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Action in the eddies
  |  First Published: March 2005



Bass regulars will know that the next few months afford a fantastic time to be catching fat, hungry and aggressive fish.

In the months leading up to spawning, bass making the big swim to brackish waters to spawn become wonderfully fat and aggressive. If you’re new to catching bass, don’t fall for the idea that these are only Summertime fish. You don’t want to miss being on the water over the next few months, according to my fishing diaries.

One type of area I tend to fish a lot at this time of the year is among the foam and rubbish of back eddies. Where there is a pronounced changed in the profile of the river bank, eddies, which go in the opposite direction to the river flow, form. All types of material, ranging from drink bottles to foam, are found in these areas. Bass hang out of the current and food is brought to them on the eddy.

My diary notes indicate a lot of success with spinnerbaits and this year I reckon it’s going to be Nitro Whiz Bangers and the deadly Jackalls which enjoy the most success. Spinnerbaits, Whiz Bangers, Beetle Spins and the like have only have a single upturned hook which doesn’t foul as easily as tremble-armed lures, while the lipless rattling Jackalls, despite their high price, seem to have swept all before them over the past six months.

The Mann’s 4” Dragin’ Finesse Worm in blue pearl has been excellent at taking larger than average bass for me as a Texas rig with a 1/16oz Ultra Steel bullet weight and No 4 Gamakatsu Worm hook. This can be worked in the scary country where you’d think twice about putting a conventional lure. With the hook point sitting flush with the top of the plastic, you can place the worm in tight to the bank and under heavy cover with confidence

SURFACE THRILLS

Local rivers and creeks have been turning on great action, with the surface fishing phenomenal. The quieter waters above Windsor, away from the heavy high-speed boating traffic, have been the prime places. If you’ve been able to get an afternoon off work early mid-week, you’ve often been rewarded with some outstanding fishing.

Predatek Spaddlers walked across the surface have attracted plenty of attention. These lures have a bib that glows in the dark when hit with a torch or camera flash.

Surface fly, as regular readers would know, is one of my favourite ways to take bass and it amazes me that more anglers don’t try it. I doubt there is a more exciting way of taking bass off the surface and it gets the adrenaline flowing.

If you’ve been used to the near-zero stretch of braid on your baitcasting or spinning gear, you’re in for a real thrill on fly. With a long rod and the stretch of fly line, the bass can really make runs at the snags that just aren’t possible when they are fighting against your braid. It can be real heart-in-the-mouth fishing when a bass makes a serious lunge for the snags and it doesn’t seem to matter how quick you are with the hands.

Around weeds, lilies or timber a fly can rack up good scores of fish when other methods don’t work as well. Surface poppers and insect look-alikes don’t need any introduction to the fly-fishing converted. I let the fly sit until the ripples disappear, just as I would with a hard bodied surface lure, and then make the fly dance as lifelike as the creature it is meant to imitate.

KEEP NOTES

It really makes great sense to keep notes in a diary or your computer after each fishing trip, regardless of whether you consider the trip a failure. Reading back about past fishing adventures can be a great reminder of old lessons – what you should remember for the future.

With so much tackle and so many techniques available these days, it’s easy to forget about the valuable lessons you’ve learnt on the water. While it’s always worthwhile reading about how to become a better angler, the lessons you learn on the water are the best because you’ve found out through your own perseverance and dedication.

Over time, these lessons can be forgotten and keeping notes is a great way to keep on top of it all.

SMELL OF SUCCESS

Ever -increasing volumes of scent are sold in tackle shops around the country and while there’s often healthy scepticism in the angling press about whether they work, some anglers swear by them and scents seem to show up more frequently at fishing competitions these days.

I’ve been using scents on and off for a while and I’m sure they help boost the tally. A lot of writers pretty much leave it to the readers to make up their own minds as to their effectiveness but most agree that it may also be a matter of fishing more confidently once they are applied.

There are plenty of other species out there at the moment and if you want to try something different, there are jewfish around Wisemans Ferry, estuary perch throughout the Hawkesbury and flathead as far upstream as Windsor.

Mullet are always about and test the angler on light gear. Tailor show up occasionally in the river around Lower Portland and these make great jewfish baits, although you must ensure the tailor are of the legal 30cm.

If you have news or pics you’d like to see in this mag, call me on 0418 297 353 or email --e-mail address hidden--

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