Here in Australia, bass season starts at the beginning of spring, and opens again at the end of autumn (or fall for my American readers 🙂 ) The Australian bass is technically a catadromous fish, meaning it lives in freshwater, but migrates to the saltwater lower reaches of their home river in order to breed. Typically the downstream migration starts during autumn, with the bronze battlers heading into the salt for winter to satisfy the itch they can’t scratch back home, and then returning upstream at the beginning of spring.
Sure, not all of them make the trip – they don’t feel the call or they’re in the wrong spot when the trigger gets fired. I suppose it’s a drop in temperature and an increase in rainfall the get’s the juices going.
In any event, for us bass fishos winter is a time of reflection, maintenance, pondering and reminiscing. In my case a few flies get tied for the new season to come, and catch up on some bream fishing if we can get organised. For others, it’s a time to hit the dams where there is no closed season (don’t forget the catadromous bit) and some heated discussion of the fishing regs and how they relate to the closed season, presumably to keep warm.
In any event, anticipation is a wonderful thing. Usually the long planned, eagerly attempted first trip of the season results in the inevitable doughnut, with the fish really starting to wake up right about now – October. Come to think of it, had a pretty nice trip last Saturday – one of those trips where everything seems to work, and the standouts on the day were a modified gurgler fly (first and best fish of the session), a buzz bait, and a now released Ecogear CK40 that felt more at home in the scrub than in my tacklebox and so stayed on after I left.
Cest la vie….