The Perfect Trip?

We had changed our minds a few times over the last few weeks in regards to where we will fish, but we finally agreed on some high Northern New South Wales hills and we made the drive towards some access I had secured the year before.

When we arrived there was a local fixing up something by the gate so I jumped out of the car for a quick chat and things escalated quickly. He was aggressive and in my face within seconds and it looked like we were about to have a dust-up. After some short words and when he accepted the fact that I was not going to back down or was not there to rob his house, he softened just like Jackal and Hyde. He was all smiles and now giving me advice as to where I can drive in and what to look out for.

Some odd people live in those hills.

Laughing this off we unloaded the Canoes and said our goodbyes to poor old Joanne who had to make the drive home past our new friend’s place (Mr. Hyde).

 

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Always good to have a launch picture so the rescuers know what to look for!

 

We got to camp in a few hours with no sign of a fish and made ourselves comfy for the night around a small fire and a couple of cold beers.

The next morning Frank was up like a shot and paddled out to a small hole not far from camp.

Twenty minutes later he was back and he shouted: “get the camera”.

 

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Frank with his 48cm Bass

 

Now with high expectations, we set off around 9am and fished hard but with the massive Moon, I didn’t expect to see much till late morning.

Around 11am the fish started to show and we started to clock up some good numbers.
Just around Midday, I hooked a fish with my Mazzy Popper that had some weight. It took me straight into a snag and I was bricked. I instantly jumped into the water like some lunatic and swam towards the snag leaving my canoe and paddle to start to float down the river.

I managed to untangle the line from the snag and to my amazement the fish was still on. Soon as she broke the surface I could see it was a big Bass and in the excitement, I was shouting all kinds of nonsense at Frank (he has this on Video and may hold me to ransom one day).

 

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54cm of Wild River Bass

 

By the time we finished up at camp we had 20 or so fish. We set up camp and went back out straight away. We fished from a single canoe, walked the banks for a few hours just picking off Bass and Cod until we had over 30 fish in total. That night around the fire we talked about the crazy wind we had been competing with and of course the amazing Bass & Cod we had landed.

The next day we were up early and as keen as Mustard.

We picked our way down the river and targetted pools with the Mazzy Poppers, Alive Chatter Baits and anything else we could use. Frank used a spinnerbait in the deep holes to upset the Bass that thought they were safe. With this type of fishing, Eastern Cod are a bycatch but as they are actually a protected species so you need a quick photo and return them to the water to go about their day.

In the late afternoon, Frank hooked onto a really big Cod that had him in all sorts of trouble. His reel was given a run for its money but he landed the 80cm chunk and it was not till later when we stripped it we noticed he had totally melted his Clutch.

The fishing on this trip was as good as it ever gets and even with the wind and the giant Moon, the fish played the game.

The final score was 114 fish and by the time we got to the car (on Franks 40th Birthday) we had both had enough.

Dave.

Long wet weekend.

Normally my fishing trips and guided tours seem to be filled with schedules and stress. It always seems that I  have to get from point A to B by a certain time or make sure I don’t forget something. Is the client happy? Will we get a big fish and so on.

This long weekend we loaded up the cars and trailer, threw in a few of our favorite people, some beer, wine and sneaked off onto some private land where we could relax and have a little fish if the mood took us.
The weather was wet for the most part with drizzle and showers but no one complained as it really didn’t matter and after a 4-month drought the rivers and farmers need every drop.

We managed to do a bit of fishing and even went for a night session which resulted in one of the biggest Bass surface hits I think I have ever had. This resulted in a mid 40`s Bass who played up like she was a 50+.

Considering the water is so low we ended up with plenty of Bass and a couple of small Cod and dropped plenty.

Few drinks and a decent fire and a fair bit of bullsh*t made for a great couple of nights away.

Roll with the punches

So Paul and Andy`s trip was cancelled last year due to floods and this trip did not start well at all. On the first day, Andy fell crook with a 24-hour virus that really knocked him around. My Canoe fell off the back of the trailer (first and last time) and this resulted in us having to chase down a Drover who thought he had scored a free Coleman Canoe. He had it all tied up on his horse truck and was just pulling away. All that said and done once we got into it we started to find our groove. It was tough on the first day with Andy crook and the Bass shut down but with a change of weather the fish switched on and the next 2 days were as good as it gets. With Bass up to the magic 50cm and some surface smashing Eastern Cod by day 2 we were over 20 fish and the boys had already booked the next trip. We lost count but I think the final tally was between 30-40 fish with a healthy mix of Bass vs Cod.

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The water is starting to warm up nicely
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Paul enjoying (I think) his first “Wild River” Portage
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Paul with a new PB Eastern Cod

 

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2nd nights Camp
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Andy with a perfect Bass taken off the top water
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Andy with a mint condition Eastern Cod
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Casting from the camps banks
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This Bass was only 15ft from Camp
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Paul with a new PB Australian Bass
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Low water = Dragging

 

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Andy with a perfect Australian Bass

 

What to do……

So the drought continues and the rivers are just getting more unfishable each day.
With new clients heading this way on Wednesday I am faced with having to make a decision on what system to fish.

I went for a quick overnight 40km- 50km paddle (It hurt) to pre-fish some tidal water and managed 28 fish.
It was a big paddle but I shouldn’t complain when you get to camp in spots like this…

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You would think that my problem is solved and just take the boys there. However, the problem is the biggest Bass was only 44cm. Now I get that a 44cm Bass is awesome but that should be the average size of a fish on our trips.

So do we drag and haul ourselves down a dried up river bed looking for 5 fish or fish the lower river and take the numbers.

What would you do?

2017 Season is under way

With the first trip done and dusted and a fresh nights sleep, I am already looking forward to the next trip.

Neil Duncan put the effort in as we dragged our Canoe & Kayak down the very low Clarence River and he managed some great Bass along with a stunning Eastern Cod.

The weather was fantastic although the wind was annoying and the nights were a little too cold to go out and fish for long.

Judging by the posts on Facebook it looks like everyone else had a cracking start to the season and I see a few people even had a 50cm+ Bass on opening day….. Nice.

Let’s hope that’s a sign of things to come.

DC

Neil Duncan

Bass Season 2017/2018

Welcome to our humble little page.

if you have not visited before we offer guided Fishing, Kayak and Canoe trips on and around the rivers of Northern NSW.

The 2017/2018 Season is about to hit us and to commemorate this along with the launch of our new website we have teamed up with Everything Bream & Bass to offer someone the chance to win an overnight trip valued at over $800.

The competition starts on the 17th of August so make sure you keep an eye out for the post on our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/wildriverguide and Everything Bream and Bass page https://www.facebook.com/groups/breamandbass

Alternatively, you can message or call us to find out how we can plan your 2017/2018 trip.
Dave & Jo