Mitch’s Top Tips For Somerset Bass
- During spring Somerset Dam’s bass population is moving a lot, not just through the season, but throughout the day too. They’ll often have a “morning spot” and an “afternoon spot”, so don’t start fishing in one spot in the morning and expect to stay there all day, be prepared to move when the fish move.
- Most people are surprised about the proportion of time that is spent searching with the sounder, as opposed to actual fishing. There’s no point casting a lure where there’s either no fish, or the fish are not feeding, so keep searching. Once you locate fish, don’t be in a hurry to cast, keep looking around as you’ll often find denser schools or better fish in the same vicinity.
- The sunken river channels are like bass highways through the dam, it’s not a bad strategy to find and follow them to fish. They’ll sometimes rest around the convergence with a feeder creek, a flat or hump or other structure, but follow the channel as they move.
- Fish that are hugging the bottom are catchable, but you have to excite them into eating. Fish up off the bottom are often feeding more actively and are easy to catch.
- At the time of recording there are massive schools of bass in the main basin in deep water, but as we head towards summer and warmer weather those schools will stretch out over greater distances. A proportion of the fish will move up into the arms of the dam and often sit in slightly shallower water.
- Stable, consistent weather, especially winds, tend to lead to better fishing. Very calm, oily days can be hard work, a bit of breeze definitely helps. When the wind is constantly changing the fish are moving about more and not so focussed on feeding.
- If the fishing is very tough, keep searching for more and more schools and circle back through the schools until a fish, or an entire school, fires up. Mix up the techniques you’re using for each lure too, sometimes they like a different retrieve in the morning compared with the afternoon.
Mitch’s Somerset Dam Bass Fishing
- A 7’ to 7’4” medium to light, fast taper spin rod (1/2 – 5/8 oz cast weight) coupled with a 2500 size reel, 10lb braid and a 12lb Suffix fluorocarbon leader will do the trick.
Mitch’s Favourite Bass Lures For Somerset
- The 9cm Storm Biscay Shad is a top soft plastic paddletail that comes ready rigged and weighing about 5/8 oz. It’s great to slow roll close to the bottom is the fish are shut down but can also be “burned and killed”, opening the bail arm and letting it sink back to the bottom. This is Mitch’s lure to test the mood of the bass and is usually the first one he’ll throw after finding a school. If the fish are taking a lure that’s being burned, he knows they’re in an aggressive feeding mode. If they’re responding better to a slow rolled lure he knows they’re a bit lethargic.
- The Rapala DT20 is a 2/3” balsa, deep diving crankbait that runs at around 20 feet and has a tendency to pick up some cracker fish. These can be worked well on the cast, but Mitch likes to long-line them by casting them out and then motoring away 80-100m with the electric or main motor, then stopping and working the lure back. Sometimes he’ll slow roll, other times he’ll make large sweeps of the rod and recover the line between sweeps. The idea is for the bib to be digging into the mud.
- 30 and 40g Storm Gomoku Koika jigs are great for either slow rolling, burning through a school, hopping along the bottom or fishing vertically. The Gomoku Slow Rocker is also good, especially when you want to work it a bit faster.
Rapala VMC Australia
Mitch works for Rapala VMC Australia, which is responsible for bringing Aussie anglers not only Rapala and VMC products, but also Storm lures, Silstar, Williamson, Suffix lines and leaders, Blue Fox and Okuma, among others.