FLY FISHING FOR AUSTRALIAN BASS
When going fly fishing, some anglers usually set their eyes on Australian Bass because they are a tad bit easier to catch than other fish. But to catch one, you must do your due diligence. You have to learn all the methods and techniques to catch Australian Bass when fly fishing. Once you’ve perfected the art of catching Australian bass, you can then move on to bigger and better targets. Here are a few tips you can follow to improve your fly fishing for Australian Bass.
IDEAL TIME TO CATCH
Take note that catching Australian Bass in New South Wales and Queensland is prohibited during the months June, July and August. That’s because this is their time to breed. Australian Bass season starts in September.
As for the ideal conditions to catch one, it’s recommended to fish for Australian Bass during low light conditions. But, that doesn’t mean you can only catch them during sunrise or sunset. You can look for spots where there’s a lot of shade. That would make an ideal target zone during the day.
Australian Bass will seldom venture out of the shade to bite your lure, so look for overhanging branches along the banks. Another good time to catch them is during a full moon because there’s enough light for you to fish properly as well as the fish being quite active.
UNDERSTANDING THE MIGRATION PATTERN
To be a great angler, you have to understand the behaviour of your target. For Australian Bass, they’ll migrate down to the brackish waters of estuaries during breeding time. When done breeding, they will then migrate to the rivers. That being said, the best time to catch Bass is during the months approaching their breeding time, which is from March to May. That’s because this is the time where they start to gather and prepare for their migration.
USE A BOAT
It’s recommended to use a boat when going fly fishing for Australian Bass because you can cover more ground this way. When you’re on a boat, you’ll be able to back cast properly since your line won’t end up hooked in tree branches. If you feel like you’re not very skilled at fly casting yet, you can move your boat a little closer to the target zone, to make it easier to hit the target. While a boat is not essential, it is something to think about.
Australian Bass will eat anything, but some flies can catch more fish than others. If you’re aiming for deeper presentations, think about the kind of bait-fish available. If Bony Bream is their primary food source (like in Moogerah Dam where you can find most of the largest Bass), then go for flies like Zonkers, Pink Things, large Clousers and Deceivers. But if the main food source is gudgeons and shrimps, then go for shrimp and fry.
Colour choice can sometimes be important, too. The general rule is that black is always a good choice. Any mixture of red, green, yellow, white and purple colours are also good choices. If you’re fly fishing in a heavily weeded dam, you can start with a black-based colour fly. But if you’re in open water impoundments, you can go for a white-coloured fly and tie it with synthetic fibres as they tend to stand up to hard biting Australian Bass a little better.
If you fail to catch any Australian Bass during your trip, don’t get discouraged. Remember that failure is just another way of learning, so just keep trying. It’s also an excellent way to practice your basics. Believe that with practice, you’ll become better at it in the long run, especially if you follow the tips provided above.
Do you have any fly fishing tips for Australian Bass you would like to add? Share your thoughts below.