Curtis Parker

Sponsored Angler, Bass Enthusiast

Curtis’ first passion is drift fishing the rivers and creeks of the Clarence system and casting for Australian bass, which he’s been doing for decades. He’s pretty accomplished on a few species though and has previously been on the ALF podcast talking Murray cod and barramundi, his two other passions!

Curtis parker facebook   Clarence river bass with curtis parker  

Curtis’ Tips For Planning An Extended Canoe Fishing Trip

  • Curtis has done numerous multi-day canoe fishing trips on the Clarence River system over the past 25 or so years. His most recent was a 5 day, 108km trip targeting quality bass and also picking up the occasional Eastern Cod.
  • When planning, Curtis looks for ideal fishing spots with a good balance of features, such as shallow weed beds, deeper sections, running water, big gravel beds, and feed zones. These are the places he’ll spend the most time fishing.
  • Camping is rudimentary, the overnight spots are chosen based more on fishing opportunity than comfortable camping. Ideally, Curtis likes to reach a camp spot around 3-4 pm, so he can set up camp, have a meal, and fish until nightfall and beyond.
  • Curtis uses Google Earth to scout potential camping and fishing spots, identifying deeper pools and clearings to camp and getting a general idea of the water and falls in certain areas of the river.
  • He prefers using a Hennessy hammock, rather than a tent, for shelter. This keeps him off the ground and away from potential threats like dingo’s snakes or spiders. It’s also not a bad idea to wash the dishes before retiring, so as not to attract dingos into camp.
  • Watching the weather is obviously a key. It’s possible to get caught by rising water levels and end up trapped. There are some serious rapids through this section, so if you’re less experienced or just not confident it can pay to portage your canoe. Usually there is a safe way to portage on one side or the other….. but not always.
  • Carrying a small esky makes it possible to bring some steak and a couple of beers for the first night or two, after that it’s back to pre-packaged dehydrated meals.
  • It’s a good policy not to strap in the waterproof drum, tackle trays, or pelican cases containing cameras and other valuables. These can get lost if the canoe becomes swamped and gets pinned to a rock or snag by the current. As long as they are in waterproof, floating containers you can easily retrieve them later if you happen to capsize.
  • It’s super important that the hammock and sleeping bag don’t get wet, so put them in a dry bag, inside the waterproof drum. If everything else goes pear-shaped you’ll still have a dry bed at night!
  • Curtis takes three tackle trays, ensuring they are water-sealed and have different types of lures, including something he can twitch or surface fish with. He prefers using single hooks instead of treble hooks for safety and ease of hook removal. Measuring and releasing large fish quickly is much easier with barbless singles and is less dangerous for the angler.
  • A Garmin InReach is essential equipment. It’s not cheap, but the satellite technology enables others to track his movements and receive his text messages in areas that are a very long way from a mobile signal. It also has an emergency button that alerts rescue agencies with a single push if things go really sideways.  

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