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  • Chasing Wild Bass In The Upper Reaches 5 1

Author Topic: Chasing Wild Bass In The Upper Reaches  (Read 8074 times)

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Chasing Wild Bass In The Upper Reaches
« on: September 19, 2010, 07:30:37 PM »
In the last year or so I have really enjoyed the challenge of targeting wild Bass in the right up in the upper reaches of a lot of our coastal creeks and river systems in the south east corner of Queensland especially on the Sunshine Coast, skinny water country where it is too difficult to kayak and land based angling is the best approach.

It has amazed me how much little water these little Aussie Battlers can be found in with some being caught in waters with creeks that are only about 1 metre wide and about 30cm deep. Iím constantly asking myself questions of whenís the best time to catch these Bass out of the closed season, learning more and more every time I walk the banks.

Like most waterways or impoundments the body of water that we fish in, is constantly changing. These small creeks systems are constantly changing from outside influences due to flooding rain when new sand banks and snags can be formed and others destroyed. On the other hand when wet weather times are lean these creek systems can dry up significantly and the Bass tend to congregate in deeper waterholes.

When the creeks flow from run off rain, pushing into the catchment areas there is much food and nutrients that also flow downstream along with the sediment that is picked up from the sandy, muddy banks giving the Bass cover in the murky waters from predators such as the native Sea Eagles that also reside on the coastal fringes, and another apex predator or hunter, the angler.

When the creeks are flowing, food can be abundant and Bass are actively feeding hard up at the base of small rapids in eddies that are formed by the water flow circling off structure such as timber logs or rock formations. Here the Bass feed on anything that resembles an easy meal as the Bass eagerly waits for an unsuspecting bait fish to be pulled downstream, apposed to when times are dryer and the creeks have turned to a trickle. Due to the cover of the murky water from suspended sediment you are able to cast lures from the banks edges to which the Bass can be sometimes feeding just below the surface at your feet. Using small subsurface lures and a long leader can be an effective combination when targeting these Bass in this situation. Casting the lure upstream and letting them drift downstream through the rapids and into the strike zone of these eddies before retrieving the lure against the flow of the creek.

In the dryer times Bass can be found at the head of larger pools taking cover under structure such as fallen timber and rock ledges. Sometimes food can be scarce and the Bass will take any opportunity to take a meal when it presents itself. What has changed? Water levels have dropped, water flow has slowed, suspending sediment has settled and the water clarity has improved immensely. A different approach is needed. Submerged snags, structure and fish can be seen clearly from above the waters surface. Being stealthy and well hidden casting lures from behind trees and shrubs or higher from the banks edges is needed. Casting lures such as diving hard bodies, spinner baits and small blades against these structures luring the Bass from beneath their comfortable snags can be awesome fun. Surface fishing using top water lures can be even more exciting especially when sight casting for these feisty fish who can be seen actively feeding on unexpected insects that have fallen to a watery grave.

It is fantastic to see so many local waterways so healthy with breeding populations of Australian Bass. In the very upper reaches the Bass tend to be not of any great size, however from time to time you can be rewarded with a trophy fish in excess of 50cm plus, itís all about the adventure, wondering what can be lurking around the next bend of the creek.

Hopefully this post will encourage and provide others to fish this type of terrain, giving them a small insight of this type of fishing and something to think about when planning their next skinny water adventure.

Cheers Dave



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Re: Chasing Wild Bass In The Upper Reaches
« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2010, 10:52:47 PM »
Bracey, I agree totally. My first Bass was caught on the North Maroochy above Yandina, 37cm out of a pocket the size of a dinning room table between 2 runs over rock shelves, absolutely awesome experience and that hooked me on the bronze battlers forever.

Another Bass I caught up that way was in a pool totally separated from any waterway by about 2 miles except when it floods  ::) only went 20cm but was a total surprise  :o i was just trying the lure to see the action not expecting a fish to be in a roadside drain that far from the creek.

Cheers Brad

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Re: Chasing Wild Bass In The Upper Reaches
« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2010, 05:47:31 PM »
Great post mate. Sort of captures the whole esscence of bassin in my mind. I have caught them in them in dams before but much prefer the whole feel of chasing them in their natural environmment.
 Sounds like youve got a pretty good handle on them aswell.

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Re: Chasing Wild Bass In The Upper Reaches
« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2010, 07:09:28 PM »
Nice one Dave

Wild bass and surface action. Doesnt get any better I recon.

