It doesn’t take a lot to get me to go fishing. To be honest all it takes is a message or phone call and I`m your man. Since the drought hit and then it was the fires and then floods and finally to top it off, something they call COVID-19 it’s been a struggle to get some decent fishing time in.
My mate Frank and I had chatted on the phone and made plans for once the COVID-19 had settled down and a few weeks later, Frank was at my house and the canoes were loaded.
We arrived at the launch point and said “good bye” to Jo and the Dog and we paddled off down the river. If you have never been lucky enough to paddle a river for more than 1-2 days, you are missing out. There is something awesome about paddling and knowing that you have nothing but the river ahead of you, and all you have to worry about is enjoying yourself.
We were not expecting much, winter Bass fishing is a fickle thing and you can have some very slow days. We worked our way down the river throwing surface and divers when we picked up our first fish, a small Cod that I put back with no photo. This spurred us on to focus and try a little harder. However, It was soon obvious that this was going to be a long hard slog and the fish were going to be grumpy. I was starting to regret not getting a picture with the Cod.
We kept at it and after a few hours, just before camp I managed a good mid 40’s Bass once again our spirits were high.
We set up camp and organised tackle and rods for the evening.
As we paddled around in the dark throwing surface lures I was just starting to think this trip was a mistake when a shotgun went off next to me as a giant Cod attacked my lure. As I set the hooks, I heard Frank shout
” You On?” and before I could answer, the fish was gone, hook pulled. “F**cK. S***T” and some other words were said.
Moments later I could hear a massive BOOOOF! and then Frank shout “Yep, No” as he missed a fish, and then just a few minutes later the same again. That was 3 fish in only minutes we had missed.
I threw my Atomic slapper out and no sooner had it landed it was smashed from the surface, this time I was ON!
Frank paddled over and watched as I was towed around the river. After a while the fish started to give up and I put my grips in her mouth and the fight was over. The Eastern Cod is a stunning creature, but a giant one is really something to see. A few quick pics and a gentle release, she swam away a little grumpy but no worse for the experience.
The next couple of days were a real bloody struggle. Frank managed to steal the show with a cracker Bass taken out from a gnarly snag in the afternoon sun.
This trip I had been throwing some new lures around and I sneaked a nice 46 Bass out from a log on a new feathered lure my mate Dave Partridge from DVP Lures had made for me.
The good thing about fishing with good mates is its not all about the fishing…….
So all in all, not a bad trip even if the fish were a little shy.
I just can’t wait till spring and the river starts to wake up.