Matt And Nick Wells
Fishing Writers and Sponsored Anglers
The Wells Boys Talk PNG Black Bass Fishing
- Go with the right attitude. Expect and embrace the adventure of travelling to a third world country. Be excited about fishing for black bass, but don’t expect too much. Black bass in the Terapo area can be fickle and lots of things have to go right (eg a little rain on the mountains can change the ball game)
- Mobile phone and internet are available at Terapo and the food is great. Accommodations are comfortable but rustic. The 240km road from Port Moresby to Terapo is not for the feint hearted.
- Expect to spend a lot of time travelling. It’s not unusual to cover a lot of kilometres of river only to find that conditions have changed since yesterday and that you’ll need to try another spot. Conditions on the river can change daily, if not hourly.
- Come equipped with quality gear and carry plenty of spares. The Wells Boys didn’t lose a lot of lures, despite the very snaggy environment. They recommend bringing 4 rods, 5 reels and a good selection of lures.
- Black Bass can surprise you by taking the lure well away from structure, giving the angler a false sense of security. Once hooked they can surprise with incredible bursts of sheer power and speed, taking the lure back into the snags.
- Beef up rings to 2X strong and make sure your hooks are good and solid.
- Metre plus barramundi are a prolific by-catch and are almost considered a pest by black bass guides. Matt and Nick found that Terapo barra seem to be better at spitting lures than their Australian cousins.
- Be prepared to persevere. The boys sometimes cast consistently for 5-6 hours without a bite but also got a few fish in quick succession at times.
Black Bass Fishing Tackle
- Matt and Nick are sponsored by Wilson Australia and used Venom Black Bass Rods with 200 size ATC Combat Plus baitcast reels. The reels were used straight from the box, drags tightened with multigrips and were loaded with Platypus 80lb Platinum Plus braid, 80lb. An 80lb Schneider Line leader finished the outfit (100 lb leader would have been better but the knots were too bulky for casting).
Suggested Black Bass Fishing Lures
- Most of the bass the boys caught came on 120mm Zerek Tango Shads, which dive to a handy 4.5 to 5m and are a great profile for casting and fishing.
- The Zerek Pelagic Z was also successful, but being shallower diving (3.5 to 4m) had more limited application
- Darkwood Lures Hutchos Custom Jig Heads make some awesome hand-made lures for jewies and barra, and the boys commissioned a few deep divers to take to Terapo for the bass.
- Most Hard Bodied Barra lures of around 120mm will work fine fishing ambush points and snags. Rapala’s, Classics and others work well.