The only thing better than fishing for the thrill is fishing for the memories. Memories with your mates. Memories on your lonesome. Memories with a friendly cow or water dragon looking on.
We all have a “place we would rather be” and on this particular morning we escaped for a quick flick at our very own place we would rather be.
This creek holds beautiful, well conditioned golden Aussie bass and they are nearly always caught in less then 60cm of water; making for enjoyable terrain and perfect surroundings.
Our first cast on 5am resulted in a surface strike, “Fish On” momentarily before spitting the hook. Oh well. Surface strikes and active bass was the theme of the morning. It was not long before Ben got his first. I cast into what seemed to be a flat empty creek bed.. To my surprise I hit a camouflaging bass on the head, taking the lure and busting off the lure while snagging me in a rock gap. While I walked in to retrieve my lure Ben spotted two bass swimming downstream and sight-cast beside my legs. Fish on. Was a nice moment.
As we pushed along, the deeper holes didn’t produce the goods instead shallow water along dark, shaded edges did. An hour later I landed a cast and retrieved along a dark shaded bank edge resulting in a feisty creek bass landed.
As we powered up the creek we came to one of our reliable spots we call the “Log Jam”. After a few casts Ben managed to capture this wonderful specimen measuring 38cm Fork in very shallow water. It was a very special moment and our first bigger fish at this location this season.
The very next cast I hooked up to what appeared to be a brute and what would have been my PB in the same spot Ben cast 5 minutes ago. With all her strength she pulled me into the snags; before I could blink an eye I walked in and as she locked up along the banks she shook off my lure. A valuable lesson on the importance of reaction speed when skinny creek bassing. My face showed the disappointment; but excited none the less and appreciative for the lesson I’d been dealt.
With time restraints weighing in we continued upstream and it wasn’t long before a cast to our usually productive edge produced first cast. Soon after a few moments of admiration, she was released and off she went with a splash to grow some more.
It was our final 10 minutes before the walk back that I knew I would nail a nice one. A deep stretch of water with gorgeous mossy banks. Very hard to access so I knew it would produce. And it did. After 2 surface strikes and a third cast I landed a beautiful golden bass. I could not manage a measure as I was juggling net, camera, backpack and an awkward angled bank on my own while Ben was up ahead. Managed to capture the moment and off she went.
“There will be days when the fishing is better than one’s most optimistic forecast, others when it is far worse. Either is a gain over just staying home.”
– Roderick Haig-Brown