Heaven and Hell, underlying reel problems.

Not so much of a catch report but me venting my bemusement… I have this mark that is probably hardly ever fished. Only known by a few of the older locals and apparently old hunting grounds of book writer Alan Vaughn ”Hooked on bass” as I ended up bumping into a friend of his down there.

The place is stunning and very secluded, it screams bass to me more than any other mark I know. Shallow ground, sandy patches, lots of weed of different varietys, islands, boulders and a lot of current nearly more than any other coastal mark I know… So I have caught bass here but only small and in all fairness I only ever fish it a handful of times a year so have a lot of work to do before I really get to know why, where and when this place will produce some big fish as to me every time I go down there I fully believe a good 8lb bass will smash my surface lure into the sky and my mission will be complete.

Though in reality this never happens and it’s usually a single schoolie that randomly saves a blank. One problem with the mark is it’s accessibility. Long walk and dodgey paths down from the cliffs. Each year the paths crumble away more and more and I fear that one of these days there will be no way down and my chance of seeing that big fish (and I’m hoping it’s going to be off the top) are gone. The crumbling cliffs also cause a huge upset when it comes to clarity. Any amount of rain or swell has the place looking like brown soup and succumbs the place unfishable. The second problem with this place is that it is only accessible during a certain state of tide and so my ideal time that I’d like to fish it would only be doable with a good 6hr session on the rocks before I could get out of there safely. This has limited me to the times I have fished it and just adds another spanner to the works. The third problem is probably the biggest. It is Gill netted a lot and I mean all the time and unfortunately legally too so there’s nothing I can do about it. This is clearly bad, very bad but must also concur on my suspicions of this place being a bass mecca…

The other day I fished it on a different tide state to usual and that got my hopes up but as I got around the rocks the sight of big pink boys has always put a downer on the situation. As I looked more and more I kept counting them. Six in total and they weren’t even that fair apart and almost made a triangle shape possibly 300 yards off shore. This area is the spot where the current is at it’s most. It runs parallel to the shore around a point and passes over some lovely shallow reef before being sucked through a small passing in another rocky outcrop. This area in particular is my favourite spot. It just looks so good and being further away from the cliffs it usually is the only place with reasonable clarity to fish anyway. I just have to fish surface lures here for some reason it just feels so right but the other day I changed and clipped on a new 4inch Swim senko with a weedless jighead. These lures really get me going even though they haven’t caught me many fish(yet) they are just becoming one of my favourites. They action to me is superb and they can be used in so many different ways being quite a dense weighty soft plastic.

Casting out across the current but slightly up stream I fished the lure sink and draw in amongst the boulders below. Third of fourth cast I got nailed. The fish pulled hard but slow and deep and didn’t take any line. It went light and went again slowly cruising off down the current. I kept the pressure on hard as I knew of all the possible dangers before me until my line suddenly parted. That heart dropping moment of lostness… everything stops dead for that moment. No no no… I look at my line and it’s parted just above the reel. Up until know my Daiwa Ballistic has been a star and apart from a few niggly problems like the sticky drag she has kept going. I have noticed recently my line parting a couple times here when I have pulled from a snag but after some immense pulling and I merely put it down to just some serious applied pressure. I have also recently changed from the YGK G-soul X3 (3 strand braid) to the YGK G-soul X8 Uprgade(8 strand braid) and my past experiences with most 8 strand braids are not good. It really is amazing how easily this line will part when in contact with any obstacle but I’ll share my thoughts on this braid after more testing and with a reel that I know is not faulty.

I set up again and carried fishing but most soft plastics I fished where not cutting the mustard and I either had to fish them too quick over the shallow ground or not get enough distance to get out past the reef. I changed back to the surface and being weary of the reel and line I put on my old workhorse… the Lucky craft Gunfish 115. I absolutely love this lure and I never really fish it as much as I should. It’s caught me plenty of fish and I have owned it from day one. It’s looking a bit old after 4-5years but still catches fish though it was the lure I was willing to risk. After working the reef for 30mins the inevitable happened and the line parted on the cast… I sad ending to the day and outlined I had a serious problem with my reel.

Tim with a nice 55cm Bass taken at night on a Komomo 2 90 on a slow straight rerieve

Until know the W-SW winds have been a nuisance and I haven’t really bothered to head out to find dirty/weedy water. A few sessions in sheltered area’s have chucked some fish but all after light and into the darkness. It is good to see so many juvenile fish though and something I haven’t seen as many of in recent years. Hopefully a good thing for the future… but where are those biggies!!


2 thoughts on “Heaven and Hell, underlying reel problems.

  1. Well written article Keir, very much enjoyed that. No 8 strand braids for me, my x4 Hardcore has never let me down.

    • Thanks Mike, turns out I have a to learn what I ideally want from my line. Been using some thick line off the boat and it gives me a lot more confidence to launch big lures like the Patch etc… Either way though I thoroughly believe i’ll choose a 4 strand because of it’s abrasive attributes. It’s just finding which one I prefer when it comes to feel and strength.

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