Sunshine Coast Guide And Tournament Angler
Callum is a talented tournament bass angler and was the youngest competitor ever to win the Bass Pro comp. He’s held the world record for Australian Bass, both won and been runner up for the coveted “Angler Of The Year” award and has consistently been on the leader board in Bass tournaments. When he’s not competing, Callum operates a guided fishing business and is working on a line of blades lures specifically designed with Australian Bass in mind.
Callum’s Top Tips For Lake Macdonald Bass
- Lake Macdonald is a relatively small, shallow lake at the northern end of the Sunshine Coast Hinterland. The system is open to electric powered boats only and holds good stocks of bass and a few other species.
- During the autumn months when the water is cooling the fishing can be a little tough. Once temperatures stabilise the fishing can become red hot. At the time when this podcast goes live the bass will be fishing well up the arms of Lake Macdonald, but will move down towards the basin as the water continues to cool. From the Three Ways to the palm plantation is fishing well.
- Structure in the lake is predominantly dense weedbeds. Motoring up the arm of the storage on the electric and making casts to the edges and dropoffs from the weedbeds is effective.
- A sounder is useful, sometimes you’ll find fish schooled up in the old creek bed and other times they’ll be scattered all the way along the weedbeds or the weed channels.
- Callum reckons the fishing is best when the conditions have been stable for a while. Stable temperature, wind, water quality and so on tend to stimulate better fishing. The leadup to the new moon or a few days after the new moon are good fishing opportunites. When fish are in the main channel, look for places where they’re up off the bottom. Fish hugging the bottom are generally not feeding, those between 5-10’ off the bottom are more likely to take a lure.
- A trick for slow fishing days in the cooler months is to switch to a 3/8 or half ounce jig head and slowly drag a soft plastic along the bottom leaving a trail of muddy water behind.
Callums Bass Fishing Tackle
- Callum uses a 2-6 kg rod of rod of around 7 foot in length coupled with a 2000 or 2500 size spin reel. Due to the need to manhandle big fish out of weed his reel is spooled up with 8lb Daiwa J-Braid line and he uses a Daiwa J Thread leader of 14-16 lb.
Callum’s Best Australian Bass Lures
- Small soft plastic lures on light (1/4 oz) jig heads are a good choice for Lake Macdonald bass at this time of year. Callum likes the Daiwa Bait Junkies Minnows in 2.5” sizes in whitebait, baby bass or GP chartreuse colours. These are best fished very slow rolling through the old creeks beds as close to the bottom as you can get them, or worked over weed by keeping the rod tip up high and rolling them over the edge of the weed bed dropoff. If you feel the lure hit weed, give the rod tip a good twitch to break through the weed, fish often hit them just as you do this.
- Small blades (1/4 oz) Evergreen Little Max in colour #19 also fish very well during the cooler months when fish are in the creek channels. The key is to get the lure down close to bottom and then hop it along by lifting the rod from 2 o’clock to 12 o’clock and then holding the rod tip up high for a moment of two before winding down the rod and then repeating. The idea is to lift the lure well off the bottom so the bass have a good chance to see it but slow the drop down as much as possible so it stays in their faces as long as possible.
- Suspending jerkbaits are deadly during the cooler months and the Daiwa Double Clutch, Jackall Squirrel and or Rapala X-Raps all work well. Colours are not important. These are cast over the weed and cranked down until they make contact with the surface of the weed. Once they hit weed, twitch them along in short bursts, but don’t work them too aggressively. Once again if the lure hits weed, twitch hard to break it free and continue retrieving. Even if the lure is fouled by weed it can pay to keep working it as fish will often still take it on the pause.
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