Hungry and waiting for lures
  |  First Published: November 2011

This month the water temps are up and it is a good time to target bass, golden perch and carp.

The bass are actively taking surface lures early in the morning and late in the afternoon. Goldens will be lying in wait to ambush their unsuspecting prey and carp will be ready to take baits and lures.

This is one of my favourite times of year to fish, especially for bass.

Almost every snag you cast your lure into is holding a hungry, aggressive bass waiting to ambush your lure.

Lure selection isn’t as critical as it was earlier in the season because the bass are hungry and willing to take almost anything you throw at them.

Because there are thousands of lures on the market today, I will narrow down the field to some of my favourites, starting from the surface and working my way down the water column.


My favourite is the ever-faithful buzzbait in black and purple.

The buzzbait can be fished around just about any type of structure or cover that bass will live in and these lures are almost snag- and weed-resistant.

A black jointed Arbogast Jitterbug is a must in any bass angler’s tackle box. I like to fish the Jitterbug hard in structure.

When it first hits the water, just let it sit there until the rings disappear and then slowly retrieve it back with lots of pauses. Most strikes are while it is sitting still.

Other surface lures that I fish like the Jitterbug are Heddon Crazy Crawlers and tiny or Teeny Torpedos and generic cup-faced poppers.

Most surface lures are best fished in low light conditions but will work all day at times.


Next lure on the list are shallow-diving crankbaits. These lures are good to fish through shallow rapids, over weed beds or around submerged trees.

Some of my favourites are the Jackall Chubby, Maria Crank, Lucky Craft Clutch, and the Deception Nipper.

Deep divers are next on the list, followed by lipless crankbaits and metal blades.

I don’t need to keep going on about the brands but these lures are great fished in deeper water, off steep banks and around bridge pylons.

The lipless crankbaits and blades can be fished at any depth and retrieved fast or slow.


Golden perch eat the same lures as the bass, although some of the styles are just bigger in profile.

Goldens call the same 100m or so of river home for weeks and even months, as long as there is food in the area.

It is not uncommon to catch cricket-score numbers of fish in an area if conditions are right.

They like to live along steep, grassy points, sunken timber, and shallow bays and rocky outcrops.

In November when you hook a big female, nine times out of 10 you will find smaller male fish follow the female right to the net.

More than once have I netted my fish plus a bonus fish at the same time! Both fish were released but it was interesting to capture two fish simultaneously.

Golden perch can grow to more than 20kg-plus and 76cm, but most average 2kg to 4kg and are 40cm to 50cm.

Fish in impoundments are bigger than those in the rivers. All like to feed on yabbies, shrimps, small fish, insects and worms.

Techniques to catch golden perch vary from trolling, lure casting, fly-fishing and bait fishing. I prefer to cast and retrieve or fly-fish for goldens.

I start to target golden perch by looking for grassy or rocky points and casting a variety of lipless crankbaits, blades or diving crankbaits.

This time of year I generally like dark lures – black, brown, purple and dark red.

Big golden perch can sometimes be spotted with their noses on the bottom and their tails up. If you spot fish doing this, don’t cast directly at the fish, cast a short distance past it and slowly roll the lure past the fish.

If you are getting follows and no hook-ups, make a short cast in the direction you think the fish was swimming in and change the retrieve of your lure. This can provoke a strike.

Suspending lures work really well for golden perch because they stay in the strike zone longer. Golden perch are not as fast as bass, so slow down the retrieve.


While fishing for bass and golden perch it is common to catch carp, introduced freshwater fish which are common throughout most of NSW. They are classed as noxious fish because of their destructive bottom-feeding habits, which stir up sediments and muddy the water.

Over the years carp have been the focus of countless control efforts by anglers and government agencies.

It is impossible to eradicate carp completely because they breed like rabbits. A mature female carp can produce up to 1 million eggs.

Carp can grow to more than 1m long and 50kg but fish around 4kg to 5kg are more common.

They can be caught using a variety of techniques. Worms, bread, corn and shrimps make great carp bait and they can also be caught on lure and fly.

Carp shouldn’t be released if caught. Dispose of humanely and help clean up your local fishing spot.

Feel free to send me photos of your recent captures and you might just see yourself on this page. To learn more about bass or any other species, call and I will book you in for a lesson. Mention NSWFM for a 15% discount. Young Guns Fishing Adventures are proud members of the Professional Fishing Instructors & Guides Association.

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