2018 End of year report💥🎣💥

A year of personal bests and new experiences

Things started off with me on a Conger Eel path of enlightenment fully intent on spending as many hours as possible in search off a monster!

The above Eel of 19.8 was captured in broad daylight in shallow water and gave me the confidence that I was doing well and seemingly making the right choices at the right time.

The next snake came from Devils point and fought well for its weight 16 odd as I remember and I was loving the then new Naga MX which I immediately fell in love with.

Late January and the milder wet n windy nights had literally racing to one of my habitual estuaries in search of Mr Bass.

I often do really well January February and also fulfilled a promise to take a junior novice angler away from the dodgy pier he was fishing and catch his first Bass in some proper Bass weather with his equally excited mother, 6 small Schoolies kept him busy and buzzing!


I continued the Schoolie bashing but the size just wasn’t there into February

So back to the Congers and it’s fair to say I spent a lot of fruitless hours in February before I hit the jackpot with a 30 pound brute of an Eel that I landed on my own which wasn’t at all easy but a pivotal moment, my mindset now fully focused on the sport of Eeling to add to the list of targets

I carried on into March and had good sport experimenting with different baits and marks finding the target but nothing big

Now fully confident in my own abilities and a good string of Eels under my belt starting before the new year I felt on top of the world and hungry for a 40 pounder in the future

The weather improved and I couldn’t resist the Plaice fever and headed up to Beesands with the continental rods great fun

This was a good distraction from the Conger and got me back into the lighter side of fishing

Wrasse on the brain next I had some good early sport nailing some decent fish on my trusted Rockfish2 and frozen prawn


The weather was messed up and the Bass didn’t return until May and it was hard going with water temps way down as was the sizes!

The wrasse had definitely woke up and I’m a wrasse addict of 2 years now

For me the addiction is all about the raw power on a 7-28g rod and the colouration differences and utterly bizarre unique patterns

I’ve got over a hundred Wrasse pics from this year on a facebook album so won’t bore you with them all..

Started the Mullet trail mid May had a few small fish to a couple of pound then on the next session landed a cracker which would of been well over 5 pound before spawning and took me best part of 10 minutes to land on the HTO Rockfish

On the next Wrasse outing scouting I Found a perfect vertical jigging spot under my feet with a good depth, I must of had 8 fish out of it before I got smashed by a proper big grumpy Ballan 💥

Hot weather and my first go on the thin lipped mullet with the Mepps style spinner and Ragworm , awesome fish!, go like stink impossible to catch most of the time even if your accurate with your casting then all of a sudden a follow then a take 💥

Still looking for new Wrasse Marks I mixed it up between lure and bait but had much more fun and success on a 10g articulated jig head and weedless hook baited with prawn or worm

July now and still chasing thin lipped mullet I had a bonus 8 pound 8oz beast of a Bass that hit the lure at my feet again another specimen on the HTO Rockfish and all on video

August junior guiding Nice PB for Nathan and Noah’s confidence improved dramatically

September was a slack month more mullet

Better stamp of Bass 5 plus on peeler crab

Holiday fuertiventura Bonito and bluefish awesome runs on the bonito something I’ll never forget being alomost spooled💥

The Blue fish was caught on a chunk of bonito under a heavy float rig using a 75lb Fluro leader awesome fun on a travel spinning rod

The holiday was topped off with a small stinger that ripped line off a big proper set up out on a secret beach guided by a top bloke!

My only angling regrets this year was getting on the Gilts to late in the season and missing an absolute slammer of a bite from a monster Gilt 9 times in a row and not striking it grrrr still haunts me months later, only had a couple of small Bream in the end, next year I’m going for it for sure

Late September trying for a trigger fish several attempts here and there got bitten off twice but no luck apart from this strap Conger on the light sabre Rockfish again mental fun 6pound line and nerves of steel 💥

October fishing was not good only a few trips and little rewards the weather was against it most of the time but I did cling on to the hope of a late Gilt and of coarse Mr Bass!

November was pretty awesome the Bass fishing was picking up as was the weather and I mean rough! I had a bad run of luck though and dropped/lost two big Bass rejecting big baits one big peeler crab and a big squid bait followed by loosing my first decent Eel of the winter around the 20 mark at the steps, these things happen in fishing you just re group and keep trying.

My luck changed I was on the fish again, I’m usually crap at ray fishing but I Winkled out a couple of Thornbacks after managing to collect 5 live prawn!

December and it’s all about the snakes again having had a cracking year on the Bass, very hit and miss lots of hours some nights for no rewards then a hectic short session with 8 Strap Eels landed and a lucky first cast 18 pounder on another session

just when I thought 💭 the years coming to an end my ambition of catching a double figure Bass on a big Eel bait came true when I was fishing in extremely flooded conditions, the river was chocolate brown and I prophesied that the only thing in the system would be big Bass and Conger, I was wrong about the Conger but 3 hours into the flood when the salinity improved slightly after an inspired move down the system I hooked into what I thought was a low double Conger, the Naga mx upper tip section bent in and the fight was on, the initial pull was very strong followed by dives and heads hakes all treated with contempt as I bullied the fish upwards conger style when suddenly this magnificent Bass popped up on the surface awesome!


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Paul Bassman😎