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After a few disappointing sessions when weather and tides seemed perfect with marks that had structure, food and birds with only the odd small Schoolie or none at all I was wondering what to expect on Saturday. Neap tides, bright sun and virtually no wind and what wind there was, was an Easterly!

Got to my first mark tide was flowing, huge numbers of fry, third cast wallop and I was into a Bass on a ZClaw nice schoolie of about a pound and a half and back she went. Five minutes later huge swirl under the ZClaw but no connection. I spend the next 90 minutes in the area but nothing more. I tried going down and using a Feed Shallow to no avail, except for a couple of small Pollack. Throughout this time fry are being chased to the top and attacked by Garfish. Back to the ZClaw and after a couple of casts a decent Bass follows, swirls and follows again then clears off. Then nothing for 20 mins so time for a move.

Tried a couple of other marks with a Rudra, Tide Minnow and Feed Shallow (trying not be be dependent on the ZClaw!) but not luck. Fourth mark hit Pollack on the Rudra so moved up to the Tide Minnow and hit Mackerel but no Bass. Lots of fry in the water so back on the ZClaw. Second cast a crashing take and the fish goes deep, and a see big silver flashes about 7' down, rod bent hard over and I realise the drag is too tight but as I loosen it is too late and the fish is off. :cry: As the air turns blue around me I watch the ZClaw float to the top with a decent Bass following it. I spend 30 minutes in the area but get no more interest from anything.

Off to the fifth mark, again I spend 30 minutes with sub surface lures but nothing shows any interest. One quick go with the ZClaw and first cast an arm wrenching take and Bass on. After a really good fight I net a 54 cm very fat Bass - 3.75lbs on the Boga (see attached). As I lay it on the deck it spits out 2 sizeable hard green/orange crabs.:shock: Back it goes no worse for wear. :-D
20100918Bass.jpg

Another 20 minutes in the area yields nothing and with the wind getting up and a long run back I head for home. Close to home I stop in a shallow sheltered spot and do not faff about with sub surface lures straight on with the ZClaw! Only do one drift and land 2 small Bass and have a further 2 swirls.

An enjoyable day and I caught fish but the day posed more questions than it answered, not least,


Is it normal to move or catch a Bass then find nothing else in the area?
Why would a Bass full of crabs take a ZClaw off the top?
Why do I catch Pollack, Wrasse, Garfish and Mackerel on sub surface lures but not Bass?
 

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fantastic report nic seems like you had a hell of a day as for catching pollack wrasse gars and mackerel i would love the chance lol
 

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Good report Nick

It is not unusual to find a mark that only produces Bass while lure fishing, there were probably other species about but they were pre occupied feeding on something else or you were not in their feeding zone i.e. you were fishing to high in the water column as your lures where not in their feeding zone.

It is instinct for a Bass to hit a lure even if the fish is full of food such as crabs especially this time of year when they are feeding hard ready to make their migratory push to warmer waters.

The reason why you were only catching Pollack and Mackerel and other species on the mark you mentioned is because the Bass where not there at that particular time when you were fishing it.

Hope this helps


Gary
 

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Sounds a good day for you, always interesting to see what they've been eating. I once caught a Huss on the smelly stuff and it spewed a half digested (young) Dogfish!
 

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Great report Nick. The fishing has really improved in the area over the last week. Loads of whitebait, mackerel, bass and gars chasing the whitebait - which is rather late but better now than never.

Nick.
 

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"Is it normal to move or catch a Bass then find nothing else in the area?
Why would a Bass full of crabs take a ZClaw off the top?
Why do I catch Pollack, Wrasse, Garfish and Mackerel on sub surface lures but not Bass? "


Doing both boat and shore bass fishing - here's my take on your questions.

- yes - in bass fishing everything is normal. Fish are often very mobile especially when chasing bait. Watch the birds, they are better at finding bass than we are..

- They do - so don't get hung up on it. They'll eat anything that presents itself as food, and is easy to eat.

- You will. If you want to go deep - then go deep. Sub surface lures rarely fish deep enough. Sometimes in 15 feet of water the bass will not come up to a lure. Get a sliver on and go down to them. Remember though that presentation is still key.

Just as you would when you are shore fishing - concentrate on a few areas and learn when the bass are present. The same principles apply about moving water and structure- its just a whole different ball game! but its great fun figuring it all out (you never will by the way, it just seems like it sometimes. And vice versa).
 

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Hi Nick,

The comments you have had so far are bang on the money, but don't for get when we went out together that time bass was hitting us in 50 feet of water, It doesn't always mean the bass are coming up from that depth (but they could be) but bass will more often than not hit an easy target which would be your Zclaw.

I find the exception to that rule is if your fishing in really rough sea full of white water, as the bass are just having a party, but the problem then becomes can you fish such an area safely.

I was out guiding yesterday and all 17 or 18 fish came from a rough sea, full of white water, and all sub-surface through it, to prove the point :)
 
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