1. Introduction to bass fishing.

Sunday, February 23, 2014
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B.A.S.S. Australia Nation

We are very lucky in Australia as we have some incredible natural resources that have had little or not impact placed on them by man. We also have some incredible bass fishing locations that are completely sustainable, making fishing one of the greatest ways to spend time with family and friends.

Assuming you don’t have a great amount of experience fishing for bass, we will delve into 10 complete steps that should help you understand what is needed to catch bass on lures. Many of these tips can be associated with bait fishing as well, but catching bass on lures of fly seems more efficient and rewarding.

Australian Bass have great fighting qualities as they can be caught using a large amount of techniques. Lure and fly-fishing for bass is one of the most popular ways in chasing bass, and with a little work and education it’s not that hard to get onto your first fish. All you will need is a little equipment, some work on your technique and time to practice and you will be able to catch bass. Remember bass fishing isn’t that easy, and it will take time to progress, so be prepared to fail on many occasions before you master your technique. It is critical to try and perfect the techniques you learn, as these tools will hold up over time while you gain experience.

Australia has multiple bodies of water that hold Australian Bass (Macquaria novemaculeata), as they are native to Australia and live in fresh water and move to the estuary systems to spawn through the winter period. The registered world record is 3.75 kg for an Australian Bass, caught on the 24th July 2005 at Lake Wivenhoe, Queensland Australia by Neil Shultz. There have been many reports of larger fish taken over the past, but this still stands as the official record.

Australian Bass can be caught in feeder creeks that push into natural lakes in our high lands, man-made reservoirs, our entire river and creek systems and everything in-between that holds a regular supply of fresh water on all types of techniques. This makes bass fishing a lot more assessable than people think, as they can be found not far from most major cities on the east coast.

There are multiple stocking groups throughout the east coast of Australia that generally place fingerlings into the man-made lake systems, which occasionally when in flood feed the river systems underneath. These stocking groups contribute some great resources that keep bass fishing fully sustainable on our inland lakes.

Australian Bass naturally occur from the Burnett River Systems in the South East Coast of Queensland to the cross over point of Wilson Promontory in Victoria giving them a natural range of more than 2100 kms. (1300 Miles) They are stocked in Victoria as low as Lake Bullen Merri and have successfully lived there for many years.

Understanding bass will put you on the right path in being successful from the start. Bass are incredible sensitivity to there surroundings, as they require this to survive in nature. They are able to sense things like weather changes, water levels dropping or rising, noise in and out of the water, temperature changes that can help or hinder when fishing for them. They have natural instincts to school in deeper water at certain times of the year, making them easier to find with the right sonar equipment. They can also be found very close to structure, as they use the cover for protection and to ambush prey as it swims past. Understanding your local bass migrations, the type of structures in the area, and the bass food source at that location you are fishing will make you a more successful angler.  

Sometimes just by changing the colour of your lure to suite the type of bait in the area can completely change the fishing outcome. Understanding these elements will set you on your way in catching that first bass, and eventually when you unlock the code you will catch many more. 

With rod and reel there are two basic ways in catching bass, either with bait or while casting/trolling an artificial fly or lure.

Basically bait fishing is exactly what it sounds like, placing some type fishing bait on the hook, casting it out and waiting for the fish to come to you. This can be successful if you are lucky enough to find the fish, but at other times quite boring.

Lure and fly-fishing seems to generate more interest as the angler is actively seeking the bass out. No matter if you are casting or trolling you will be moving the lure in the water until you locate active feeding fish. Casting in a sense is a lot more assessable as not everyone has a boat, so this is the type of fishing we will be focusing on in the following steps.