I bet that most anglers dream of that really big fish. Sure, it’s good to catch lots of schoolies but it’s that double figure bass which pushes most people’s buttons.
Some anglers are no strangers to such fish, while others (like me!) will probably fish for a lifetime without being blessed with the big one.
We’ve all heard of the first-time angler who pulls out a big bass on a bit of smelly week-old mackerel while the rest of us toil away, having to be content with the odd 6lber.
Well, the other night I thought my time had finally come. Standing in a dark cove, legering with peeler crab, the rod slammed over in my hands as a fish powered off with the bait. I reacted instinctively and tried to stop the fish taking off for the horizon. Hell, I said to my mate Paul, I’ve got some fish on here! I desperately fought the rod and at one instant thought I wouldn’t have the strength to stop it. But stop it I did and actually started gaining ground on the fish. Paul could see my rod bucking away and asked if I wanted him to bring his line in to avoid a tangle. Before I could say anything, everything went slack. I desperately hoped the fish had started swimming towards me but knew in my heart that I had lost what must have been easily my biggest bass to date (I have caught them to 9-14). Sure enough, the trace had snapped and the hook was gone. I was absolutely gutted! I had just lost what was probably the biggest bass I’ll ever encounter in my lifetime. I could have cried!
It was then I thought back to a couple of casts earlier. For the first time in 30 years fishing I landed a lobster on legered crab. We untangled the trace from around one of it’s claws and set it free. I felt the 20lb trace and it didn’t appear to have been chafed so I didn’t bother to replace it. What a stupid schoolboy error! It would have been better if the Lobster had actually cut through the trace and then I would have had to change it.
This has taught me a painful lesson but there is a positive in it. Maybe I’m getting closer to the big one now and I should be prepared for that double instead of dismissing it as about as likely as me winning the lottery! In which case I should always be prepared – and retie my traces after catching Lobsters or indeed snagging the bottom!
I awoke the next day to find that the conditions had not changed so decided to have another crack at landing ‘Big Bessy’ as I have nicknamed her. Unfortunately she didn’t show but I did catch a nice 5lber which was some consolation. Maybe next time……
Author: Robin Bradley