March on the Blue Rock bass bandwagon
  |  First Published: March 2015

March is set to be an exciting month for anglers chasing bass at Blue Rock Lake. The cool and windy start to summer didn’t deter anglers from getting amongst the bass action and with the weather likely to be a little more stable over the coming months, surface fishing for bass will be a lot of fun on mirror calm water. Bass are quickly gaining the reputation as an exciting sport fish in the region with more and more anglers getting on the bass bandwagon.

Early mornings or late afternoons seem to be the most productive time for actively feeding bass in the dark waters of Blue Rock. Daylight savings ends on April 5 so there’ll still be plenty of time after work to sneak out for some action.

Lure anglers have been having a lot of fun with surface lures cast right at the bank and retrieved back towards the boat or kayak. Surface lures are best fished in the calm waters of protected coves so that you can watch the lure as you retrieve it. The split second wake under the lure followed by a surface bust up then sudden chaos as the lure is smashed really gets the heart pounding. This style of fishing becomes very addictive.

Poppers have no doubt been the most attractive surface lure but other styles like bent un-bibbed minnows, skippers or walkers and paddlers are worth playing with. Don’t be scared going big either with the poppers; 7cm poppers may look too big but that hasn’t deterred bass from engulfing them.

Other lures that have been working well include spinner blades, bibbed minnows and soft plastics. The lures used for Australian bass fishing are very similar to the styles of lures created and adopted for bass fishing in America. And with more and more lures being thought up, designed and tested every day to suit our conditions, there’s an abundance of lures on the market to play with, meaning we’ll never get bored of lure shopping!

Bait anglers are having a lot of fun too using worms, crickets and grasshoppers fished under a float against structure or close to the bank. Bait tends to attract the smaller fish but don’t underestimate the fight of a small bass. And if it’s bragging rights to gloat how many bass you caught, size doesn’t matter.

It’s great to see most anglers respect the bass, choosing to catch and release. Fish have been ranging from 20cm right up to 40cm+, clearly showing the differences in stocking years. Unlike the western lakes in Victoria, Blue Rock doesn’t have a natural minnow population nor does it have a lot of aquatic and semi-aquatic vegetation, which has traditionally allowed stocked fish to grow rapidly. In Blue Rock, the evidence I have on their feeding habits have been from regurgitated stomach contents containing shrimp and small redfin. There’s no doubt they’d also be feeding on small carp, trout and other aquatic invertebrate. Each bass photo I see and the evidence I have from catching them shows that they are really healthy fish and, with plenty of feed in the lake, they’ve been able to easily reach that trophy 40cm+ size. Let’s just hope they keep on stocking them so that this lake becomes the ultimate freshwater sports fishing destination in Victoria.

A decent redfin or trout can still be a nice by-catch for anglers targeting bass. If you’ve had any success with bass on fly, I’d be very interested to get your report and/or photo too. Please send me any reports or photos from your stream fishing or Blue Rock Lake trip. Happy fishing!

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