I'm obsessed with bass fishing, I'll be honest, but because I'm based in the big smoke it isn't always easy for me to head out west. When that first Wednesday of the month comes around and the sheriff is prepared to let me go to the wsbb meeting, I always manage to squeeze in short hour or two sessions.

This May saw me head to the upper nepean. I had stumbled onto some places where the water was so low that the migrating bass wouldn't be able to get any further down stream. Now this being my first bass fishing summer season I wasn't sure about how successful this two hour session was going to be. I had only read about their migratory breeding run, but if they answered mother nature's call as powerfully as I'd heard, they should be sitting on top of each other.

After dragging the yak on wheels for a short way and setting it on the waters edge, I took stock of what was on offer. A week of sunny 20-24 degree days had reached a high of 25 degrees on this day. The barometer was somewhere around the 1026 mark and it had been too long between bass hunts.

From the moment you push off at this spot on the river you're surrounded by weedbeds, undercut banks, rocky cliffs and plenty of trees hanging enticingly over the bank. Trees hanging over the water are my favourite bass haunt and that's what faced me for the first 50m. Four casts into it and fizzer was sitting deep in a pocket of shade 6inches off the bank. A couple of twitches and bang! I'm on. She's darting back and fourth followed by a bit of line peeling off the reel, not too shy. Eventually the converted badminton racket has her within its clutches and there's no escape. At 320mm she wasn't a prize catch but her condition was immaculate. She had a fat stomach, thick lips and was a lot broader across the shoulders then others I'd caught at that size, which explained why she felt a lot bigger a moment ago. 20m further on and the fizzer was flicked under another tree about a metre off the bank, twitch, twitch, twitch, pause. Now, at this moment I noticed a ripple off the bank that had nothing to do with the commotion caused by the lure; a fish. I let 8 seconds pass before I saw a dark figure slowly approach. At 16 seconds she was 2mm from the rear treble, when, KAPOW!! Another tussle and yet another girl that fought well above her weight class, at 340mm she really had the line cutting the surface. There where a few times I only just managed to steer it clear of the flanking weedbeds. I snapped off a few photos and thanked her; they where getting bigger.

Working my way slowly up river, my next three fish came from a section of undercut banks with the occasional skinny tree seductively dangling into the water. A pattern for attracting hits was becoming clear. Each one fell to a twitch or two on landing followed by a long pause. If they didn't strike after a slow count of around 12 seconds a slight nudge and you would be greeted with a fine spray of water. Instantly your frantically reeling and waving your rod in front of you like a mad man. With any luck your patting yourself on the back while tacking a few photos. They where small fish at about the 300mm mark, but again they all strained the rod a lot more then any I'd caught during the summer. The next came from a skinny tree with vines dangling like a wall across the water. I did a lousy cast that fell well short of the mark. By a small measure of luck the fizzer had only just touched down when the explosion and resulting run pulled the yak towards the vines. Again with the rod waving and the self-congratulatory commentary and yes! The badminton racket held an awesome 380mm. The fizzer was now raised to be my second favourite surface walker in my kit and there was still 40mins to go 15m from that fish I encounted a strike like no other I had seen before. During the pause I saw a flash of bronze under the lure before the fish, that looked around the mid 300s, came clear out of the water with the fizzer clenched firmly between its lips. It was about 20cm above the water and it seemed to just hang there, just bleedn' brilliant. She devised a cunning move because the resulting dive into the limbs of a submerged tree saw her liberate itself.

The blood was pumping and the next few casts where so heavy handed that I deliberately stopped and forced a few deep breaths, though I did blame the unbuttoned long sleeved shirt. A few more swipes and bumps followed but they failed to stick. That was until a cast down the dark throat of yet another overhanging tree came up tight on a Big fish. The tree was over two metres of water and was relatively snag free, so although I could feel a big slab of fish at the other end, she came to the side of the yak without any drama. When I had her bobbing beside me I let slip a ‘yip yeah', she was big and in great condition. At 420mm it was the photo opportunity I was hunting for.

I continued down stream for 20mins and pulled a few more around the 300mm with two of them coming from a steep rock face. The bail arm didn't even have a chance to click over before they where pounced on, like a small unsuspecting creature that had just fallen off the small cliffs edge. The sun quickly disappeared and I was soon racing back to the car so I could make the meeting on time, egar to hear the reports of others. I had caught some top fish and for once a theory I dreamed up had beared fruit, flippn' brilliant.