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It was surprisingly light outside when I opened my eyes at 3.55 this morning! God knows how much I hate early mornings and this one was probably even more of a struggle than normal. By 4.10am I was in the car and driving out towards one of the more exposed marks in the area. It was a big gamble really considering the effort I'd put in to get up early, because too much swell and I'd be wasting time looking for somewhere more suitable and sheltered. As it turned out, things looked quite nice having parked up and taken my first glances down the cliff. The predicted swell was actually far more fishable than expected, the wind was over my back and the sky was to be bright and clear when the sun rose.

I made a few early casts before reaching the more attractive looking ground, but nothing showed. The water was too deep at this point, until I got further around in to the bay.

I fished a number of little points and gullies for the next hour or so with no signs of life. I was a bit surprised considering the conditions to be honest, and obviously a little ticked off that the mental torture I withstood when leaving my bed hadn't paid dividends. However, just as I'd turned and started to work my way back accross the by (having already done one full lengh) I was rewarded with a schoolie from a nice turbulent gully. My first ever fish on a Duo Tide Minnow Flyer - bit weird that it's taken this long - with them being such good lures.

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The tide by this point had amost reached it's high which did make the shallower areas that I fancied a little bit easier to fish. Something wasn't quite right though... Despite the fish my confidence wasn't high with regards to catching any more from this mark. It was also now that I spotted another eager angler further along the rocks so I upped and headed in his direction to see how he was doing, fishing any inviting water in between. Nothing more showed aong the bay and when I reached him (Mike) for a chat, he hadn't had much luck yet either. I had a few more casts while we chatted but it seemed one of those days where there just weren't many fish present in the bay and I was happy to put my fish down to more luck than judgement.

At this point it was 6am and seemed way to early to retire home so I drove down to another local mark just for a look.

Rather than the groundswell that had been rolling in on the main coast, here the onshore wind was whipping up the smaller waves and creating some pretty lovely bass catching conditions! Small but extremely choppy - this made it easier to get to the water than it would have been in a big groundswell, but still created the equivalent whitewater to aim for. Praise the lord, I don't need to go home just yet...!

It's not often that I fish over high tide in this area, but this was almost the only mark where I have had much success when it has been. Its a stretch that I know very well and different gullies and currents become fishable as the tide hits different stages. With the tide now receeding I headed straight for a favourite pool. It's actually a spot that drops verticaly down in to about 20' of water, before then rising again between higher rocky points that break the surface around 30m out. Around these points the swell creates a swirling mess above about 6' of water and has held loads of fish for me in the past. It's a great little spot when it's firing.

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First cast in to the brisk headwind, BANG! Not a big fish but it definitely felt a bit of relief. Phew! I must admit, I've rarely seen this whole stretch look quite so bassy! The following 2 hours saw me land 5 more fish to almost 3lb. It was good for a lot of reasons. As I mentioned, I know this stretch extremely well but I actually caught more than half of my fish today from little nooks and crannies that I'd not caught from before. Something about today just opened up a few more options.

bass2.jpg bass3.jpg bass5.jpg

Most fish fell to the 10cm X-Rap, but I also had 2 on a Zonk. I'm crossing my fingers at the moment that tomorrow is a similar day. Weather and water forecasts are similar, but the moon turning has killed it for me more than once. I'll still be heading out at first light with high hopes though.

Until next time...
 

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Veery well done, but I still can't believe you got out of bed at the time!...... Respect! As I know how hard that must of been for you.
 

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I'm so knackered now Nath!... think it was a bad idea.

See you in the morning John! :p
 

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Ben

What do you mean by "but the moon turning has killed it for me more than once."
 

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Perhaps just a personal thing Nige, but very often I've had a brilliant week running up to the day of the new or full moon, then the day after it has just been completely dead - despite conditions being good. It's only because it keeps happening to me that I mentally note it. Quite often I'll have a dozen or so fish on a day like today, only for the very next day to be pants. Really hoping tomorrow is ok, but it's just what I've found, more than once.
 

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Great stuff Ben, cracking report and pics, keep them coming, well worth the early start eh :-D
 

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Ben, well done for getting up and perservering to a second mark. We struggled today and I am still not sure why as on the face of it, conditions looked good. Best of luck for tomorrow and let us know how you get on!
 

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Cheers guys. Hitting the sack now in preperation. Can see a Sunday kip happening at some point tomorrow afternoon!
 

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Great stuff Ben, at least those dawn starts will get later as the year progresses!
 

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Perhaps just a personal thing Nige, but very often I've had a brilliant week running up to the day of the new or full moon, then the day after it has just been completely dead - despite conditions being good. It's only because it keeps happening to me that I mentally note it. Quite often I'll have a dozen or so fish on a day like today, only for the very next day to be pants. Really hoping tomorrow is ok, but it's just what I've found, more than once.

This rung true again today! Might sort a report later.
 

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Great post Ben. I've been hitting the headache-inducing really early morning slots myself this week. Prefer late evening to night hours, but around here earlier the better for Bass.
 
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