It was exactly a month ago that I had that epic night landing the 9lb bass, but since then I’ve not had a proper session throwing the plastic around, instead just an hour here and there trying new places. That all changed last night though, with the tide size within my comfort and the weather looking favourable I headed out to my so far reliable night lure mark.
I arrived with a bit of daylight left, starting downtide of where I normally fish, having a few casts into a channel as the tide was slack. Nothing happened, as expected, but I did notice that the patches of Japanese knotweed that was just sprouting a few weeks ago, were now a full length two to three metre rafts waving around in the water. Having long strands of floating weed about is far from ideal, treble hooks soon get caught up in it then its goodbye expensive lure.
With no sign of fish activity and the current yet to get moving I had a mooch around for some crab. While there were some monstrous male crabs around peelers and softies were few and far between, however a check of the pockets afterwards and I had nine to bulk out the numbers in the freezer.
By now the small tide had started to creep in, and the water had reached the point where the mark was now properly fishable. I began casting “the” lure, the Maria Angel Kiss, my go to lure and always the first one out of the box. I fished as I normally would, letting the lure drift most casts, occasionally straight retrieving from uptide or way downtide. Gradually the lure snagged less and less on the bottom, and my hopes rose as the tide reached the height at which my previous successes had come.
Despite hearing one fish jump off to the side of me early in the tide, the “hot” time I expected to catch came and went. Facing a possible blank I began to think what was different tonight than previous nights. It was flat calm, the wind was on my back and was decreasing throughout the session, and the current was sweeping to my left, but wasn’t a raging torrent. I shone my torch at my feet, checking the water visibility. Curiously it was now down to a maximum of 2ft, while at slack tide there was around 3-4ft clarity when previously the water had cleared as the tide was running.
As my light was on I noticed a small silvery fish travelling with the current. Thinking this would be the typical prey of any bass around, I watched its movements so I could try and imitate them with the lure. While trying this for a couple of casts I heard a commotion in the water behind me. Shining my light in that direction I caught a glimpse of a dark grey/silver back as it moved out of the shallows. Even though I was fast being pushed back knowing there was bass around it was lights off and continue working the water.
It didn’t take long after these latest signs of activity that as I worked the lure parallel to the shore, the rod hooped round. I felt the tell tale head shaking followed by a long first run as a bass took off downtide with the lure. Wanting to keep the fish away from the long strings of weed I lifted the rod high and pumped the fish up till it was on the surface. It made several more spirited runs but I was soon on top and slid the fish alongside me to land. It wasn’t massive, but at around 3lb it gave a good account of itself. Once photographed it was back in the water. as usual I held it steady before it swam off strongly. All thoughts of an early bed were now gone as I went back out to the point.
Not two casts later the rod bent round and my reel was screaming again. This time the fish continued its long first run and made several attempts at darting between the shallows and deeper channel, also swimming uptide right towards me. It was trying every trick possible but the hook held and the fish was finally subdued. Now all I had to do was bring an evidently decent fish towards me against the current. I took my time and got my prize fish, and it was another clonker. A quick photograph and measure, at 66cm gives a weight of approximately 7lb, before it was back in the water swimming off as strong as it was on the way in.
I gave it another 30 minutes but was being pushed further back all the time. I also think that the fight from the last fish may have spooked any other fish in the area. Once again though, I was more than happy with my nights work and began thinking about my session the next morning