The last three months have been tough mainly fishing dams for our iconic aussie battler the Australian Bass. Due the spawning period I personally leave them be to do their thing and create new bass for us to enjoy. The most important part of my fishing arsenal is my Native Watercraft Mariner 12.5 propel, this awesome kayak gets me to the places I can’t go in a boat and is the ultimate weapon in stealth approaches. Having reverse is very important when trying to drag the big girls form some of the gnarly territory the bass live in, not to forget hands free is perfect for more fishing time on the water. the only time I ever use the paddle is for launching the kayak and getting out of the kayak.
Fishing equipment I use is just as important as the kayak, good quality spin, baitcast and fly rods are essential. Yes you can catch bass on a cheap out fit but I personally find that you can cast more accurately with a good high end rod, options are endless and my personal choice is the G Loomis range of rods. Reels again I prefer high end reels with silky smooth drags filled with Sunline Braid and leaders. Go to lures for me are Buzzbaits, weedless frogs and mice, traditional surface lure like the jitterbug and crazy crawler. Surface fishing for bass is addictive and not for the faint hearted, explosive strikes just get me pumped. Other lures that work well on the bass are any of your lipless crankbaits, shallow and deep crankbaits, spinnerbaits, softplastics rigged various different ways are also deadly.
So when is the best time to fish for bass? All day and night bass are on the chew it just depends on what they are eating. As a young boy growing up catching bass my father would get us up early and fish the last couple of twilight hours until the sun rose or in the late afternoon in to the evening. Times have changed, as the tackle we use has evolved and bass fishing can be a all day game. The key piece of advice I can offer is accurate casting will produce more fish and less lure loses to the trees and other structure the bass live amongst. Practice your casting at home casting into a bucket and your catch rate will increase and your lure collection will not be lost to bad casting. Find the structure and you will find the fish, structure can be a weed bed, over hanging trees, bridge pylons, deep drop offs and sunken trees.
My first trip of the season was a creek that runs into the Hawkesbury River, South Creek. alot of pedaling was involved before I located a school of bass, but once I found them it was game on. One of the best sessions I have had, a fish a cast for a hour and dropped as many as I caught. I found a drain running into the creek with a fallen tree at the front of the drain. Pelagic bass were smashing bait fish and it was truly amazing watching these fish do their thing rounding up the bait fish and smashing them. Not one fish under 30 cm and the best going 48 cm, accurate casting came into play big time, some casts the lure would hit the water and the bass would eat the lure before I could close the bail arm. Lure of day was a little Maria lipless crankbait in Black and Silver. I left the school biting and pedaled my way back to the boat ramp.