Jay’s Nepean Bass Fishing Tips
- When launching a canoe or kayak downstream of the Nepean Dam, the next nearest access point is some 20km downstream, with plenty of near untouched bass water between access points. Kayaking from top to bottom in a day is possible. Walking the banks is also possible, but the bush is quite thick, so be prepared to wade in order to make casts.
- The initial reach below the dam wall is shallow and weedy, after that the river opens into a series of pools containing granite bounders and shale rubble. Average depth is 3 to 4 feet throughout.
- This reach is fishable year-round, excluding the annual bass closed season and periods of peak floods. Warmer months fish best but be prepared to be in full sun with temps over 40 C during summer.
- Spend your time making prospecting casts at the head and tail of every pool, under overhanging vegetation and at obvious pieces of structure. Accurate casting is critical, landing a lure a few inches away from structure often produces quality fish when a few extra inches away results in tiddlers.
- The leadup to a storm front often fishes exceptionally well, with rapid falls in the barometric pressure often causing a hot bite.
- Low light periods are the prime time, with fish moving away from structure to feed freely in the pools, often from the surface. Jay is often on the water before 4.30 am and off the water again by 9am. Fishing through the day is possible, but your casts have to be spot on and need to be tight to structure that is shaded to have any chance of being taken.
- This is a great stretch to fish at night, but it’s easy to get lost and confused, so fish it a couple of times during the day first.
- Watch out for monster bass at the quarry road bridge…… Jay has seen one eat a swallow!
Jay’s Recommended Aussie Bass Tackle
- Both baitcast and spin tackle have a place, with baitcast preferred for accurate casting and wrangling fish from structure, while spin gear is great for casting lighter lures while prospecting open water.
- Jay uses a 1-3kg Ian Miller custom baitcast rod that he’s owned for years, coupled with a Daiwa Pixy reel, 6lb braid and 10lb leader.
- A 2-4kg spin rod with 1000-2000 size reel, 6lb braid and 10lb leader meets the open water needs.
Jay’s Australian Bass Fishing Lures
- Black Kokoda Bugger Chugs are perfect surface searching lures. They’re a fat-bodied wake bait style lure, great for open water and casting into snags. Slow roll these lures all the way back to the rod tip as they can be taken at any point during the retrieve. Jay actually bought a slower ratio reel to make it easier to roll them extremely slowly. He also removes the belly treble and crushes the barbs on the tail treble – noting that the lure sits low in the surface film, giving better hook-up rates than a jitterbug or higher floating lure.
- A Number 2 Celta inline spinner is a trout lure designed for fishing water exactly like what you’ll find in this stretch of the Nepean River – and bass love them. Use these lures for prospecting, making casts across the current and retrieving them at a constant rate. The retrieve speed should be medium – enough to keep the blade spinning and not too much more.
- A Rebel Teeny Wee Frog is a good option when the early morning bite starts to taper off but the fish are still active. A great search bait across shallow water, simply slow roll them for a wide action. Jay prefers the bullfrog colour – dark green on the back and yellow belly.