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The Bass Bug!

As we drift into Summer, hot weather, high humidity and afternoon storm activity have all become commonplace. The creeks are flowing nicely and the cicadas are starting to sing. All of this is synonymous with one species in particular… The Australian Bass!

Extending from eastern Victoria to central Queensland, these ‘bronze battlers’ frequent the brackish and freshwater reaches of the rivers within their range. Whilst it may come as a surprise to many, Sydney and its surrounds has no shortage of pristine water to explore in pursuit of these fish! It’s purely a matter of getting off the beaten track to find the honey holes…

As a starting point, bass can be found in the upper reaches of each major river and tributary in the Sydney area. Whilst some fish better than others, they are nevertheless present to a varying extent in each system. Despite this, don’t be fooled into thinking that it’s only the upper reaches of larger rivers that hold healthy populations… Some of the best fishing can be in skinny feeder creeks that most wouldn’t even think to explore! During a wet summer, bass migrate surprisingly far up the creeks using flash flooding to conquer major obstacles such as steep rockbars and waterfalls. Clever use of google maps and an open mind goes a long way with this sort of fishing!

As for lures, there’s a plethora of suitable offerings for bass. Surface lures, diving hardbodies, soft plastics and spinnerbaits etc all have their place in a bass fisherman’s tackle box. Having said this, if there’s one ‘must have’ for any Sydney bass fisherman, it has to be a cicada imitation…

Throughout the warmer months, cicadas become a major food source for bass. Whenever an unlucky cicada finds itself in the water in bass country, you can just about guarantee that it’ll meet its demise fairly quickly! Anglers can recreate this scenario by carefully casting cicada imitations close to structure and either twitching them on the spot or slowly walking them across the surface with the occasional pause. It’s not uncommon to see a bow wave shooting towards your lure as soon as it lands followed by an aggressive surface strike! Very visual fishing!

Despite this, weather, time of day and water conditions all play a significant role in lure choice. Surface lures aren’t always the answer, so be sure to carry a range of sub-surface offerings too! During the middle hours of the day or when the fishing is a little tougher, a soft plastic fished either on its own or with a bladed ‘jig spin’ attachment is hard to go past… Fishing a small soft plastic slow and deep is generally your best bet when they’re really off the bite.

In terms of outfits, a nice light 2-4kg combo with 6-8lb braid and an 8-14lb leader will generally suffice. Keeping rods on the shorter side (6’ – 6’6”) is recommended to assist with casting in dense cover!

So there you have it! Grab a backpack, a light outfit and a handful of lures and get out there! It’s a great excuse to get off the beaten track and explore what our backyard has to offer… You might be pleasantly surprised by the quality of the fishing! Just watch out for snakes!

Check out the Fishing Station Bass Pro Pack – the ultimate Bass pack. 

The soft plastic/jig spin combo tempted this fish from the small rapid in the background

Cricket scores are on the cards when they're on the chew!

How's the serenity!

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