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the big man returns

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Last year I was lucky enough to get the rivelage of fishing with @big Neil but we still had some unfinished business, so with a convenient week off lans were made and Neil made the journey up for a coule of days fishing.

DAY 1: 

we were greeted with a cool start but a forcast of good weather, we wasted no time hitting our first bank with soft plastics didn't take long for fish to start coming aboard 


we broke the doughnut early


the fish were all reasonable quality Neil managed 3 in a row,  we dropped quite a few but atleast the hits were coming nearly every cast, with the doughnut busted we shot upriver woring our way back down casting the edges the fish were in patches but we had plenty of bream coming aboard with a coule of dustings and getting busted off by a big flathead in the shallows which was some knee buckling excitement, as we were about to gun downriver we sotted a perfect gravel corner Neil wasted no time putting a cast in and hooked into a better fish


a nice flattie for the esky, we ended up with a few flathead only small but any fish is a good fish, I decided to switch it up and put on a cranka crab and crawl it along the bottom, didn't take long for hits to come 


we finished off the session casting shallow hardbodies on the flats for a couple of small fish, not sure how many fish were landed but we boated a lot only kept the one flathead.


DAY 2:

One of the aims of Neil's trip was to tick a bass off his bucket list, I had come up with a solid plan to make it happen. It is no take season for bass which makes no difference to me as I release all my bass and we intentionally targeted fish upsiver from the known spawning grounds.

We launched at Kempsey heading upriver, targeting bass in these areas is during cold weather is fairly new to me,  we started out hitting deep structured banks, it was a slow start with a few small bream coming onboard but we were hopeful with the falling tide the bass might come on the chew. 

With the first bank a dismal failure we headed further up hitting a new ban this one a bit shallower, atleast the bream got bigger 


We kept casting and came up to a fallen tree it looked good and within seconds Neil is hooed up to a much better fish, I was confidant of the i.d. straight away and there was cheering when it hit the net


Neil ticked off his bass with a nice 37cm specimen, with the pressure off he wasted no time getting his second on the next laydown. As we continued fishing Neil managed a couple more small bass and we soon worked out a pattern crawling soft plastics along the bottom along the edge of the weedbeds, feeling a bit left out I finally came up tight on a bass


only a small fish but my first bass for 2021 (it's been a tough year with flooding), we ended up spot locking on a school of fish (it's my current story position on deckee). After a couple more small fish I finally loaded up on a better fish 


a much nicer fish matching Neil's 37cm

We stuck with our tactics working our way downriver fishing the outside of weedbeds for more small bass and bream and me getting blown away by a beast of a bass.

The bite started to slow as we headed down Neil put a perfect cast against a tree and was instantly loaded up, 


another good quality fish for the big man again 37cm but in solid condition, that was our last fish for the session with the bite stoing as quick as it started but we didn't care nothing better than going out with a target and cracking a technique.

Being able to help a fellow raider to tick one off the bucket list, hard to beat and what fishraider is all about 

If you ever get the opportunity to fish with Big Neil, do it, he's a 10/10 bloke and an awesome fishing companion, can't wait to fish with him again

cheers for reading 


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Dave. Fantastic read mate. I am so glad that Neil achieved his goal and came up trumps with a few good fish.

I have fished with Neil a couple of times and can vouch of his good nature and great company.

Great report and great photos.

Well done the both of you.


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Thanks for the report Dave, The big fulla sounds pretty stoked with the results and your tutelage. Already says he's coming back for more. Will have to find him a Red Devil next time. Tight Lines, Hoodz


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Hi Dave. Many thanks for the report on what was a great fishing experience for me. The Bass certainly were a welcome addition to the list of species targeted and caught over a lot of years fishing. They are quite a feisty fish for their size. They share some similarities to Murray Cod fishing... aggressive attackers that try to get back into their snag when hooked. Thanks for taking me out and showing me the ropes. You are an excellent tutor and a very accomplished angler too. Next on the list is the Mangrove Jack. Maybe this coming Summer will see that ticked off the bucket list, if you're available. 

Cheers, bn

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