Simon’s Top Aussie Bass Fishing Tips

  • During the warmer months the fish feed in the shallow margins of the lake. It’s not unusual for fish to be feeding in 5-6 inches of water along the lake edges around dawn and dusk.
  • Fishing lures very slowly is essential in Lake St Clair. One of the key things most anglers could do to improve their results is slow down.
  • Consistent weather, with the wind blowing from one direction for a few days often leads to good bass fishing, especially during the approach of a front that will change the weather and an associated barometer fall. A little breeze is good for fishing and cloudy skies don’t hurt, either.
  • If you’re new to St Clair, there is no need to go off all over the lake to find fish. They can often be found in good numbers close to the ramp. Points of land that jut into the lake are a great place to start, fishing the weed beds either side of the point.

Simon’s Lake St Clair Bass Tackle

  • A 7’, 2-4kg spin stick is a good starting point. A 2000 size reel is perfect as it has a lower retrieve speed than a 2500 size, making it easier to fish slower. 8-10lb braid and a 10-12lb fluorocarbon leader complete the setup.

Simon’s Favourite Bass Fishing Lures

  • A 3/8 oz rubber skirted jig is an underrated lure with heaps of potential on Australian bass. Buy jigs with around a 2/0 hook in them and add a soft plastic grub or soft plastic paddletail to bulk the lure up a bit. It’s important to trim the weed-guard fibres about 1/4”, so that they are flush with the hook point and parallel to the shank. Also remove about half of the fibres down at the base, to make it easier for the guard to be pushed down and expose the point. Cast and allow to sink to the bottom, then slowly drag them along the bottom with plenty of shakes of the rod. Bites can often be subtle with this type of lure, so be ready to set the hook if the lure or line shows any sign of moving unnaturally.
  • Chatterbaits are effective when cast and slow rolled back to the boat. Simon finds that sometimes fish will only take chatterbaits rigged with a soft plastic grub or paddletail and other times they seem to prefer the chatterbait without a tailer plastic. Experimentation is the key!
  • Small soft plastics in the 2-3” size range are essential in every bass anglers tackle selection, especially in greens and natural colours. Simon likes the Keitech Easy Shiner or Swing Impact for this style of fishing and rigs them on the smallest jig head he can get away with, with a hook size around 2. These lures can be fished in lots of different ways, from slow rolling, hopping and vertical jigging. Bass usually take them aggressively.

Simon MacMillan

Simon MacMillan

Lure Maker And Tournament Bass Angler

Lake St Clair isn’t just an awesome place to target Australian bass, it’s also the closest piece of water to Simon’s home and his business that produces quality bass lures. Simon regularly fishes St Clair both recreationally and competitively and consistently puts together bags of quality fish.

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Episode 522: Far North Qld Sooty Grunter With Phil Laycock

Episode 522: Far North Qld Sooty Grunter With Phil Laycock

Pound for pound, sooty grunter are as tough a freshwater sportfish as you’ll find anywhere. Aggressive lure takers and hard fighters in often skinny water, sooties are accessible to just about anyone fishing Far North Queensland, whethere from boat, kayak or bank.

Simon’s Business

Perception Tackle 


  1. Kallie

    Perception tackle sell some awesome lures! Use their jigs at st Clair and glenbawn!
    The x-zone plastics are awesome too!

  2. mick

    quality tackle
    you cant beat aussie local homemade lures.
    i have met simon in person such a great bloke with plenty of tips.


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