Our much-loved Australian bass can be caught in a range of environments, but to many bass die-hards, they are at their best in small, skinny streams. These places are the domain of the land-based angler with a sense of adventure. Sneaking along the banks of an overgrown stream that is barely trickling and searching for the pools deep enough to harbour bass is what some anglers live for, and this really is the epitome of bass fishing. The earliest sport fishing for bass was probably done this way, and the only thing that has changed is the gear.
In searching for a venue to take on this caper, there are a few things to consider. Of course, there needs to be bass in the creek, and the best ways to find out is by researching the catchment. The two things to find out are if there is a stocked weir or dam upstream that occasionally spills over, or if the stream has easy access to saltwater, or both. Access to saltwater will allow bass to breed when the time is right. If there are impassable barriers such as poorly designed culverts, bridges or weirs anywhere in the system, this may inhibit the bass’s ability to move freely through the system.
Secondly, you’ll want it to be a relatively healthy system. The presence of sea mullet is a great sign that that waterway is both healthy and traversable for fish.
Once you’ve established there are bass in the creek, it’s time to kit up, and it couldn’t be much simpler! Your basic needs are a light spin outfit, a small box of lures, and a backpack for necessities like water, camera, snake bite kit and spare leader material.
Your rod and reel doesn’t need to be expensive, and given that you’ll be in a fairly rough environment, it often pays to use gear on the less expensive side. The Storm Discovery Spin Fishing Rod in 4-10lb is perfect, and very affordable. Matching it with a Shimano Sedona FI Spinning Reel in 1000 size or other small inexpensive reel will give you a battle-ready creek bass weapon! Spooling this rig up with 4-6lb braid and 6-10lb fluorocarbon leader will give you the chance to land any creek bass out there, no matter how big.
Lures are always a big point of debate, and there are many – both old and new – that will work excellently for creek dwelling bass. For surface work, you can’t go past the Tiemco Soft Shell Cicada, Berkeley Scum Dog and River2Sea Bubble Pops Popper. For bladed lures, the 1/4oz Storm ST-1 Spinnerbait and 1/4oz Jaz Chatterbaitare great. Bibbed lures are always worth having on hand, and the Atomic Hardz Crank 38mm Deep, Berkeley Puppy Dog 3b Crank and Rapala Ultra Light Crank 3cm will get the job done. For soft plastics, ZMan Grubz Soft Plastics, Daiwa Bait Junkie Grub and Zerek Live Shrimp Sot Lure 50mm will turn the heads of any creek bass.
Taking bass fishing back to its roots is a highly rewarding way to fish, where even smaller fish are appreciated because of the environment they’ve come from. Next time there’s been decent rain and the cicadas are singing in the trees overhead, why not go bush bashing for a few of our favorite bronzed battlers?
Comments will be approved before showing up.