Spinnerbait-munching Maroon Bass
  |  First Published: February 2003

THE DROUGHT continues in the southeast. We’ve had some rain, but only just enough to green the grass and give the impression that things are improving! If you’re an impoundment fisher looking for somewhere to get easy access for your boat and decent water to open up the throttle, good luck finding it! All the dams are low, and the boating is bordering on dangerous in some places.

The fish in the dams are handling the low water conditions, even though they’re copping a bit of a pounding at times. Because the water is so low, only certain areas are comfortable for the fish to hold in – and once you find them in the mood it’s no great trick to catch big numbers.

Reaction baits have been the way to go 90% of the time. Fly and plastics just don’t seem to have the same catching ability in the shallow, warm water as spinnerbaits, jerkbaits and lipless crankbaits. Heavier spinnerbaits have been the go lately. Not so long back, fishing a 3/4oz bait in 2-3 metres of water wouldn’t have been popular, but this technique of dragging the lure through bottom-hugging bass has won two tournaments in Maroon and one at Boondooma of late.

The technique requires a certain amount of concentration and sounder know-how to get the lure to where the fish are and keep it there as long as possible. Some fish are taken right under the boat still close to the bottom. Casting your spinnerbait out, leave some slack line to allow a vertical sink but watch your line for touches from fish taking the lure on the drop.

Once your lure has hit the bottom, slightly tighten your line, flick your rod tip and make a couple of quick turns of the handle. This will get your spinnerbait out of the bottom rubbish so it doesn’t snag and also looks to a fish like a baitfish tearing away out of his hidey hole. Now you need to slow your bait to a pace that the fish like, and keep it in that strike zone all the way back to the boat. Stopping at intervals will give you an idea of how close you are travelling to the bottom by the amount of time your bait takes to hit the bottom. Watch your sounder for bottom contour, baitfish and fish shows to give you indications of how the fish are holding and where you should put your casts.

This spinnerbaiting technique has been the best fish producer in Maroon and Moogerah lately throughout the day. Lipless crankbaits can be fished in the same way, as can plastics. On those hot, still days the surface action has been good around most of the banks of Maroon early in the morning and late in the evening.

Skiers are still allowed on Maroon, so when they’re out and hooning over shallow areas it may pay to avoid these spots.

For a charter on Maroon or Moogerah contact Harry Watson at Greenfish Sportfishing on (07) 5463 4096 or 0407 596 814, or visit www.greenfish.com.au.

1) A trio of Maroon bass caught on spinnerbaits.

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