Tight Stuff – Northern NSW Bass

Well the new bass season is underway. It got off to a bad start for me, as some low life knocked off my kayak after I had left it tied up on the bank. Luckily I had an old one that I can use in an emergency. The problem is it loves to go round in circles, so I will just have to live with that for the time being.

We have had some unseasonably hot weather up here on the North Coast of NSW lately. So I dragged out the bass gear and hit the upper reaches of one of my favourite little creeks. After paddling upstream as far as possible, I abandoned the kayak and set off on foot.

The water was stained black as ink from the tea trees and because of that the bass are really dark in colour. There are some lovely little pools up this creek that see very little pressure, so hopes were high. The creek is full of really old snags, which of course is prime habitat for our beloved prey.

The bass were on the job right from the onset. I started with some surface lures, even though I suspected it was still too early in the season. There was no insect activity at all, but being conditioned to always throw topwater lures first I had to try.

One of my favourite surface lures over the last season was a Buzzmaster buzzbait by Dreamfish. You fish this quite quickly over the surface, unlike a normal surface lure. The bass has to make an instant decision whether to attack or not and because of this the strike can be spectacular. It gives the impression of a lizard or something similar scurrying across the top of the water.

One fish that was caught had a huge scar on both sides of its body. It looked like it had a lucky escape from something pretty big. Another fish had a deformed tail, but apart from those all fish were in prime condition. The fish were not fussy at all and about twenty fish were caught on a variety of lures.

It was a great time to experiment with different lures in the middle of a hot bite. After every second fish on a lure, I swapped over and tried a new style. A number of different surface lures, divers and soft plastics all produced results. I think that this goes to show that when bass are in the mood, they will take anything within range.

Good luck to everybody this season.

Graeme “The Cod” Bowes