Walking up the Grose River – Near Sydney, Australia

Thinking back now, what a great day we had. It was one of those days that you were waiting with great anticipation for. Like everyone I guess, we planned for the sojourn for weeks. We knew there were bass there as I have been fishing the Grose for 20+ years and have caught quite a lot a nice 300mm+ fish from it. Unfortunately it has silted up quite a lot lately and where there were nice deep black holes where we used to troll with Bennett McGrath’s are now just white sandy beaches. I picked up Steve and Brendan and from the moment we got into the car we didn’t stop theorising about the day ahead. We headed down this single lane road, parked the car and we were off.

It was a Friday afternoon and the temperature was hot and sticky with cicadas going ballistic. Just perfect for bass fishing. It was just after lunch and it took us quite a while finding our way down to the river, as the track was closed in with tall weeds and that scourge, lantana. We finally stepped foot on the sandy riverbed. Brendan marked the spot where we came in from with a stick, just in case we lost our way in the dark.  I made sure by taking my GPS and marked where we came in. It didn’t take long and I was into my first fish, only a little tacker around 150mm on my favourite lure, a black crickhopper. The tannin stained water was only a foot deep and about a metre across and was running right next to a huge bolder. I am still amazed at how a bass can live in such a small body of water.

We walked for another half hour or so to get to some good water. The Grose is only about an hour west of Sydney and is absolutely pristine. We were fishing around the mid section of the Grose with huge boulders right in the middle of the river. This section lends itself to a lot of little hidey-holes for bass to reside.

We finally got to some nice holes; you know the ones, deep and black. It was a huge, probably 30m square and about 4m deep. I had an old red and black spinner bait and I thought there had to be big bass in there somewhere. I was about 8m up sitting on another huge rock. I put a speculator right smack bang in the middle of the river and counted to four. The eggbeater had just engaged and bang it was on for young and old. The blackest bass I had seen in years had taken my spinner bait as if there was no tomorrow. The reel screamed and the bass took off straight for the other side of the river. It was around 350mm in great condition and thick.

Walking through gorge country is something really quite special, the quietness and beauty is overwhelming.  Sometimes I like to just stop and listen to the Superb Lyrebirds that frequent this area of the Blue Mountains. We walked a few hundred meters to the next pool. It was Steve’s turn to catch one. I could see him eyeing off a section of water that was right underneath a waterfall. The tannin stained water was bubbling and you could imagine a bass just waiting for something to drop. And it did. Steve’s lure was hit the moment it touched down. Again it was an absolute ripper of a bass, 400mm+ and just as black. I had to check it out. He was on a rock about 2m above the waterline and just had to get a photo. It got stuck between two rocks and then I was asked to help retrieve it for a photo. I obliged. Trouble was, I slipped and the bass and the lure parted company. To this very day I still get ribbed about “letting it go”. It wasn’t that big really Steve!!

I walked up to the next relatively big hole and was standing a rock about three metres from the water, I summoned Steve and Brendan over cause right under neath us were about three or four pretty big bass just circling around and they could not of cared less that we were there and do you think they would be interested in our lures, not on your life!

You know, it’s those sorts of outings that really cement the good times that can be had going fishing with friends in a beautiful environment.  We caught many more bass that day and released the lot of them. I love the Grose River and remembering these great fish just makes me want to go back.

Written by Rod Cumming  Copyright 2013