Joel’s Tips For Williams River Bass

  • Bass do what bass do. Sometimes they are obligingly aggressive and other times they’re shut down. The key is to persevere and when the fishing is tough is to try new things and mix it up.
  • This season has been characterised by unseasonal heavy rain, which has flushed the river and dirtied the water. This will make it easier for post-spawn bass to move up to the upper reaches. As a result, fish will be found and caught right throughout the system and are likely to be active provided the flow isn’t too excessive to fish.
  • The Williams system is often overlooked and may not be the place to go for cricket score bass catches or extra large trophy fish, but has no shortage of quality fish and picturesque scenery.
  • Public access to the Williams is excellent with lots of bridges and it’s a great place to take a mate and two cars, putting a kayak in at one bridge and drift fishing down to the next one. There are multiple boat ramps, so accessing and fishing the lower reaches is also easy.
  • The river tends to fish best when there is a little flow to oxygenate the water and bring food to the fish. Overcast conditions and a little bit of breeze can also favour the bass fishing. An approaching storm can make for productive sessions and the system is reasonably sheltered when it’s too windy to fish the lakes or the sea.
  • There are lots of different types of structure in this system, but areas where undercuts beneath banks and weed beds create shadowy recesses for the bas to hide in and dart out to grab morsels are always prime spots to try.
  • Bass always like to lurk in shadows. Often when topwater fishing the bass will follow a lure right to the edge of the shadow line and then nail it before it gets into the light.
  • Don’t spend too much time fishing a location or a piece of structure. If bass are there and active they’ll usually hit a lure pretty quickly. If not, keep moving until you find a fish that will hit a lure!

Joel’s Williams River Bass Tackle

  • A 1-3kg rod with a 2000 size spin reel, 6lb braided mainline and 8lb fluorocarbon leader is perfect for this system, sometimes the leader might need to be sized down to 6lb or up to 10lb depending on water clarity.

Joel’s Bass Fishing Lures

  • 3-5” soft plastic grubs rigged on 1/6 to1/4 oz jig heads with or without Bett’s spinners can be very effective. These lures are very versatile and can be worked in all areas, but are especially good for fishing through shallows, casting at the shady areas on the opposite side of the river, especially in areas just out of the main current. They can also be cast into structure such as weed beds and laydowns, deep pools, shallow runs. The larger lures have plenty of presence and can be sunk into the deeper pools – the heads of pools and the back eddies are productive with this lure.
  • A suspending jerkbait style minnow lure is an effective option. Squirrels, Double Clutches and similar lures of various diving depths are good to have. Don’t work these lures too quickly, allow plenty of pauses or the lure to suspend and remembers that fish generally face into the current, so cast up and across the current and manage your line carefully.
  • Topwater fishing with cicadas is heaps of fun and is usually more productive during the low light periods but can be worth trying at any time of day. Joel likes the D-Style Reserve Cicada’s sold by Hot Tackle because their longer profile makes them cast long and land without excessive splash. Look for slower moving water where you can work this lure slowly and with plenty of pauses.

Joel Cook Fishing Bio

Joel Cook

NSW Lure Fishing Tragic

Joel started fishing the Williams River as a schoolboy when he was first old enough to ride his bike to the water and toss some lures. He still enjoys fishing the system today and has an intimate knowledge of where to target bass, from the upper gorge country to the weir systems below.

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Businesses Joel Recommends

Hot Tackle at Morisset aren’t sponsors of Joels, but he’s experienced such good service and friendly advice there that he wanted to give them a shout out. If you’re in the are, be sure to drop in for plenty of fishing advice and up to date info.

On The Chew Apparel have helped Joel out with awesome fishing clothing. Check out their website to see the line of gear they have available.


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