… like a school kid after his first playground kiss

October 18, 2011

I stood there in awe, in fact if anyone was watching they would then have seen me run around like a school kid having just received his first kiss in the play ground.

My last trip out was frustrating with 3 good bass runs missed. The first left a visible swirl the size of a dinner plate in the flat calm sea, the second took the line from left to right for about 3 metres but the resulting strike was empty, the third had the bait runner screaming as I lifted the rod to let a dog walker and his dog pass underneath (I kid you not!) before setting the baitrunner and watching the line tighten to the rod tip before striking once again into thin air. The last two missed bites were after I had thrown in all my left over bait before having just one more cast as well – that was an interesting walk back I can tell you.

The tide was coming to the end of its Spring set so I knew I had to take advantage while the bass were still around, so this morning I sent a text to my boss asking if I could work the morning and take the rest of the day off (well nothing ventured, nothing gained) and amazingly he said yes. So before I knew it  I was set up again in my favourite spot.

The weather had changed, gone were the late summer conditions and smooth rolling sea’s,  it had been replaced by a brisk freshening wind and an increasing threat of rain but I couldn’t care less.  With an hour or so before the ‘hot’ time I put the rod in the rest, put the baitrunner on and sat back in the chair and watched the tide roar in on the strengthening wind. The rod was being knocked into a steady pattern as the waves were pulling at the line but  two knocks out of sync and a screaming reel had me dashing out of the chair, I lifted into the fish and it was unbelievably, fish on.

From the start the bass made a purposeful run out to sea taking line from the tight clutch, steady pressure combined with the fighting curve of the rod soon stopped it in its tracks bringing it near to the surface and sending out a fabulous white flurry of sea spray which was quickly drowned by the heavy seas. Changing track it decided to make it way shore bound and I had trouble keeping up with it, until it decided with help from the kiting effect, to make a dash at amazing speed to the shore. Even with the  heavy seas the cut created by the line was amazing. Up until now I had yet to see the bass but when the next wave drew back the site that laid before me took my breath away – it was huge.

I was now in very new territory, normally I would use the next wave and the curve of the rod to spring it onto the shore but when I tried that the bass didn’t move, it just waited for the next undertow to resume its dogged battle. Thinking back this was when I started to panic, but I like to think in a controlled way! Every time I got it into a position for me to bring it ashore another wave would come crashing down to allow it to hang in the undertow,  so I took courage in both hands and on the next available wave without thought to the rod, line and hook hold pulled the bass to a point where I could drop the rod and quickly grasp the bass from under it gills and drag it to the shore. It looked bloody huge.

I have read that a large Perch looks massive but a large bass seems like a different species to me, I just stood there for a moment and laughed it just didn’t seem real. I then proceeded to run around like a school kid  in the play ground as I went through the process of unhooking, taking a picture and then trying to weigh it. The carrier bag as a sling was just farcical so I made a note of its length on my rod before returning it to its watery home.

I tried to hold it upright in the waves but as I was unable to grip the wrist of its tail properly due to its size,  it kept laying flat and was having trouble getting water through its gills. For a moment I thought that it wasn’t going to make it as a series of waves kept bringing it back to shore, but eventually it managed to smash through to deserved freedom.

I was one very happy man.

27" of amazing Bass

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