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I took my little boat a trip down a local estuary on saturday morning as the neap tide was perfect for a spot of soft bait fishing. That was the plan anyway.

I beached up at my first mark and was greated by a huge swirl followed by a young seal popping his head up - oh s**t I thought - but decided to give it a go as he headed downstream and straight away was into a bass of about a pound on an Xlayer. Seals = fish! This was followed by another few, all about the same size as well as about 4 pollack (never seen these before in here). The action was constant but the fish were fairly small. Now this time last year I had some decent sized bass on white sidewinders so I popped 1 on and sure enough this slightly larger fella obliged:



A couple more of around 2lbs followed, including one of the devil's own that fought like a pit-bull - I was sure it was double the weight! Another couple of pollack showed then it went quiet as slack water arrived. Already this was turning into a great session but little did I know what was to follow...

I had never tried a surface lure in the estuary before but thought why shouldn't it work? so I popped on the mighty Z-Claw and 2 seconds after it hit the surface, Crash! Fish on - this one felt better and after a respectable scrap, measured up at 50cms:



Next cast, another of a similar size and then another, however this time the seal had reappeared and rather than catch his own decded my fish was easier - luckily i managed to haul the bass into the shallows before he could get it! What a cheek though - he popped up and sat there 10 yards out staring at me looking all afronted as if I had stolen his dinner! I tried another cast but he wasn't budging so I thought bugger it - time to move on.

I jumped in the boat and cranked up the power (so he couldn't follow me!) and headed up river. The tide was flowing nicely by now and I headed for a mark with a fairly steeply shelving shore and even though the water was much more coloured, a nice little rip was just within casting distance.
First cast and a quality sized mackerel hit, shortly followed by a bass of around 3lb. I was getting swirls and crashes every cast then I connected and this time there was real weight. The fish used the current and headed straight into the bubblewrack to the my left, despite my best efforts.
I caught a glimpse of the huge mouth as I applied pressure then suddenly everything went solid - it was too deep to go in after it and eventually I felt that crap slack line feeling. B*****ks. How many nice fish have I lost this year?
Anyway - I thought 'Stop thinking like a spoilt kid and get your lure out there again !'
Sure enough - half way throught the very slow retrieve another huge mouth lazily came up and casually chomped the Z-claw. I felt resistance and set the hooks. He wasn't happy but this time I gave him no room and tried to keep him up in the water - I was too soft on his mate I reckon. He splashed and crashed and generally turned the area into a Jaccuzzi, but I had him and once into the shallows I couldn't believe what I was seeing - this thing was double the size of any bass I had caught before!

I measured him at 70cms and weighed him on my old scales. 8lb flat. EIGHT POUNDS!!!
I was shaking! My previous best was 4.5lbs. I used to play football at quite a high level but this felt better than any goal I ever scored!!!





I checked later on the BASS weight/length chart and they give 8lb 8oz for 70cms. I know my scales are stingy but I'll stick with 8lbs.

What a session - I took a quick vid of him going back too - hope it works:

 

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Fabulous session Mark, along with a cracking report :clap: :clap:. 8lbs is a stunning fish, and most certainly a 'lunker' !!!

A very large well done on a fabulous release also !!!!! :D
 

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Fantastic fish there mate! also sounds like a cracking little session.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for the comments lads. I'm still buzzing to be honest! My only regret is that I didn't have anyone with me to take pics and jump around like loon with!
 

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[FONT=Arial, sans-serif]Great report Mark, cracking read and I bet your still buzzing after a session like that. Brilliant stuff.[/FONT]
 

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Well done Mark....great report and photo's......Lovely fish.....
 

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awesome sesh Mark, the kind of day you dream of , and what a pb, back out there after that double asap i bet !!!
 

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WOW fantastic session mate anytime you want me to hold the camera just give us a shout lol.
 

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Wow - what a terrific session you had. Congrats on the big one and for returning the fish. A day to remember....
 

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Great report Mark and a superb fish! That was some session!
 
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