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Re: Chasing Wild Bass In The Upper Reaches
« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2010, 11:10:23 PM »
You've certainly got me hooked on this sort of fishing Dave. The first day you took me fishing and caught the 6 bass was my best day fishing ever!

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Re: Chasing Wild Bass In The Upper Reaches
« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2010, 05:05:30 AM »
You've certainly got me hooked on this sort of fishing Dave. The first day you took me fishing and caught the 6 bass was my best day fishing ever!

You'll have to stop working so much Ross and come with us more often. ;D

This rain would have pushed them way further downstream I reckon!

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Re: Chasing Wild Bass In The Upper Reaches
« Reply #6 on: December 08, 2010, 06:43:13 AM »
Well they opened the spillway on North Pine Monday night, so there should be plenty more of those "wild bass" heading your way in the next month or so as they pick up the scent of the fresh water and head up all the little creeks.

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Re: Chasing Wild Bass In The Upper Reaches
« Reply #7 on: December 08, 2010, 11:58:10 AM »
I think dams that go over in this rainy period will give a lot of stocks to creeks and rivers all up he coast.  When I am fishing I try to think where the food might be and go there.  I don't know how many times I have seen a great snag and peppered it with lures because it looked sssoooooo good, only to come up with nothing.  Then 20 metres down on a bank with no "visible" structure and maybe just a little grass over hanging, cast and two twitches .... bang!!!.  I have noticed in other areas, that banks lined with grass growing onto the water are the go to spots even though there are snags or overhanging tree just near by.  The grass has food source and that's where the fish are.

What do you reckon about the flows.  How much current makes it hard for the bass to move up which they are prone to do at this time of year and how much is suitabable to move up and colonise new pools far upstream. 

Bracey, I remember a little while back I was on that bit of water we have recently spoken about and saw a tiny frog go for his life from one side of the creek to the other.  It only hit the water 4 times but every time a bass was hot its heels.  I cast my sammy on the last boil and hooked up.  It pays to watch for some action and target that too ;)

Cheers Geoff

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Re: Chasing Wild Bass In The Upper Reaches
« Reply #8 on: December 08, 2010, 06:44:14 PM »
Unfortunately Andrew we can't stop the fish from going over when the lakes reach their full capacity. It's not all bad though.

Geoff your spot on with finding the bait. A couple of weekends ago I saw some little prawns skipping across the top of the waters surface out in the open, no structure to be seen, cast my lure towards them and bang, fish on!

I once saw a 8 inch Frilled Neck Lizard scoot across the sand and then over the water at one hundred miles an hour after I startled it, only for it to get nailed 3 or 4 times by surface feeding Bass on the other side. Obviously it was too large for the Bass to grab hold of it, although from memory a few fish were caught from that very small stretch of bank.

Cheers Dave

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Re: Chasing Wild Bass In The Upper Reaches
« Reply #9 on: December 08, 2010, 09:25:07 PM »
Ohhh I liked reading that ! A mate and myself have been getting stuck into this sort of fishing also over the last year. Even though the bass aren't as large as the dam dwellers, the whole days seem so much more rewarding.

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Re: Chasing Wild Bass In The Upper Reaches
« Reply #10 on: July 02, 2011, 06:36:48 PM »
G'Day Dave,

I've been taking  a few looks at the South Maroochy River around Yandina. Have you fished this arm much? Is the way kayakable upstream of the highway?

Cheers,

fitz..

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Re: Chasing Wild Bass In The Upper Reaches
« Reply #11 on: July 02, 2011, 07:57:48 PM »
G'Day Dave,

I've been taking  a few looks at the South Maroochy River around Yandina. Have you fished this arm much? Is the way kayakable upstream of the highway?

Cheers,

fitz..

Mate, I haven't yakked that part of the river system yet. I have tried looking at some good launching spots though with the best being near the footbridge at Yandina in the park. Either way looks shallow in parts however from what I have been told, upstraem of the caravan park is better. There are some awesome looking spots I have found to launch and explore in the upper reaches of Petrie Ck too.

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Re: Chasing Wild Bass In The Upper Reaches
« Reply #12 on: July 04, 2011, 01:28:54 PM »
Nice read Dave!
Still have to hit up a fish for wild bass one day, looks great fun!

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Re: Chasing Wild Bass In The Upper Reaches
« Reply #13 on: July 04, 2011, 03:57:38 PM »
Yeah mate, I just love the adventure, a fish is a bonus!

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Re: Chasing Wild Bass In The Upper Reaches
« Reply #14 on: July 05, 2011, 10:35:01 AM »
Not wrong. Some of the places you venture looks stunning!

 

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