Looks like an early Spring
  |  First Published: September 2012

Spring on land came early this year with numerous flowering plants exploding into their colourful blossoms sooner than usual. Let’s hope this trend continues on the water, bringing some early action from species that traditionally slow down in the colder months.

Bass are on many fishos’ minds now the seasonal closure restrictions are lifted. June to August is a no-take period where the fish are most likely breeding in the brackish waters.

Last season we experienced some great action in October on bass so I have decided to do some exploratory trips this month to see if the fish have returned to our favourite stretches of fresh.

I am really champing at the bit to get back into the fresh and camp on the riverbank. My wife Carol and I purchased a pair of new kayaks over Winter and they are yet to be tested deep in bass country.

I expect that spinnerbaits and diving minnows will be the lures to use rather than surface offerings, with the fish more likely to be chasing baitfish rather than terrestrial insects.

However, surface lures also represent frogs and could still be worth a try, particularly at night.

I recently received an assortment of diving lures from Balista Lures that feature LED flashing light technology once immersed in water. The tail of the lure emits a red flashing light claimed to mimic a wounded bait.

I am interested to see if they spark some interest from night prowling bass this Summer. I reckon the LED technology would go well if they expand their range into some surface lures.

Check www.balista.com.au for the full lure range.

To date I have tested them only on Conjola tailor. They have a sweet action and are robust and well made.

While plugging products, I also received an interesting bit of kit that will interest land-based anglers. Brian Jose of Beachmaster rod holders sent me one of his creations to field test off the rocks and beaches and I have certainly put it to good use over the past six months.

The unique all stainless design incorporates a solid steel spike that can be set shallow or deep, ideal for shoving into natural cracks and small holes. At full extension and buried completely in sand it will also tolerate strikes in gear when chasing jewfish off the beach.

It has also proved a good tool for land based game on wave-washed low ledges, allowing me to keep my live bait outfit relatively dry. Check out www.beachmasterfishingcom.au


Snapper are still going well with fish averaging 3kg common. I have been scoring a few nice ones on bait but there have been plenty of dead days without so much as a bite. A change to the soft plastic gear and the reds were on again with a few more fish to 3kg, the perfect size to feed the family.

The cuttlefish run will most likely be over for another year now but it can occasionally stretch into September so if you do happen to luck onto a cuttly floater, it will definitely be holding some big snapper.

Jim Furlong has been toiling for many years in search of a big land-based snapper and finally snared a stunning 6kg fish.

There has been the odd showing of jewfish off the rocks recently, as Phil Apolada found out. He hit paydirt when he popped his jew-on-plastic cherry with a 14kg fish in broad daylight off the rocks, then backed it up with a 9kg one the next day.

I still vividly remember being virtually spooled on a sunny September day a decade ago by a massive jewfish. Somehow the bottom of the spool didn’t quite empty and the fish was coaxed back to our feet 10 minutes later.

It surfaced mere metres from the gaff, giving us a real good look at it, then the hook inexplicably straightened and the fish simply sank into the suds. I don’t think I have spat the dummy more than when I lost that fish.

But that is what keeps us coming back for more.

From now right through to Christmas expect jewfish activity to increase, particularly in the estuaries.

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