Any chance at a midweek social fish is always great, but when you have two enthusiastic, and somewhat famous, companions then it makes the day a trip to remember.
My companions were Shea Fisher, Australian Country Music star, and her Father Eddie Fisher, renowned Rodeo champion. We all headed out to South East Queensland’s Lake Maroon for a social fish and a great day out.
Lake Maroon is situated only 23km south of picturesque Boonah in the heart of the scenic rim. Mt Barney overshadows this special lake that appeals to the weekend or professional angler. At a modest 325ha Maroon Dam holds 44,300mL of water at full capacity and was designed as an irrigation storage. It also boasts one of the countries best populations of feisty Australian Bass and goes down in history for hosting the very first ABT Bass Pro Tournament Grand Final.
Eddie and Shea are both very energetic fun people and couldn’t wait to have a go at some lure casting for bass. I picked the excited pair up at the boat ramp on daybreak and made a swift run to the lake’s headwaters. A long way from the recording studio and Rodeo scene they were welcomed with glassed-out conditions. Soon we were targeting some open weed beds with a whole range of presentations before heading into some big bass holding structure.
Eddie was on his game with the spin and casting tackle. Having spent so long in the States he enjoyed getting out on the Lake near his home base, Sealy Texas, to chase largemouth bass. In fact, that’s the only freshwater lure fishing he has done.
Eddie told me a story about a trip with his friend Randy. They burnt spinnerbaits across the top of reeds to catch some pretty hefty fish.
“That’s the only place the lure could go, the reeds where too thick and snaggy to let them sink, we caught fish after fish”, explained Eddie. He showed me a shallow weed bed intertwined with a sunken carcass of an old lantana bush.
“It looked just like that, but man we would watch the fish come up and smash the lure, you could put your whole fist into those suckers mouths”, Eddie told me energetically.
Eddie and Shea are both very talented in their own rights so it felt great to be able to show them some of the finer details to modern bass fishing and how much our sport had grown in Australia.
During our session I made an effort to give them a taste of a whole range of presentations. While the mist was still rising off the water we used surface baits to target some shallow fish. We worked a newly formed weed bed and targeted its pockets with Jackall Brothers Mask Frogs.
Casting the Frogs onto the weed edge I demonstrated to the Fishers the slow draw and pause technique. Slowly working the lure through the pocket, it took a few looks, bumps and boils before one fish finally exploded onto my lure. Using a locked drag to get the fish into the open water it was quickly landed and photographed. We hit a run of fish and I sat back as Eddie and Shea concentrated their efforts. They both eventually landed their first lure-caught Australian bass. Eddie commented on the strength of our fish compared to their US cousins.
As the morning expired I systematically moved to the points on the same weed bed. This time we jerkbaited for our fish.
With the boat in 8ft of water and casting to the weed face in approximately 5-6ft, I chose a Jackall Brothers DD Squirrel 67’s. As I explained the technique I showed the lures action and suspended dead stick. We accumulated a number of fish on the jerkbaits and once I saw Shea and Eddie where on the technique, I put down a novel challenge as to who could leave their lure paused for the longest before giving their line a flick and having a fish load.
Bass love to follow out jerkbaits and sit behind them on a pause waiting for a sign of life before engulfing the presentation. Shea mastered this and won the challenge, she stated that fishing with lures could be quite addictive (if only she knew!).
The day was fantastic, each technique worked and the fish responded really well. As the jerkbait bite tapered off we moved to jighead rigged bass minnows. With the pressure of catching fish off, I took the opportunity to end the session on a high.
I searched a timbered edge lining a creek bed drop-off for some bigger solitary fish. Fishing 1/12oz jighead rigged 3” Berkley Dropshot Bass minnows, I gave the guys some directions where to cast. Allowing our presentations to hit the bottom we worked the baits over the drop-off and past the timber with a single rip and sink technique. We quickly loaded two fish, one stitched Eddie over in the thick timber like lightening and I landed the second after an intense battle on light spin tackle.
Check out Sheas Fishers myspace music page, myspace.com/sheafisherband for any information or a sample of her songs and if you’re interested in where Steve Forde gets his jeans or the toughest cowboys buy their bull riding spurs visit www.ridetuff.com.
Shea’s current chart topping Album ‘Everyday Girl’ is a modern, cool look at country. Her CMC, No.1 single ‘Just the Excuse’ aimed at a younger generation touts some very attractive young guys and girls including Home and Away’s Lincoln Lewis. Shea has also just finished her ‘Spirit of the Bush’ tour along side Lee Kernagan. She has featured in a host of well-known magazines, such as Womans Day and The Daily Telegraph. Shea recently performed at the last CMC awards night and is in the process of recording her second album in Nashville, Tennessee. When Shea isn’t on the stage you will find her in the saddle competing on Australian Pro Rodeo Circuit.
Eddie Fisher, Shea’s father, boasts a 20-year long professional Rodeo career in both Australia and the USA and now runs Australia’s biggest wholesale Western Clothing and Rodeo Equipment Business, RideTuff. Eddies greatest achievements include winning round 1 of the world’s biggest Bull Riding event at the famous Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo. He also qualified and competed successfully for two years in the highly acclaimed Professional Bull Riders Association and the Bud Light Cup Tour, which is televised on Fox Sports regularly. He won a round of PBR Tuff Hedeman Challenge with a score of 92 points and Australia’s most famous Rodeo, Mt Isa. Topping off Eddies long list in career highlights are four Australian Pro Bull Riding and Bareback Titles.