTWATER and TACK-TICS pages. The Saltwater page now extends back as a record of over several years of (mostly) sea fishing and may be a useful guide as to when to fish. The Freshwater stuff is also up to date now. I keep adding to both. These pages are effectively my diary and the latest will usually be about fishing in the previous day or two. As you see I also add the odd piece from my friends and correspondents if I've not been doing much. The Tactics pages which are chiefly 'how I do it' plus a bit of science are also updated regularly and (I think) worth a read (the earlier ones are mostly tackle and 'how to do it' stuff).
Bass; but not what I wanted to write about!
I was going to go bass fishing with Martyn to the spot where I'd had ten fish a few days back but when we spoke on the day before the weather looked as though it was going to be bad, so we cancelled. The next morning I woke up at 05:45, no rain! So decided to get up and go anyway. When I arrived at the appointed place there was a huge swell crashing over the ledges where I normally stand to fish. It was far too dangerous. Anyway, after messing about for ten minutes I noticed that if I crossed the boulders in front of me and scrambled along to a point 30m south of the ledge it might be fishable. To cut a long story short the tide was now so low that that the kelp was waving above the surface and it was easy to fish my unweighted lure. Without much optimism I began to fish and first cast I had a pull. Of course I was encouraged and in the next ten or fifteen minutes I landed two bass (both 48cm). Before packing in I had (missed) several other bites (small schoolies?). The swell was easing off a bit as the tide slackened so I returned to the near side of the gap in the ledge but had no more bites. So I'd found myself a new spot worth trying.
Over the next couple of days the wind eased off a bit so Martyn and I decided to give it another go. When we arrived we found that it was still pretty rough with a decent swell running. Again it was easily fishable south of the ledge and there was more water depth than last time but seemingly no fish. We each one tentative bite although it seemed futile.
I was still using a weedless, soft plastic EvoStix lure so as a parting shot I decided to return to the base of the ledge and fish between the two ledges. The tide was roaring through the gap between the ledges and because of the swell I couldn't venture to where I would have liked to fish. Anyway, I started flicking the unweighted lure up current and winding it back. After about ten minutes I had a good take and the fish simply tore away against the fierce flow (several knots) and my tightly set clutch. I was elated - but not for long. After a few seconds the fish (clearly a really good one) ploughed through a gap in the far ledge (only five or six metres across the race from where I stood) and pinged the tightly stretched braid on the rocks. Needless to say I was gutted.
I thought about it afterwards and decided that it was probably my fault. I hadn't expected to hook anything and certainly nothing big. When you are into a good fish it goes against the grain to 'let them go with minimal resistance' but maybe that is what I should have done? With luck the bass might have crossed the ledge into the open water beyond. Perhaps by holding the rod high I could have played it out without snagging the ledge? Of course panic set in and it's easy to be wise after the event. If it happened again I don't know whether I'd behave any differently. First time I've been broken by a bass in some decades. BUGGER!
The first bass on my first morning
... and another one.
A close up of the hook in the jaw of the fish.
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