Every now and again something occurs while fishing that remains in our memory bank forever. That maybe your first bass, a personal best, a certain take in unsuspecting circumstances or just an epic session.
The back end of last week saw me planning weekend fishing sessions as usual, tide size, time, weather and finally choosing the mark. With a late change in the weather forecast I was forced into a change of plan, now hitting an all nighter Friday night rather than the planned first light session Saturday. Nothing new, this happens all the time especially if making plans more than 3 days ahead of the trip (if you use apps like XC Weather, what looks like perfect conditions on the Tuesday for a Saturday session can turn into some horrendous biblical storm by the Friday).
So Friday night I’m walking down to my chosen mark, it’s around 11pm and the last of the sunset is still providing just enough light to be able to safely move about and setup on the shore. First thing I noticed was how quiet it was ! No swell, no surf just the sound of the water moving past on the flooding tide. I know the mark well so I’m confident to wade out somewhat, its pretty shallow water with a decent footing. I position myself where I want to be, I can clearly see the white stones around near my boots providing more confidence with the superb water clarity.
Just as I cast, I hear the splash from a fish on the surface of the water, I couldn’t see it but I know it’s to my left and I’ve just cast in the other direction. Slow retrieve back with no takes, change of body position followed by a gentle sweeping cast to my left. Hit ! damn it’s come off, hit again still not taking it. Reset the cast and same again, I can now hear more fish hitting the surface, maybe a huge shoal of Mullet moving about? I don’t know but they won’t commit to taking a Spindleworm so I need to rethink my tactics and fish closer to the surface.
Quick change of lure to the Komomo II and I’m armed ready to go again, nice long cast into the zone, two turns of the reel handle and hit, this time is sticks on. Nice bass of around 50cm landed. Now this continues for what feels like hours, the fish aren’t moving really, more just sitting in the tide picking off whatever bait is coming along with the flow. I hadn’t taken count of fish landed but it was alot but all in the 42-50cm range, I’m always grateful for any bass takes but I really need to find a better stamp of fish and with so much competition in front of me this was unlikely happen.
I take the 10 min walk along the coast to another mark and again set myself up. It’s a bit deeper here and with the flooding tide I decide to stay out the water. Still armed with a K2 I hit the desired area, few turns on the reel to set the lure depth then pause, the wait seems forever but its no more than 10 seconds and then hit, fish on. It seems a better fish, and is certainly more lively. I can’t see it in the darkness but I can hear the braid straining through the guides, ah here she is at my feet, unfortunately not a better stamp just slightly side hooked. As in the previous mark they just kept coming out but all at around the same size. This shoal of fish must be huge.
Having fished for 3 hours or so in total darkness and refraining from shining my head torch on the water the curiosity got the better of me. Moving back to the first mark and getting in the right position I turned my head torch on full straight over the mark. Amazing !
I don’t think I’ve ever in my life seen so many fish cruising around. I can’t say I saw any chunks in amongst them but they all fell in the big 40’s sort of range. Did the light from my torch change their behaviour? No, not from what I saw, they were quite content sitting in the tide and just cruising back and forth with occasional hits on the surface.
Sitting the rod safely back on the shore I spent the next hour or so just watching these amazing fish doing their thing until my battery on the torch gave out. Even though I caught alot of fish that night, It’s not always about the fishing ! Sometimes you just need to sit back and take it all in and enjoy the moment.
Author: Sean Jukes
Feature Photo: Sean Jukes
© Bass Anglers’ Sportfishing Society 2021