FISHING AUSTRALIAN BASS IN WINTER FEATURE

FISHING AUSTRALIAN BASS IN WINTER

Fishing for Australian Bass in the winter is great fun. Pair a big bass with crisp, cold nights with clear skies, camp oven cookouts around the campfire, and you’re all set for your winter adventure. Impoundments in Queensland’s southeastern reaches, as well as in other dams around the country can make for a great spot and fun day on the water during the winter months. So, that’s where you should be if you want to target Australian bass in the winter.

One of the many reasons why Australian Bass fishing is common in winter is because the female bass can grow to trophy-sized proportions. It can reach around 50 cm in length and increase dramatically in bulk. That’s because, during the winter, female Australian Bass fatten up and produce roe during their seasonal breeding rituals. So, it’s only natural that anglers love to chase them during that time (imagine the meal you can prepare with that). So, let’s take a look at some of the effective techniques to catch Australian bass during the winter months.

TACKLE

The Australian Bass will eat pretty much any lure or bait. Insects, crayfish, bloodworms and flies, you name it. So, any natural bait it can get its mouth around is a good option. Another option is to troll using baitcasters and spinning tackle with mid to deep-diving tackle and then concentrate on weed beds and rocky shorelines.

The Australian Bass is pretty territorial, so it’s recommended to use bass fishing techniques that appeal to the Bass’ instinct to protect their territory. That’s why most anglers prefer using spinners, crankbaits, spoons and a variety of lure presentations like blade lures, soft plastics and ChatterBaits.

LOCATION

The Australian Bass dislikes direct sunlight and prefers areas where there’s ample cover. If you’re not sure where they’re located or if they’re deep, you can use a sonar device to locate the fish. You can find large schools of Bass working the areas around the thermoclines in a dam during the colder months.

If you’re not familiar, the thermocline is a distinct water level in a dam where the water suddenly cools. It becomes more distinct in the winter because there is minimal water movement. Note that the bass often feeds just above the thermocline in winter. Australian Bass is relatively common in places like Somerset and Wivenhoe Dams.

CASTING APPROACH

When fishing for Bass, focus on the shallow sections. Look for shallower arms coming off the main basin or smaller bays and edges. Water can often be as little as 0.5-2 metres deep, and your approach must be silent with a considerable amount of stealth. You don’t want to charge into an area using your outboard and create a large wake. A slow and quiet approach with your electric motor is recommended.

If you’re in a small bay, you’ll often find very shallow water, and within these areas, you can catch Bass almost anywhere provided that the bottom has vegetation. The point is that you can cast both the edges and everywhere else in between where depth and vegetation are favourable.

THINGS TO REMEMBER

During times of active feeding like low light, rain and wind, bass will generally move shallower and away from cover. In high atmospheric pressure or very calm conditions, however, the bass moves deeper and hold tighter to cover. This information is necessary to know where the Bass is.

Also, deciding what colour lure to use is essential. The lure colour choice can be very critical for bass fishing as it will depend on water clarity and light penetration. If you’re catching bass using a particular colour for a period of time, and the fish suddenly stops biting, chances are, there’s a change in the water clarity or light penetration which may have affected the fishes’ ability to see that particular colour. So, make sure to adjust accordingly.

I hope this article can help you fish Australian Bass better during the winter. The fun isn’t just about the fishing, but it’s also about getting in and exploring the different water systems in your area. Take in some fresh air and enjoy the beautiful scenery. But of course, it’ll be ace if you can return home with a bass or a bunch of bass at hand. Good luck!


 

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Jackson Williams
jacksonw@dinga.com.au

Jackson Williams has been fishing around Australia for 20 years and loves his home region of far north Queensland.