The bass are looking up
  |  First Published: October 2012

The bass fishos have had a month to settle into the new season and now things should be warm enough for the fish to really start thinking about those surface lures, especially on those humid afternoons when the fish are warm and keen.

Darker hardbodies and spinnerbaits will be the go at other times and they should tempt a few of the bigger specimens out of their cosy snags.

The bigger fish are often quite hungry and keen for a lure at this time, either preparing for their journey upstream or recovering from the journey they just made.

You will probably need to focus on the best snags to get the bigger fish because the weed beds and banks will usually be well populated by schools of smaller fish.

Most of the larger bass should be getting well into the upper parts of our river systems but you can still expect a few stragglers still hanging down around the brackish water. This will especially be the case in the smaller systems and the rivers that haven’t seen higher water from recent rains.


These brackish sections should be ideal this month for chasing a few mulloway around the snags and bridges, with plenty of flathead and bream to keep you on your toes, too.

If you can find the structure and bait, throwing a soft plastic or hardbody can lead to a real mixed bag at this time of year. Mulloway, bream, flathead and even mangrove jacks will be on the cards.

There have been a few larger mulloway hanging around some of this structure and a few anglers have stumbled into some hefty fights on light bream gear. Some of these fish have been well above 10kg so be warned, your 3kg gear might be up for a bit of a workout.

There has also been a near-plague of very small (under 15cm) trevally cruising most of our estuaries. They are not often the target size but it can bring some fun to a session if no other fish can be tempted.

Usually, though, if you can find these trevally schools then there should be something a little more worth the effort close by.

With the water temperature still fairly low many fish will be venturing up onto the flats on the incoming tide in the search of warmer water and food. Throwing light plastics or surface lures around any area with broken weed beds will be a great technique for finding fish in these areas.

You may be quite surprised at the calibre of fish you find in 60cm of water at this time of year.

Down around the estuary mouths and headlands there should still be some luderick hunting for weed and some baitfish being harassed by schools of tailor and salmon.

The run of tailor in numbers and size has definitely seemed a bit stronger this year compared with the past couple of years. The salmon schools shouldn’t be around much longer but smaller schools of tailor should stick around the headlands and river mouths right into next month.

There are still numbers of school mulloway up to 15kg along the beaches and off the headlands. There’s the odd capture of a bigger jewie but most are 10kg or less.


Offshore, the run of snapper should continue on from the Past few months. This month they will be found anywhere from the inshore reefs and headlands out to the islands and deeper reefs.

The kingfish and samson should still be hanging around the deeper reefs and drop-offs.

Trolling hardbodies around the pinnacle reefs and islands can be a good way to search for the solitary bigger kingies. Finding larger schools on the sounder and jigging or berleying and using bait will be the best way to get numbers of kingies and sambos.


Finally the wait is almost over for trout anglers to cast a line into the creeks and streams of the local highlands. It’s always hard waiting for the season to open but in a lot of ways I’m glad for the closure because it prevents me getting up there and freezing my fingers and toes off during the Winter.

After a cracking season 2011-2012 there will be much anticipation for this season’s opening and not even frosty mornings will stop the keen ones hoping to open the season with an early session.

I will be trying to sneak up there somewhere in the first couple of weeks to start my new season tally. The early season means that bright colours such as pink and orange should work well if using lures and egg flies like the Glo Bug and Muppet will also be popular choices for the fly fishers.

In this month of hot and cold weather I hope that your fishing experiences are not the same.

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