- Macquaria novemaculeata
Australian Bass or also known as Freshwater Perch are an aggressive freshwater fish, though it is commonplace to call them Bass.
Taken from the NSW DPI website
Distribution - Bass are found in fresh, brackish and saltwater, in eastern draining rivers from the Mary River in Queensland to the Gippsland Lakes in Victoria.
Size -Maximum of 4kg and 65cm in length, though most specimens caught from impoundments or dams are generally larger than their river counterparts as they have easy access to an abundance of food.
Characteristics - Bass vary in colour from silver, green and bronze. The fish migrate downstream to the estuaries to breed between May and August. Females are much larger than males. Adult fish are general purpose carnivores. The bass has a back profile that is arched from above the eyes to the tail with only very slight tapering of the snout.They are sought after sport fish with bait, fly and artificial lure. Although considered excellent eating if from clean waters, the majority of fish are returned to the water unharmed as native stocks have been reduced signifcantly due to over-fishing and barriers impeding on migratory fish movements.
Often confused with the Estuary Perch (Macquaria colonorum) which has a longer tapered snout with a concave profile.
Tackle suitable for bass fishing depends on what technique is employed to capture fish; a heavy baitcasting outfit is more suitable to fishing with spinnerbaits, deep diving hardbodies and lipless harbodies such as Jackall TN60's. Light spinning outfits are most likely to be used when fishing with surface and small diving lures as they provide the greatest casting distance for such light lures. A typical bass combo is a 2-4kg rod of 6' 6"-7' 2", with a 2000 size reel with 8lb braid and 10lb leader.
Bass take a variety of lures such as diving crankbaits, lipless crankbaits, spinnerbaits, buzzbaits, chatterbaits, soft plastics and surface lures. They are also a suitable species to target with both sinking and floating flies.
During the early bass season during the months of September and October, bass generally are caught on lures worked below the surface. This is most likely due to the lack of insects hatching during early Spring, thus surface lures and sub-surface lures are best fished during late Spring, Summer and Autumn.
What works for AKFF MembersEdit
For an insight into Bass tactics from AKFF members, click here