This site is dedicated to those passionate about fishing from kayaks for the iconic Australian Bass. If you enjoy a good fishing yarn especially when you can’t get out and hit the water yourself then this is the site for you! Grab a coffee, have a read and day dream of the next time you cast that lure tight next to a bit of submerged timber,
THE SPARK THAT STARTED A FIRE
I began lure fishing when I was 21. I was already a keen fisherman but it wasn’t until my 21st birthday that friends of mine bought me my first baitcasting reel and rod. It was a Shimano Coriolis with a pistil grip Shimano Convergence rod. To christen the outfit I had the opportunity to travel to the South Johnstone river where we spent the weekend chasing Sooty grunter. By the end of the first trip I had managed 6 Sooty grunter and a mangrove jack and my fate was sealed. I was now an obsessed lure fisherman.
Since then I have targeted most tropical freshwater and estuarine fish species including those shown in the photos below;
After 10 years in Townsville I moved to Brisbane and must admit I was a little despondent about the fishing potential in such a big city. Initially I started targeting flathead on soft plastics and was awestruck with the size of some of the fish we caught. I played around targeting bream as well but it just didn’t give me the same buzz as targeting barra in north Queensland. Eventually someone mentioned Australian bass and so I planned a trip to the Brisbane river with a friend and launched my Coleman Scanoe. My lure of choice was a 50mm Stumpjumper and the best colours were gold or a green/gold. My first trip saw me net about 15 bass with the majority of fish under 30cm.
Even though they were small being able to cast into structure and battle with a fish desperately trying to drag the lure back into the timber gave me a thrill like I felt in my barra chasing days. I began to explore a few new rivers and regularly fished Hinze Dam where I really learned how to target bass well and catch them regularly on bibless crankbaits such as Ecogear VT65’s and Jackall TN50’s. The highlight of those years was a 52cm Australian Bass that I managed at Hinze Dam that far exceeded any bass I had or have caught in there since.
I managed to get out a fair bit but eventually my two mates who were always keen for a fish moved back to North Queensland and I struggled to find anyone with the passion that I had for exploring and chasing bass and flathead on lures. Initially I would take out my massive Coleman Scanoe on my own but this was an exhausting endeavour and gradually began to wear thin.
TARGETING BASS ON A “YAK'”
The Kevin Rudd stimulus package provided me the opportunity I was waiting for. and I was finally able to purchase my first kayak. It was a Viking Tempo Fisherman and I though it was the best thing ever!! It was and still is an awesome estuary kayak and great for dam’s and big rivers. However, I soon found myself focusing more and more on chasing Australian Bass and even took the time to travel to the mighty Clarence river which I has read about in magazines as being the home of some big bass.
As my thirst to explore every creek and river I could find grew I realised the size of my kayak was limiting my ability to paddle some of the skinny creeks that bass love to hide in. These creeks require significant portage and often get treated very poorly as the are dragged through terrain that tears into them unmercilessly. This lead me to my second kayak purchase, which was a Eco Daintree.
This kayak is an entry level kayak and although not the best in terms of tracking has been an important part of many of my adventures and I have been very happy with its performance. It is light and cheap enough that I don’t have heart failure any time it is scratched or i see a tightly curled piece of orange plastic on the rocks I have just dragged it over! It has managed to catch hundreds of bass and although it struggles to old its line in a little wind and current I have found I have just gotten used to it over the years.
Recently I have also had the opportunity to pick up a Mantra Noa from Adventure Outlet down on the Gold Coast. It is another entry level kayak but unlike the Eco Daintree it is a Sit On Top (SOT) and has a number of major differences to the Daintree. Like the Daintree it is light about the 20kg mark and has a huge amount of storage unlike the Daintree. It also has a substantially higher weight capacity at 150kg compared to the Daintree’s 110kg. Its only drawback when bass fishing is the V-shaped hull which prevents it from easily traversing shallow rapids unlike the flat hull of the Daintree.
The Mantra Noa is the kayak I use to chase Australian Bass at night. These sessions are typically in pools that are large with minimal portage as its just a bit dangerous at night. Its easy to get in and out and very stable when you are moving around the kayak blind most of the time.
THE ALLURE OF TARGETING AUSTRALIAN BASS OFF THE SURFACE
After joining the forum Kayak Fishing Down Under I found a site with a wealth of information and wonderful personalities to share my adventures with and learn from. The first thing that I discovered was that many of the dedicated bass fisherman on the forum were consistently using and caching Australian Bass on surface lures. Prior to this I had only read about surface fishing for bass in magazines and had incorrectly assumed that only “Bass Experts” could use them.
So I purchased myself a number of surface lures after reading the reports of other Bass Yakkers. Eagerly I headed off the weekend after they arrived and I tied on a Luckycraft Sammy 65. First cast and the lure was smashed by a bass that hit the lure and missed. The sheer volume of adrenalin that screamed through my veins was awesome. When the 35cmFL bass finally had another crack at the lure and connected I was now completely and utterly addicted to surface fishing for bass. Later that morning I managed a 42cmFL bass that finally sealed my fate!!