Bass on the Disco Crickroach.
The bass are back and the annual Southern Bass Lake Yarrunga Challenge kicked off the hunt for another summer. Although the bass have returned to the rivers and creeks, the cicadas are yet to hatch in any significant numbers. They may still be on their way or it might just be a quiet summer after the bumper hatches last year. Either way the bass know they aren’t around and so are mostly looking for frogs instead. Poppers and crickroaches stripped two or three times form the bank and then paused will bring a few bass to the surface. However due to the lack of cicadas the bass are only holding close to the banks for a couple of hours around first and last light, providing a few hours of power. They are then retreating to the deeper water throughout the heat of the day and should be targeted with sinking lines along the deep water side of weed beds and submerged structure.
Time for a coffee break after the dawn hours of power
Despite the cicada deficiency, the number of bass caught during the challenge remained good with 52 anglers netting 857 bass over the 2 days. The large fish were hard to come by, with Chris Harding of the Illawarra Fly Fishers bagging the largest bass on fly at 404mm (tip to fork). As well as the bass, 21 carp were landed with the largest going to Ray Ellis also of the Illawarra Fly Fishers at 670mm.
Turning up the beats during a tying session back at camp.
Joe Manzano probing the structure amongst the dawn fog.
Submerged timber is prime bass structure.
Bent to the cork, 396mm.
Joe and I had tough practise day pre comp with only a few bass landed. Despite the lack of enthusiasm from the fish, I somehow managed to have my fly chased by three different Water Dragons three casts in a row, with one even diving onto the fly from up a tree. Unfortunately the third one, which happened to be a large male, got his mouth on the Jitterbug before I could pull it clear. The feisty bugger was a terror to unhook but was eventually released unharmed.
You’re not gonna have fun.
Sight fishing to carp which were in large schools up to 60 fish was a highlight of the weekend, with Joe and I both landing carp at 640mm on olive and black Woolly Buggers.
Wombat hole fertiliser.