Freshwater Tournament Fisho And Bass Enthusiast
Ben is a freshwater luring enthusiast and a kayak tournament angler. When it comes to bass fishing in Blue Rock Lake, Ben has the runs on the board with a few tournament wins there, including one that he took out as the only kayak angler in a field of booties. In this episode he shares his secrets for bass success.
Ben’s Top Bass Fishing Tips
- The theory of bite windows in the evening and early morning doesn’t really apply to bass fishing at Blue Rock Lake, unless you’re focussed on topwater. Ben finds the best times are from 10am till 2pm, if you use the correct techniques.
- A common newbie mistake is to fish too light. Bass are bigger and harder fighting than bream, so Ben recommends sizing up to 16 or even 20lb line.
- Being further south, Blue Rock is relatively cool for bass. The prime fishing opportunity starts later than in NSW storages, essentially from November through to late April.
- Water temp and water level are the key factors that Ben uses to decide where in the lake to fish, and what lures to use. In the warmer months he’ll always start by fishing topwater around dawn and dusk, but in the early summer and late autumn he’ll switch to a jerkbait for the low light periods.
- When the water level is high and rising the fish in Blue Rock Lake tend to push up into the river arms at the top of the lake. When levels are lower and/or falling the fish move back into the main basin.
- Finding fish and staying on them is the critical thing. A quality sounder is an important tool whether you’re on a kayak or in a boat. Find fish before casting “there’s no point fishing where the fish aren’t”.
- Look for rocky banks with timber on them, rock and timber together are the magic formula for finding bass.
Blue Rock Lake BassTackle
Nick has three outfits on his kayak at any one time: Two baitcast setups that he uses for throwing lipless crankbaits, jerkbaits, spinnerbaits and so on, plus a spin outfit for throwing topwater lures.
For the baitcast gear Ben likes a 7ft, medium light 6-12lb rod. He’ll load the reel on one outfit with 12-16lb straight through fluorocarbon and will use it to throw jigs. The other he’ll load with 12lb braid and two rod lengths of 20lb fluorocarbon leader and Use it to throw spinnerbaits, jerkbaits of lipless crankbait.
A 6’6” spin rod with a moderate taper complete the set and is what Ben uses for fishing jerkbaits and topwater lures. Again, 2 rod lengths of 20lb fluorocarbon leader protect him from the structure in the lake.
Ben has found that casting a fluorocarbon mainline is challenging on baitcast gear, but the Shimano SLX DC makes it a lot easier.
The Tiemco Soft Shell Cicada is a great surface lure for Blue Rock Lake bass. Cast it close to structure and allow it to sit motionless for a while, then twitch it a couple of times and allow it to sit again. Repeat this three or four time before slowly winding back to the rod tip.
Ben likes the Jackall TN50 when the sun is a little higher in the sky. It’s important that this lure is allowed to sink to the bottom of the lake before being worked back. Ben likes to slow roll it with occasional pauses or hops, keeping it close to the bottom and structure. This lure is surprisingly snag resistant, but Blue Rock Lake has lots of structure, so be sure to bring a lure retriever.
Bassman Football Jigs in the ½ oz size are great when the fish are down deep in the open water in the main basin, especially between the hours of 10am and 2pm. Allow them to sink to the bottom and work them by dragging in short, 1ft bursts with a pause in between. Occasional hops attract the attention of the bass, but the dragging movement is more natural.
3/8 oz skirted flipping jigs are good in the more heavily timbered areas through the middle of the day. Ben makes these from Gamakatsu Cobra 27 jig heads with rubber skirts and flicks them into the shallows and then works them back in a series of short drags along the bottom.