Gippsland Fishing Personality
Brett has been fishing for flathead, bream, estuary perch and bass in the Gippsland Lakes area for over two decades and has amassed over 6000 dusky flathead captures since he started keeping a diary in the early 2000’s. Spending 120-150 days per year getting up close and personal with the local fish population, he has plenty of insights to help everyday anglers get more from their lure fishing.
Brett’s Top Aussie Bass Fishing Tips
- Bass are right through the Gippsland systems from Westernport to the NSW border, but many people are unaware and assume they have caught a perch. Brett finds the easiest way to tell them apart is to look in the mouth – bass have a stark white mouth while perch can be anything from off-white to black. There are lots of estuary perch/Aussie bass hybrids throughout the system.
- Bass have been stocked in a number Gippsland river systems, but there are also streams that have never been stocked, particularly in the area from Westernport to Port Albert.
- Australian Bass are generally found in the freshwater reaches, even above significant rock barriers, while estuary perch tend to be found more in the brackish water further downstream. Both species move into the opposite habit at times, though.
- The Mitchell River system is unregulated and contains both wild and stocked bass. Brett recommends this system as a good starting point for anyone wanting to target river bass.
- The easiest way to find bass is always to look for overhanging vegetation with shade beneath, especially if there’s a bit of a current break. Bass will take lures from the surface almost any time when they have shade and shadows. Big structure such as boulders or large fallen trees also tend to hold good bass.
- Land-based fishing as well as boat fishing are good options. Spinnerbaits are great for land-based casting because of their snag resistance.
Brett’s Bass Fishing Tackle
- A 2-3kg spin rod with a 1000-2000 size reel, 10lb braid and 10-14lb fluorocarbon leader is perfect for targeting bass.
Brett’s Top Aussie Bass Fishing Lures
- Hardbody lures in the 40-60mm size range, both sinking and suspending are #1 and Brett likes the Hurricane Twitch 40 and Twitch 50 models. He switches out the hooks for doubles for their snag resistance and fishes these lures all day long. A great searching lure, cast them under overhanging vegetation, into shade and vary the retrieve speed to entice the strike.
- A 1/8 oz spinnerbait or beetlespin is a great, weedless option that can be worked slowly through structure. Brett finds that often you can put in several casts with hard bodies and surface lures and it’s not until you throw a spinnerbait that you’ll get the bite. These lures can be worked surprisingly slowly, which is often a good strategy, although changing the retrieve rate frequently is also a good ploy.
- Bent minnow style lures are great – bass fishing is synonymous with surface luring. The Hurricane Switch 66 is a really good surface luring option. Can be slow rolled with the rod tip held high for a side-to-side wiggle, but this lure also works well on a walk-the-dog style retrieve, almost turning back on itself. Brett has also fished this lure sub-surface by weighting both ends with some lead
- Small soft plastic lures on a 1/24th to 1/12th jig heads are deadly on bass. They can be cast to the shadows and worked near the surface or allowed to sink. The Hurricane Sprat 85 is a very versatile and unusual lure design that Brett loves to throw at bass and plenty of other species.
The greater Sydney area has no shortage of fishing opportunities for lure tossers, as today’s guest Luke Kay shares in this interview. From the bays and estuaries to the ocean rocks, Luke takes us through where he likes to go in search of fish.
Ewen Maddock and Baroon Pocket Dam are relatively small, lesser known fishing spots on SEQ’s Sunshine Coast. Loaded with bass, saratoga and cod, they create a unique and readily accessible opportunity for lure fishers.