Tournament Angler And Guide
Matt is a tournament bass angler who’s not only been fishing for bass at Lake Saint Clair for a number of years, but has won tournaments on that particular lake. Matt has been very successful on the Australian bass fishing circuit and has had a top ten placing in an international tournament held in the US. When he’s not winning tournaments, Matt runs a guiding service helping angler get onto quality fish in the impoundments around SE Queensland and northern NSW.
Matthew’s Top Bass Fishing Tips
- Lake Saint Clair is a very clear water system with plenty of weed around the margins and a little timber up the top end of some of the creeks. During the winter months much of the bass fishing centres around the weed beds.
- Matt finds the fish tend to be on the weed beds during the low light periods around dawn and dusk but typically move onto the flats in 20 feet of water as the sun gets higher in the sky.
- When the fish are out on the flats it’s best to look for fish that show on the sounder as being off the bottom and with plenty of diagonal lines indicating they’re moving up or down, which usually means they’re feeding. Sometimes they can sit mid water but be tightly packed and inactive. When they’re tightly packed and close to bottom they’re usually not feeding.
- Days that have a bit of breeze fish best, as long as it’s not so windy that it’s hard to fish.
- Fish can be taken within 100m of the boat ramp, so don’t feel you need to travel long distances to find fish.
Matt’s Preferred Bass Fishing Tackle
- Matthew reckons the Millerods Finesse Freak rod is a great balance between sensitivity, casting light lures and handling trophy fish. He goes for a7′, 2-4kg rod that he couples with a 2500 size reel, 10lb braid and 8-10 lb fluorocarbon leader.
Matthew’s Bass Fishing Lures
- Small soft plastic lures are a great option, both when fish are over the weeds and when they are on the flats. Matthew likes the 3″ Ecogear Powershad in eel or rainbow trout patterns or the 3″ Z-Man Slim SwimZ in motor oil or bloodworm. These are fished on light jig heads and are cast from a boat positioned 20m off the weed edge by casting the lure to land on the edge of the weed and then slow rolling it with a high rod tip.
- A topwater cicada or insect style lure can be very effective, especially when fishing near timber during the low light periods. Don’t retrieve them but let them float with enough tension on the line that when you shake the rod tip the lure vibrates like a floating cicada or moth. .
- When fish are on the flats in 20′ or so of water a 1/4oz blade in a silver or natural fish colour can be effective. Cast them parallel to the weed edge and let them sink to the bottom. work them back in 15cm hops, watching for a tick in the line as the lure falls and being ready to set the hook. If fish are showing on the flats but not biting on the blade, try using the same technique with a 3″ soft plastic.
- A 3-5″ jerkbait with a short bib can be great around the weed edges. Fish them with sharp twitches keeping the rod low and allowing some slack line between twitches. .
Matt is supported by Garmin and uses their livescope technology to find fish
JML Anglers Alliance have been supporters of Matts fishing for many years and are the distributors of the Ecogear soft plastics and blades Matt talks about in this episode.
Millerods produce high quality rods, including the Finesse Freak series that Matthew likes for Saint Clair bass fishing.