Celebrating bass open season
  |  First Published: October 2015

September is here and it signals open season on one of my favourite fish to chase: the iconic Aussie bass. Here on the Clarence River we are spoiled for choice when it comes to water to chase these little Aussie battlers.

At this time of year the bass push back up the river towards the sweet water. After spawning and doing a lot of swimming, they are hungry. Often if you catch them in the right spot you can get really good numbers – I have heard of people getting 50+ in a session!

To celebrate bass open season my mate Ben Rampling invited me on a canoe trip down the mighty Clarence River. Unfortunately I had promised my ute to someone that weekend and we were down a canoe. I thought that was the end of it, but Benny said that he knew a bloke and it was sorted. Enter Curtis Parker of the Mann River Caravan Park, who doesn’t just hire out canoes but can also drop you off at your desired location along the river and pick you up at the end of your run. I will definitely be taking advantage of this service again this bass season.

Our run down the Clarence River was a little slow on fish but what they lacked in numbers they made up for in size. Ben upgraded his PB to 52cm of stonking lure-crunching Clarence River bass. So all things are looking pretty good for another good bass season on the Clarence.

Closer to the sea, off the rocks there have been good sized tailor up to around 3kg on the old faithful spinner chucked around the washes. The Halco Twisty has been a good producer in recent weeks.

There have also been a few better-sized trevally up to the 4kg mark hitting poppers. There has been a good sprinkle of soapy and school mulloway off the rocks as well on white 5-7” plastics, if throwing lures is your thing. If a nice, relaxing bait fishing session is more your style, strip baits of mullet and squid have been accounting for the same calibre of fish.

With the weather starting to warm up there should be a bit more activity on the flathead front in the lower reaches of the Clarence River. Any weedy drop-off will be worth a hit with the old faithful soft plastics to produce a feed of these tasty flat fish. A gun colour in the Clarence for chasing flatties is anything chartreuse. It’s always the first coloured plastic I tie on when I'm out and about rounding up a feed of flatties.

Also don't forget that for those of us who love crossing over the range to lock horns with the good old Murray cod, it is now closed season. Time for them to breed up so we can keep chasing these great Aussie sportfish for generations to come.

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