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NATURAL ATTRACTION

By Jay Noble

The sights and sounds of the Australian bush are something that is hard to describe unless you are lucky enough to spend some time out there appreciating what we have. The treasured memories from a trip gone by are something never far from my thoughts, along with planning when the next trip might be, if I will take a mate or spend some time out with family, where am I going to go and what fish are going to be the intended target.

Targeting Australian bass from my kayak is where I have been spending most of my available fishing time, especially over the past two years. Whether it is to the north or southwest of my home on the Gold Coast or just a twenty-minute drive to my local dam, I love it all. The scenery in these of locations is just amazing. Fishing from the kayak is a very addictive and challenging way to fish. There are plenty of advantages to this style of fishing, including access to remote areas where a boat cannot be launched and also quite often the amount wildlife seen when quietly working through areas is very surprising.

Deep rocky creeks running along the bases of tall overhanging cliffs, fallen timber logs and trees on the edges of fast flowing crystal clear water, rocky outcrops in the middle of the river, grassy covered deep edges and forest-like sections of large standing timber are just some of the landscapes encountered. All of these mentioned areas are a great place to spend a few hours... or days investigating.

When visiting fishing locations in search of new ground, or even areas you have fished before, it can be very difficult to locate consistent numbers of fish. Floods in affected areas, long dry periods without rain, storm damage, weed build up and water clarity are just some of the obstacles to consider and these each add to the addictive challenge.

Targeting bass can be very tough when the barometer is low and when the weather conditions are not in your favour, including if the area is in flood or drought, however in recent times the trips away and even the local weather has been fairly consistent and allowed for some great fish to be caught.

Bass, on their day, will take a range of different lures but there are a few standouts that have been working really well, are consistent fish catchers and my confidence lures. These include the range of available spinnerbaits and added attractants, such as a Jig Spinner added to your jighead along with Pro-Cure scent.

The TT Vortex range of spinnerbaits are fantastic as they are designed with a small frame that is aimed at species such as bass, golden perch, saratoga and many others. Being a smaller profile spinnerbait doesn't mean that they won't stand up to heavier by-catch that you may come across such as cod and hard hitting golden perch. Vortex spinnerbaits are build on a strong Mustad chemically sharpened hook and fitted with a ball bearing swivel, nickel (silver) and 24k gold-plated blades. There are more than a dozen different colours to choose from and the weights range from 1/8oz right through to 3/4oz, meaning you can cover the skinniest water for bass, right out to deep schooling dam fish.

With such a range of colours and sizes it can be a tough decision in terms of where to start. The sizes that I normally find cover a large range of my fishing are the 3/8oz and 1/2oz weights. Fire Tiger is a standout colour for me, along with the Purple Nightmare, White Bony, Purple Blue Scale and the Chartreuse Olive, which are all producing fish.

Some of the features that make spinnerbaits so effective include their castability, excellent snag resistance, great flash and vibration... and simply they just work!

With bass being an aggressive sportfish, a hard hitting and a dirty fighting fish that never gives up, this is where spinnerbaits come into their own. Quite often in the areas that I fish for bass there will be heavy timber or another form of heavy structure. With the snag resistance of the spinnerbait and great castability it is easier to work your lure in productive areas with less worry about snagging up and losing your lure.

Another very worthwhile addition to your tackle box is the TT Jig Spinner. The Jig Spinner can be easily attached to your jighead, adding extra flash and vibration to your lure and this can often turn a tough bite into a reaction bite. The Jig Spinner also allows your plastic to swing freely at the tow point and will help with snag resistance.

Jig Spinners can make a difference when the fish are shut down or feeding on smaller bait, where a plastic can also be downsized if needed. There are three sizes in the range, to suit your plastic of choice, available in both nickel (silver) and 24k gold-plated Colorado blade finishes.

A really great plastic option to match the Jig Spinner to is the ever-reliable ZMan 3" MinnowZ. There is a huge range of colours available and the MinnowZ has a realistic body roll and swimming action that represents a small bait fish very closely. This is why it is such a great producer.

Pinfish, Houdini, Mood Ring, Space Guppy and Motor Oil are all great colours to start with. Normally in cleaner water conditions and early mornings I tend to stick with the natural colours, like the Pinfish and Houdini. In overcast or dirty water the Mood Ring and Motor Oil seem to stand out as great fish catchers. During the heat of the day, when the sun is high and shade is hard to come by, the bright colour of the Space Guppy MinnowZ has produced a few cracking fish as well. Attach a Jig Spinner and you normally cannot go wrong.

Adding scent to your spinnerbaits and soft plastics can also change a tough session into a memorable one. Pro-Cure scents have a great range of flavours to suit a large range of fishing applications. Shrimp Super Gel Scent is one that comes to mind and is always with me, but all of the flavours in the range have their place.

Planning a couple of nights away with mates, a solo session in your local area or a family trip off the beaten track are all styles of fishing that are very special. Listening to the sound of a crackling camp fire, enjoying a cold drink, listening to water lapping up against your kayak, birds singing in the trees, fish feeding in the distance... it sure beats the sound of the hustle and bustle of the busy coastal areas.

Stripping back your gear to whatever will fit in a couple of boxes in your kayak really makes you assess what tackle you take with the limited available space. With conditions changing regularly in rivers and dams it is really important that you take the gear that you're confident in to get you the results. Fishing spinnerbaits and Jig Spinner rigged plastics is defiantly an exciting way to target bass and a consistent producer.

Hopefully these couple of suggestions will help point you in the right direction next time you are thinking about a trip away or a session on your local targeting our beautiful native fish.

By no means is this article a 'how to catch bass' write up, just sharing a few tips from my experiences and a few lures that have produced consistently in recent times, while also sharing some of my experiences fishing out of the kayak.

Jay

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FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 2017