My local bass impoundment has seen a lot of me over the last few months, right through winter, and now into spring. I’ve been waiting for the switch to flick, and last session it did. Once the water temperature rises with the spring weather, the bass move up into the abundant weed beds and really feast up. Although I’ve managed some solid fish over the last few months, I knew it was only a matter of time before they went mental.
It was a stinking hot day, around 30°c with storms forecasted for the late afternoon. With a falling barometric pressure, the signs for a good session were there. Knocking off work early, strapping on the boat, we were pumping out eager casts by 2.30pm. It only took five casts before I came up solid to a fish in some sticky structure. Purposely aiming a cast tight to the bank between a number of dead trees was the recipe, basically having to free spool straight away as the 47.5cm bass had me in all sorts, some good electric motor work freed the fiasco. It was a great start to what turned out to be a great day, gliding this fat chunk into the net with a totally frayed 6lb TDR leader.
We continued to cruise along the weed edges, picking up nice fish along the way on our paddle tail soft plastics attached with jig spins. My partner in crime, Dedal, managed a very strange looking bass going 45cm, which was a personal best for him. The heat was a statement that summer is coming and a very welcomed one at that. The bass were turning it up, having landed 12 by 5.30pm. It was at this point that things began to change. We were the only boat on the water, a very lucky boat at that. The wind completely dropped off, the clouds begun to change structure, the insects went crazy and the bass began eating them from the surface. It was an eerie situation, isolated in a shallow bay with bass rising like trout. The sound was incredible, all the insect hatches and bugs producing these sounds, amplified by the surrounding hills. My initial reaction was to tie on a surface lure, a walk the dog style bait and punch it right into the middle of all the action. This didn’t prove successful, however Dedal mastered a burn retrieve across the top of the shallow weed with his lightly weighted plastic that did pay dividends. Disheartened by my opening surface success I reverted to Dedal’s technique, we caught many more beautifully condition bass by 7pm.
The sun was almost gone, the storm was nearing closer and I suggested we call it an end to a great afternoon on the water. Packing away my gear, the bass still going berserk on the surface, I noticed a soft shell cicada stashed away in my tackle box. Only ever seeing small creek bass, I said “hold up, have a few more casts, I’ve got to give this thing a crack”. Well that’s when the day went from great to unforgettable. First cast saw a mid 40’s model land on the casting deck and had Dedal tying on a surface lure instantly. For the next hour we took turns in helping each other landing these absolute chunks of bass. Except for when we were both hooked up, well then we just laughed at how amazing the situation we were in was. The bass were absolutely exploding on our cicada’s, really resembling a Murray Cod’s explosive strike. They had the Daiwa Certate absolutely singing, such a beautiful sound, as the Jbraid was stripped metre by metre. To be fighting such brute fish, and just enjoying it, laughing, not worrying about losing the fish is something that doesn’t happen very often.
By 8pm the bite was basically done, the nearby lightning was lighting up the dark sky and it was time to call it. We pulled the boat out just in time, the storm bucketing down rain shortly after our departure. I really couldn’t believe the session we had just experienced, I’ve had alike pre-storm bites before on the river chasing Murray Cod, but the amount of surface strikes, size of the fish and their aggression was just awesome. A definite unforgettable experience that words probably don’t do justice, but hopefully this snippet paints a similar picture.