Home Locations & Maps Fish species Fishing Guides Products Accomodation
Australian Fishing Shop

Picture Gallery

Weather page & links

Fishing Competition Calender

Articles & information

Fishing Rules & Regs

Fish Stocking

Chat Page





Fishin' with Fitz - by Jason (Birdy) Bird
WHEN Fitzy calls late on a Friday evening there is usually only one thing he wants to know and this call was no different, a seat in his boat on Lake Wivenhoe for the next day was the reason for the call and as I had a spare day and I am allways keen to learn about Wivenhoe with Fitz the answer was predictable.
Fitzy's many years overseeing the fishery at Wivenhoe has given him an edge on bass habits

The chill in the air to start the morning had me thinking it might clean up to be a warm clear day on the dam but as I swung the cruiser into Fitzy's driveway and opened the door I noticed the air temperature had dropped a few degrees from when I left the Redcliffe peninsular,this was a precurser for the whole day. We hooked up and made our way over the hill towards to Big W and what many have come to know as the 'Hoe and while I am a salt water fisho at heart it is good for the gear to give it a wash in an impoundment from time to time.

8 a.m. saw us in the middle of the paddock somewhere near Platyduck cliffs slow trolling and looking for schools of bass on the sounder.
For anyone who is not sure how this is done I recommend contacting Fitzy through this website as I still watch in amazment as Fitzy finds and decifers active and passive bass schools on one of the biggest bass lakes around and I have watched him find barra in Awoonga in the same mannor.
We trolled a variety of lures around the place while we searched for some bass to vertical jig.
We were trolling two lures, the first was just run from a rod in holder through an E-grell S1-7 rod and happened to be a collectable.The lure was one of the original purple Blitz Baga lures and while Fitz was trying to convince me to hang it in the pool room I reckoned losing it to a rampaging bass would be more fun for all.

The second was run from a Cannon Easy Troll 2 downrigger,we had one to play with for the day and were both keen to see how we could use one to improve our effectivness on the dam. Many impoundment fishos use them in our southern states in the colder dams trolling for trout and such ,we are of the oppinion they have a huge future in SEQ impoundments and not only for bass fishing but also for barra in our northern lakes. The lead weight comes up as a solid red line on the color sounder and the Matrix 97 Fitzy runs easily kept up the weight and we could then make the necessary adjustments and raise or lower the lures to co-incide with the depth our quarry was holding at. Brilliant idea!

Our downrigging adventures were soon cut short as we found a reasonable school of bass and while we could have trolled through them we decided to try and jig them, just for our own amusement. Fistly we both jigged with large metal slugs and while Fitzy is argueably the master of fishing metals in Wivenhoe I soon changed to a bettle spin accompanied buy a Saltwater Gulp on the jig hook, after all you can take the boy from the salt but ……you know the rest.
At this stage it was cold,very cold. We had a 10 knot wind blowing through the high clowds that had formed on the hills surrounding the dam, wind that would cut through sheet iron was howling down the lake and while I usually don't wear a beenie all day this was an exception.

This bass fell to a jig spinner + gulp combination
Click on image for larger version
The bettle spin was in the drink for not long when I got belted by a good fish that had my little bass rod bent to the grips, this saltwater fisho was all smiles as the bass headed for home on more than two occasions but after a bit of better luck than management soon had a plump Wivenhoe bass on the deck for a few quick photo shots and back into the drink to fight another day.

We soon lost that school and speaking to Fitzy he commented this '06 winter season has been strange as the big schooled bass have been very spooky and on more than one occasion this season he has seen schools of bass several thousand strong dissapear into thin water, this was to be repeated later in the day.
We spoke at length about that topic as we then trolled around a little longer looking for more bass and Fitzy explaned the lack of water may have the bass under some pressure and they are not behaving as they have done in times of higher water levels, it all sounded feasable to me.

A little while later we came over a school of bass 40 feet deep with fish and went for over 200m, this was a school of thousands of fish. We had our first drift over the school and as the wind had popped up a little more the drift was fast but not unfishable. Fitzy hooked up to a nice fish on the ol' metal slug while I was wondering what bad Karma I had encurred to catch a forky in school of bass that was as large as the one we were fishing.
Soon enough I was lining Fitz up in the view finder to get a few happy snaps of another very fat Wivenhoe bass.
Locals will recognise the background.......
Click on image for larger version

That school vanished after one drift over them, maybe these fish are becoming educated but in a school of thousands I am of the opinion that Fitzy may be on the money with his theory of low water levels unsettling the bass for now.

The day then got colder and as I zipped my jacket right up to the neck and as the fish were not really in the mood we decided to head for the hills and the comfort of the car looked better than the impending rain that threatened to fall on a dam desperate for the attention.
I have never spent a colder day on a dam in my life and while the fish were hard to find that day I/we learnt plenty about using the remarkable Cannon downriggers in a real time situation and for me another great day on a dam with one of my good mates.
Thanks Fitzy

The author with a fat winter bass
Click on image for larger version

Related Links:
Lake Wivenhoe Information

Heavy Metal Bass Fishing

Copyright© 2006 Jason Bird. Sweetwater Fishing Australia