Catching Australian Bass
Once you stock Australian Bass fingerlings into your dam you will not see them
again. Generally there will be no outward indication of the fish except the odd swirl
when they eat an insect from the surface.
The best time to see your bass is in summer when the white ants are swarming. In my
area late afternoon on a summers day all the white ants will fly from their nests in
large numbers. Many of these will land on the dams and my bass love them. When I see
the white ants in the air I will race up to my dams and just watch. Every time a white
ant lands on the dam there is a swirl as the bass eat it. I just sit there and count
the swirls on the dam to give me an indication of how many fish are in there and how
big they are.
They are native fish and are very fast and smart. They will not cruise the shallows
or swim along the surface like a goldfish will do. Not much sign of your Bass is a
good thing so do not be worried. If you cannot see them, then the birds that will try
to eat them will not see them. You will never see them unless you can entice them to
After 2 - 3 years your fish will be getting big enough to start eating and most
people would be keen to know how their fish are going. There are a few things you can
do to check on your fish.
lure fishing: Australian Bass are a predatory fish and
will take flies and lures. It’s not easy getting them to take a lure as you need
to find the right colour and design for your dam, and every dam is different. I
can use a dozen different lures and not get a bite then change onto the dozen and
one and . . . bang! Every throw is a fish. When you get a good lure for your dam
guard it well don’t lend it to the kids. They are always losing my best lures and
then I need to do it all over again to find a replacement.
- Go bait fishing: Just take you esky and a deck chair down to
the side of the dam and throw in some fishing lines. Bass fish very well on
baits. Light lines and live bait is the best. Garden worms, yabbies and shrimp
are my favorites. Generally I use 3 fishing rods, a couple of worms on a hook or a
small yabby. Lob them out into the dam and sit back having a quiet beer and
sandwich and just wait for the rod to start bending over. Mostly they will hook
themselves. Very simple rig, just a No.2 long shank hook. I use long shank hooks
as they are easier to get out. My dams I fish are restocked every 2 years so I
have both big and small bass in the dam so can catch a lot of little ones that I
want to throw back. Don’t use the red or stainless hooks, just an ordinary bronze
coloured hook that will rust back out of the fish easily is best as many a time you
will “gut hook” them. A small ball sinker right up to the hook and that’s it.
Alternatively you can use a float and floats are good in a weedy bottom, etc.
- Nets: The best and easiest method is just use a gill net.
This is just a length of net 25 metres long on a rope which you suspend in the
dam. Fish swim into it and get tangled and you just lift them out. It’s very
effective and gives very surprising results. Gill nets are available from Aquablue.