Friday, April 19, 2013
Big Winter Bass
It's now mid-April and there have been very few, and I mean very few, reports of bass caught since Christmas. No doubt the cold weather from the start of February and those persistant easterly winds were to blame. Water temperatures are at an all time low.
With less than four weeks to go to the closed season we may at last get some fish. Here's a pic to give us some hope. It's of a specimen bass caught on a lure from the shore just before Christmas. Captor, Pat O'Shea, takes up the story '....typical of late November, going into December, there were periods of settled weather, but it was damn cold by day with temperatures hovering about 4.5c. Water conditions were almost crystal clear but despite that the lure fishing was very good, as it can be at this time of year. The fish tend to bunch up before their exodus and can go on quite frenetic feeding frenzies at times. I was having good sessions with good numbers of fish; nothing massive but the type of fishing to keep you very happy indeed. It couldn't last and when the weather would eventually break it would probably put paid to the lure fishing for a month or two. That break loomed not long after when a deep low approached. I was determined to beat its arrival and get one last session in before Christmas. As I arrived at my chosen mark the change in conditions was already apparent. Although, the wind hadn't got up, the sea state was starting to rise and the water was already colouring up. I fancied a crack with a large pearl shad, which can be lethal at this time of year, and on my very first cast I was rewarded. On the retrieve I felt a bump and instinctively knew it was a side swipe from a bass. I kept up the retrieve and after a few yards the fish nailed the lure. Nailed the lure was an understatement, the lure was right down its gullet. Mind you it was none the worse for wear and soon revived in a nearby pool. It was a fine fish, though, measuring 69 cms What a beauty. Not long after I had another. This was also a good fish coming in at 67 cm. It was beginning to look like a red letter day. Another few casts and close in my lure stuck fast. My initial reaction was that the shad had caught up in the weed on the shallow ledge in front of me. That was until my rod doubled over and the reel handle spun around at a rate of knots nearly breaking my fingers. I hadn't the drag on as when fishing with weighted shads that is a sure recipe for losing your lure. Luckily I had the anti-reverse lever on. After several spirited runs I had the fish beaten. What a fish! 75 cms in length and as broad as hell across the back. I began to hope I had a specimen. On the scales the fish came over the magical 10lb mark. Yes!!! It was going to be hard to top that. I carried on fishing but had only one more around the 4lb mark. Later the wind picked up and the water clarity deteriorated completely. Heading away I couldn't help thinking that if Carlsberg did fishing sessions then this would probably be one of them!'