This is probably the last month most anglers will be chasing bass before following some other Winter pursuit, while those with a serious fishing addiction will turn to other species.
The water will be a lot cooler this month with air temperatures also worth rugging up for.
For a last lash at the bass, try larger surface lures for the early morning and late afternoon sessions and use diving lures and spinnerbaits for subsurface presentations. I’ve also bought myself a very healthy collection of spinnerbaits.
I’m a real fan of soft plastics and prefer a 3” plastic worm or curl-tail grub at this time of year. I’ve been trying out Strike Pro’s Reaction Baits and their Pheromone Fusion with pleasing results, often in tough conditions included.
Another of my favourite lures at the moment is the Secret Creek Swingin’ Stuttra, which is excellent around timber, weed, cliffs and heavy overhanging vegetation. These shaker blade jigs have a long worm trailer and an erratic, pulsating action that drives fish nuts.
I cannot understand why catching bass and estuary perch on fly is not more popular. It’s like starting your bass love affair all over again.
Until you’ve caught a bass on fly you might find it hard to understand what I’m going on about.
I’ve been enjoying presenting flies to aggro pre-spawn bass and I’ve loved watching my bright yellow fly line making a wavy motion in the current, only to be straightened out as a bass hits my surface fly in an eruption of foam.
I’ve been using Dahlberg flies and foam and timber poppers. While my own hand-tied models are not up to the quality of some commercial flies, the bass don’t know the difference and I get the satisfaction of my own creation working.
Outfits around 5wt or 6wt are my usual weapons and while small bass don’t give much thrill on these rods, the bigger fish make you grateful for something a little heavier.
From the imaginative minds of tinkering anglers come some of the most successful and timeless lure designs.
I’ve worked on various ideas in recent years. Some make my Hall of Fame, while others make the bin.
While there’s nothing really new when it comes to lures, it’s when the variations catch fish that everything comes together and there’s very little more satisfuying.
Remember, the closed season on bass and estuary perch runs form June 1 to August 31. Don’t be caught with any during this period, not even in your livewell.
The author’s home-made buzzbait accounted for plenty of fish even in discoloured water. The flared black skirt gives bulk and contrast, the clacker adds noise and the stinger hook combated short strikers.Reads: 821