Beat the winter blues with bass
  |  First Published: August 2016

Despite the cold water on Blue Rock Lake, bass are still being caught on lures and bait. Adding to the excitement of winter bass, there have been some big reddies taken over the last few months in among the sticks and anglers are enjoying trolling up the odd trout out in the lake. If you ask me, having a fish at Blue Rock is not a bad way to spend a crisp winter’s morning.

Bass are typically around the 25-30cm mark, but some outstanding fish above 35cm are still being caught and released in the heart of winter. These winter bass have all succumbed to baits or lures fished deep.

At this time of the year when the water cools down, bass tend to school up and head down deep to feed on shrimp and small fish. Live baits like the trusty garden worm or crickets work wonders on bass. If a bait feels heavy enough, fish it without weight and simply drop it down amongst the snags. Otherwise, a small ball sinker above the hook is fine too.

Lure fishing for bass is best done by jigging lures among snags and often the best approach is to have one bait line set up while you jig a lure; then you have all bases covered! Ice jig lures or soft plastic grubs, minnows or shads are the choice lure among local anglers. Some big redfin have been caught over the last month too, and have been a surprise by-catch to those targeting bass.

If it’s your first time fishing at Blue Rock, it can be a bit overwhelming where to start fishing, as there certainly is no shortage of dead trees up the Tanjil Arm or in the coves dotted around the lake. Rather than using pot luck, there are some good sounders on the market and knowing how to use one properly will save you a lot of time in finding the bass and redfin schools.

Anglers should be reminded that the stream trout season reopens midnight on Friday 2 September. The closure of the season brings some relief to the stream trout population, which relies solely on natural spawning high up in the tributaries of the catchment. There are no stream trout stocking programs in West and South Gippsland, so we rely strongly on anglers catching and releasing trout.

If you are heading out to target stream blackfish or eel, or just happen to be passing through and spot illegal activities on our streams, please report to 13 FISH.

Feel free to send me a report or photo, particularly if you have any success stories before the closure of the trout season or bass on Blue Rock. Happy fishing!

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