River fishing for BassJames Dainton
The attributes I love most about bass is their aggressive nature and brutal pulling power, especially for their size. On a recent trip to Port Macquarie I was fishing with a good mate James Newton, the plan was to walk the banks and fish this pristine river that James had access to. The river we fished was more of a creek in width but had plenty of deep pools in it, trees overhanging the river provided shade all day long. In this scenario where the water was quite dark from the shade the LED light in the lures that we were using was particularly bright.
During the afternoon we were fishing two lures, the first was a 50mm Trance minnow to cast around structure and working it through pools, whilst we used the Juggernaut 65mm lipless crankbait to fish the deeper pools sinking it down into the depths and slow rolling it back up.
We parked our car at the bridge and begun the walk up the river, we got to the first spot, no sooner had I clicked my Gopro on James had hooked onto a solid bass. I walked over to assist him with landing the fish, it was around 40cm not a bad way to start the afternoon. After a couple of quick pics the fish was released and I headed back over to my spot. It didn’t take long until I had a massive bass following my lure, I knew if the fish hooked up I was going to have great difficulty landing it as the lure was on the other side of a submerged snag, needless to say I snagged the bloody lure on that submerged snag before he could strike it anyway. Frustratingly I had to snap off the lure and we moved onto the next spot.
We spent the rest of the arvo walking the banks of this small river casting lures, before dark we landed a hand full of fish mostly above 40cm, the quality of the fish was quite good for the size of the river.
As the light started to fade we swapped our divers and lipless crankbaits for surface lures. The Hunchback 60 is a lure that took me years to design, miniaturizing the technology small enough to fit inside the lure was a nightmare, now that its complete I couldn’t be happier with it.
We snagged a couple of fish off the surface before dark, James landed a beauty at 48cm casting at the first snag below a little rapid, he didn’t even need to swim the lure before the fish struck. James has an unusual retrieve with the Hunchback 60, he casts the lure to likely looking spots and rather than retrieving it leaves the lure stationary for up to 40 seconds. What he’s worked out is with the LED if you leave the lure sitting there if there is an active bass around they’ll come and strike the lure because of the flashing light, its bloody interesting to witness. James first discovered this when he put one of his flashing lures in his fish tank at home, it has bass as well as other species in it, when he threw the lure in the tank the fish started going bananas attacking the lure. Since then he started experimenting with extended pauses of the surface lure in likely looking spots, he found it works particularly well in lowlight conditions like dawn/dusk and after dark. During the day the LED isn’t bright enough for it to entice strikes whilst the lure is stationary, in this situation retrieving the lure as per normal works best.