If you had of told me last year that in May I would be taking more about bass than trout, I would have said you’re crazy, but as more bass continue to be caught, it looks like we may have ourselves a new fishery.
Now obviously the whole idea was to create a new fishery, but it was unsure whether the bass would be successful even though they are endemic to this area. The original stocking in 2002/03 hadn’t produced many recaptures, but since the last three years of stocking under the new five year plan, the evidence is right there that this has been a success and this is just the start.
Without divulging too much info on locations, remember these are a premier sportfish and the anglers doing all the work to find them don’t want me letting all their secrets go. But, Blue Rock has received the most publicity of the stocking regime and it has been doing very well.
The main way to catch bass has been via hardbodied lures. A lot of kayakers are catching the bass due to the harsh boating restrictions of Blue Rock and mostly are slow trolling hardbodied around the sticks and bank edges to get the bass.
Early mornings and afternoons seem to be the go, but it will be interesting to see how winter goes for the bass, as bass are not traditionally a winter fish. Hardbodied lures between 50-80mm seem to be working very well for trolling and you would probably want to get one that dives between 1.5-3m.
Trolling hasn’t been the only way to catch the bass, a few keen anglers have been casting bibles floating minnows or stick baits around the trees and inducing surface strikes. The bass seem to love the surface lures especially in the afternoons and evenings.
Now bass are not just in Blue Rock, they have also been caught in a few rivers around Gippsland, some of which have been stocked by fisheries, others that may be escapees from the dams. In the rivers, trout spinners have been producing a lot of the bass, obviously because a lot of anglers are targeting trout and have accidently caught bass. Not a bad thing!
To finish off on the Bass, they are definitely getting bigger; there have been quite a few now caught around 25cm. There are still plenty of fish under 20cm and there have been a few beauties caught of around 35cm.Reads: 641