Fishing is a funny circle. For some of us we start off land based, progress to a kayak or even skip this and go straight to a boat and then somehow later in life it slowly progresses back the other way again.
I have been getting back into my skinny water fishing. Exploring local creeks chasing bass both on surface and anything else they might want to eat. This is something I haven’t done since my late teens and early 20’s and I must admit I am having a blast. I appreciate the challenge a lot more now than I did in my younger days.
The scenery, walking through knee high grass, stinging nettles, the wildlife and then finally hitting a skinny bit of water. Trying to cast under the overhangs and then the final highlight to land a bass or a fish. It doesn’t matter how big it is, it is just such a thrill to achieve it.
I talk Bass because that is what I have locally but that doesn’t stop you from doing the same for Trout, Cod etc. It just depends what area you are from.
Coupled with the knowledge I have learnt on the ABT Bass Circuit and the vast variety of lures available on the market these days, there are not too many treks where we don’t produce fish. We used to go to the local camping store and buy topographic maps, then set out where we would like to try. These day’s technology can short cut all that with the use of Google Earth or whatever programme you choose to use.
A couple of things to remember before you set out: -
1. You should always take a trustworthy friend. You want them trustworthy because you don’t want to take the trek in to find 50 other people had fished the same pool today and the bass are no longer biting. You need a friend particularly for safety reasons, such as if you get bitten by a snake or fall and twist an ankle or something. Also remember to have a phone on you.
2. It is a great idea to wear long clothing and a good pair of shoes or boots. This will protect your skin from those stinging nettles and poison ivy. If you have snake protectors it is also recommended to put them on. It is a really bad season for snakes this year. You really don’t want to have to cut the fishing trip short. When you get back make sure you check yourself over for ticks.
3. If you have to enter somebody’s property do the right thing and go and ask permission. Most farmers are more than welcoming. It is when you are caught trespassing that they get quite angry.
4. Take your rubbish with you. I was disgusted on a recent trek to find drink/food wrappers and used soft plastics lying in the grass alongside the creek bed . It is not that hard to take it with you.
5. If you are going at night you will need a good head torch. This will help lead the way and assist when trying to get the hooks out of fish. It is a good idea to go to spots that you have already explored during the day, so you know the terrain you are walking and the ponds you are fishing. Don’t start trying to navigate to new spots in the middle of the night.
6. Keep a diary. Fish in the natural creek systems obviously move around either due to weather patterns, drying water holes, food supply and spawn runs. If you keep notes about the conditions and what time of year you caught them etc; it will ensure better success for future adventures. Hey you might even become a Scott Anderson freak who knows where, when and how, pretty much every time he goes.
7. Take a small backpack with a selection of lures. Just because you caught them on one type of lure last time doesn’t mean they are going to bite on it this time. I like to mix it up with some small beetle spins, some shallow hard bodies and surface lures. Don’t forget to take some more trace line in case you get busted off or snagged and pliers/scissors to make fish release easy and of course a small portable camera to capture the moment.
8. One rod is ample otherwise you are forever trying to put the other rod somewhere whilst fishing and it can become a real pain if you are walking through bushes. I have found the Daiwa Generation Black “Drunken Monkey” ideal for this type of fishing. It is a 6’10 spin rod, with Ultra Light Action with a line rating 1-2kg. This is ample enough teamed up with the 2000 Freams Reel which is rated to 4kg of drag. This combo has enough power to stop the big one if needed but whippy enough to still throw light weighted lures.
So there you have it, the world is your oyster. Those bass could be sitting in that creek that you drive over or past every morning. Get out there and start exploring. Believe me you will have a tonne of fun.