A tough (but rewarding!) winter lure fishing session for bass at Lake Kurwongbah

Friday 11 August 2023

I've had a really good run of Bass fishing over the last couple of weeks at Lake Kurwongbah using a combination of drop shotting with worms and more traditional lure casting. I was really beginning to feel I'd 'cracked' the winter pattern. But that doesn't mean that it's easy...

The weather was looking on point all week and although Friday was set to be sunny it was going to be pretty windy around mid morning. I haven't yet figured out how much the wind affects the fishing at Lake Kurwongbah asbwater temperature and current all play their part. But aside from that it can make keeping stationary in the kayak a complete nightmare! The main challenge is remembering the spot you got a bite from so you can revisit it for another go as if there's one bass, the chances are there'll be more hanging around. I'm wondering if some home made h-block markers are the go?!

So I decided to arrive early and make the most of the calm conditions and weirdly, I couldn't buy a bite! The water was like a mill pond, the sun low in the sky, it all looked perfect but either there weren't any bass around or they just weren't interested - which really surprised me as in past sessions they'd got onto the worms literally in minutes. It's situations like this that a sounder would be an invaluable bit of kit...

And then as if someone had flicked a switch.. the wind sprung up! A lot earlier than BOM had predicated too, before I knew it the kayak was spinning in circles and I was finding it impossible to stay put. Having done 20 minutes at 'Toga Point' I'd had enough so I headed on down to 'Stag Bay' thinking there had to be some fish there. Sure enough, I managed to pick two small ones up on the lure allowing it to sink almost to the bottom before retrieving. But what really surprised me was that there was absolutely no interest at all on the worms.

Again, I'm not sure if there weren't fish around, or my presentation was off but something was up. I wasn't even getting any interest from the dreaded eels! One thing was that the wind was blowing to the south east, whereas on previous weeks where the wind had go up it'd been to the north west. It certainly wasn't a cool wind, I was plenty warm in the sunshine but maybe the chop on the water and the current direction had pushed the fish into new areas?

I stuck it out for a while, letting the wind drift me from the bay out into open water, thinking that being stealthy would trick the fish but no further joy. It was weird, the lake was fishing completely differently and I was at a bit of a loss as to what to do. After an hour of spinning in circles I headed around the corner further down the lake (still no name!) and tried the open water and despite picking up another small bass on the lure, I really wasn't 'feeling it'...

And by this point, I'm not going to lie, the wind was really, really beginning to piss me off!

It wasn't worth fighting it, so I let the wind blow me down the side of the lake towards the old boat ramp, casting as I went to see if anything was around. And then amazingly, I stumbled upon some decent fish! They seemed to be sitting in open water just outside a weed bed just off the point in front of the boat ramp and if I could get a lure in that spot, I could nab a bite. It wasn't easy as I needed to cast directly into the wind and constantly reposition the kayak but picking off some bites had completely turned my mood around. It was hard work but worth it for a couple of decent bass from a new area.

The bites did dry up, more than likely due to my splashing due to constantly having to reposition myself so a new plan was needed. I'd watched a video during the week from 'Skulldrag Industries' where a guy had great success fishing down by the dam wall and as it's an area that I'd not fished before, I decided it was worth a go. The other reason was I wondered if it would be out of the wind as despite it being a wide expanse of water, it would be sheltered by the curve of the lake and the trees.

But no dice - the wind was, if anything, worse by the dam wall! I gave it a go for a while but to be honest my heart really wasn't in it... I also realised that my kit wasn't up to the task, if I was going to stand a chance of catching a bass here I'd need something that swam a lot deeper or give trawling a go (which isn't really my thing...).

So another tough day... Rewarding, but tough. Winter bassing is a new challenge, I thought I'd cracked it with the worms but maybe I need to employ some different tactics or investment in a sounder to give me the edge in locating these Kurwongbah bass?!