New Moon Bass

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While quality fishing time seems to be hard to come by, this time of year generally proves to be even more difficult.  On one hand, warm sunny weather, the sound of cicadas singing in the trees, stories of bass, kingfish and other pelagics on the chew, makes me eager to get out on the water.  On the other hand, my work schedule, kids activities and working for my wife on weekends means solid fishing sessions are few and far between and I need to make the most of the short, couple of hour opportunities that present themselves.

This last weekend was exactly one of those opportunities.  Returning home from a weeks work, Lauren informed me that she was going shopping for the day with her Mum and the kids, this was perfect because I was in search of a fishing ‘fix’.  I made a couple of phone calls later to see what the options were.  It seemed that the saltwater fishing was a 50/50 gamble but a new moon meant the Bass was definitely a sure bet.  One further phone call and it didn’t take much to convince Aaron Horne to finish up work early so we could meet up for a sneaky creek session in the morning, followed by an afternoon sight fishing for some of these Carp that he has been catching of late.

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I’ve been super keen for a Bass surface session but with temperatures rising to 35degrees, a midday surface bite was going to be slim, I didn’t let this deter me though.  Armed with my favourite  hollow bodied frog and Aaron with his ever successful mouse, we worked the creek casting tight into every shaded pocket we could find.  Anyone who thinks that the bass don’t bite topwater in the middle of the day might want to think again as there was no shortage of action.  Although the size of the bass was smaller than we are used to, what they lacked in size they made up in commitment, striking hard and pulling well beyond their years.  I’m not sure why perhaps it was a combination of lack of rain and a new school pushing up with the new moon.  The smaller fish were silver and definitely more feisty and aggressive.  The bigger fish that we found sitting a little deeper with spinners seemed fat and well fed, quite likely because they have gorged themselves on all the bait in the hole while waiting to push up river past the next set of narrows with more rain.

Leaving them biting, Aaron and I headed out.  Content with our session, we discussed how the bass fishing was likely to get even better as the afternoon went on.  We could hear the cicadas starting to sing louder, the weather was changing and the buzzing of grasshoppers, moths, dragonflies and other bugs was pretty intense.

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After a quick stop to load up on some more bottles of water, we headed to a stretch of eastern creek to stalk some European Carp.  We were looking for shallow sections of alligator weed, flanked by yellow rocky edges.  From up high this made it easy to sight our prey, and sight them we did.  The problem we encountered though, unlike the carp we let alone in the morning while bass fishing, these carp weren’t feeding.  There was no sign of clouds of mud where they bury their nose while feeding and after casting in at a few it was obvious that these fish weren’t feeding.  For two kilometres we walked.  Stalking these spooky pests with one eye while using the other to keep a lookout for black snakes.  There were definitely no shortage of carp but there was a definite shortage in catching.  The only action we saw was when I hooked a brute that provided a fantastic fight tearing up then back down the rapids.  A lapse in concentration and feeling of disappointment overcame me though when I realised it was foul hooked.  This gave the fish enough slack line to swim free in its final plea for freedom only metres from the bank.

Although a little disappointed with the afternoon session, the morning bass bite more than made up for it and I’ll be back to defeat the carp very soon.

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