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CHATTERBAITIN' BASS

Aidan Robertson

Australian Bass are one of Australia's outstanding freshwater sportfish; they are a beautiful freshwater fish found in the high upper reaches of creeks and streams. They live in remote, picturesque locations of fresh to brackish water and are a popular species to chase out of a kayak. Bass are an aggressive fish when they want to be and provide a great fight for the angler. It is their hard hit and incredible pulling power that keeps anglers coming back for more.

Where:

Bass are an aggressive fish that live in the uppermost reaches of creeks and streams consisting of brackish to freshwater. They can be found in the deepest holes to the shallowest of rocky flowing creeks. They are generally found living in the undercut banks or around submerged structure such as trees and logs, often on the deeper side of the creek / stream and usually hiding in the shade. In saying that, they are occasionally caught in the open sunny part of the creek.

Early morning or late afternoon is generally a favourable time for targeting Australian bass. They prefer to live under cover so casting your lure as close to the bank, or structure, as possible helps to increase your chances of catching one.

ChatterBaits:

ChatterBaits are an effective lure when targeting Australian Bass as they can be worked a number of different ways, from shallow to deep, depending on how long you allow them to sink. They provide great vibration through the water and enough colour and flash to spark an aggressive bass to bite. Whether the water is clear or dirty, the ZMan ChatterBaits are a stand out lure for Australian bass. The ZMan ChatterBait Mini 1/4oz is a perfect lure for the smaller bass found in shallow flowing rocky pools and for the big wild bass the ZMan Original ChatterBait 3/8ozĀ is a must have lure in your tackle box!

Technique:

When chasing Australian bass ensure that you are quiet when fishing so the fish are not spooked. Sneaking up on them in a kayak is the perfect way to provide stealth. When looking for places to cast your lure, look for overhanging trees, grassy plants overhanging the water, deep dark undercut banks, logs running into the water and fish activity. When casting at the bank ensure that you are landing the lure as close to the structure as possible, even bouncing your lure off it every now and then can be an effective way to entice an angry bass to bite.

There are many retrieves that are effective with the ChatterBaits; one stand out has been casting out, allowing the lure to sink for a second or two and then commencing a steady slow retrieve. The bass can attack the lure on the drop or any time after you start winding. Depending on how heavy the structure is that you are fishing, leader from 4lb-15lb is suitable for bass fishing with ChatterBaits.

Pro Tips:

Make sure the ChatterBait is landing as close to the structure as possible; there is only a couple of centimetres difference between being in the strike zone and being out of it. Retrieve with a slow wind: retrieving with a slow wind keeps the lure in the strike zone longer. Another tip is to retrieve it slow all the way to the kayak, boat or bank as many fish have been caught just before lifting the ChatterBait out of the water.

When retrieving a snagged ChatterBait paddle over the back of it and it will generally pop off. If not give the lure some light flicks; never lock up on a snag and try to bust it off as it will only dig the hook deeper into the structure... if nothing else works a lure retriever is an essential item when bass fishing.

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FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 2017