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Posted 14th June 2024

Three Ways to Catch Australian Bass in Winter

Three Ways to Catch Australian Bass in Winter
Three Ways to Catch Australian Bass in Winter

By Charles West

With the cool months coming here there’s plenty of techniques that we can use on our lakes to catch Australian bass. In this blog we’ll look at a three of my go-to techniques that I use on my local weed and lily lined lakes.  

When it comes to winter the rule of thumb is slow down. This time of the year is a great time for slow worked jerkbaits, and light plastics manly in the shallows. It’s a great time of the year to bring out the ultra-light spin gear, or bait finesse baitcaster tackle if that’s your thing and enjoy some red-hot winter bass fishing.

Where to Fish

Vegetation like weed, lily pads, shrubs/trees and rock are the places that you want to look for. These are places I look for where the water temp is either a more constant temperature or where the surface temp can be warmed by sun and hold warmth. These locations are a likely place for the food source of the bass which include gudgeons, shrimps and small baitfish.

The Tackle

Reel: 1000- 2000 sized spin reel, 70-100 sized finesse (BFS) baitcaster

Rod: Ultra-light to light fast taper spin rod, light to medium-light baitcast rod

Line: 8-12lb PE

Leader: 6-12lb flurocarbon

Lures: 2-4” soft plastics rigged on 1/12-3/16oz jigheads, 60-80mm jerkbait, 43-70mm suspending shad

The Techniques

  1. Jerkbaits (Daiwa Double Clutch)

When it comes to jerkbaits everyone has their own type of retrieve. A constant twitch of the rod to a couple of small twitches with long pauses will all produce a strike. Which one is the best all depends on the day. So it pays to experiment until you find what the bass want.

Casting tight to structure or just pass it and bring it down to depth by the structure is the key to get the bass’ attention. When you are twitching it away from them, they will fly out and stalk the jerkbait until it moves again, or they will just eat it and will want to head straight back to their structure. This is such an exhilarating way to fish for bass as you just don’t know when they are going to hit, whether it’s on the pause or when you twitch it.

Jerkbaits come in all different sizes and jerking depths, its good to cover all bases as the bass can come deep or shallow. These lures come in many colours too so it’s handy to have a couple of different ones to cover situations. I personally like bright and natural colours in my jerkbaits. Most of the time in winter the water will be clear and watching your bright coloured jerkbait disappear as a bass eats it is an awesome experience.

There are some day when the bass just wont eat a jerkbait ,this is when you can use another technique in light soft plastics.

  1. Ultra-light Plastics (Bait Junkie range)

Using lightly weighted soft plastics from 1/12th oz (2.5g) to 3/16th oz (5g) is a perfect way to target winter bass around vegetation. Jighead rigged and Texas (weedless) rigged are two of the most common ways to rig light plastics. The jighead is the easiest as the weight is attached to the hook unlike the Texas rig.

For the purpose of this blog we will just talk about the jighead rig. By using light weights, it allows the plastic to sink slower keeping the plastic in front of the bass’ face for longer which in turn can make them react. When slow rolling a soft plastic with a light weight it has less pressure on it and when the bass eats it, it tends to hold it longer and swim off with it. You will find at times your line will take off in a direction before your rod even bends.

How you worked the plastic can vary greatly, from slow rolling, multiple twitches to hopping and deadsticking. For example, with the 1/12th oz jighead I like to use a forked tail plastic and impart multiple twitches in the retrieve. I cast the lure to a weed/lily pad edge and let it sink down the face to the bottom. I then give slow multiple twitches of the rod mimicking a wounded bait fish, then allow the plastic to slowly sink back down. Most of my bites will be as the plastic is slowly sinking down and you can see the bite in the slack of your line.

One of the keys of success of using this technique has to do with watching your line in the water, most bites will see the line tick or move before you feel the bite. So it’s important to have a line that you can see easily, and a pair of glasses that allow you to see in all conditions (bright and overcast).

  1. Suspending Shads/Minnow Cranks (Infeet Spike range)

Suspending shad lures are slender crankbaits that are weighted and balanced perfectly to suspend in the water column.

These can be used very similar to the jerkbait in that you can work them with a twitch and pause retrieve. However, they’re more diverse than a jerkbait in how you can work them and fish them. A suspended shad has a better swimming action when worked with a continuous wind which opens up your options to a few different retrieves, such as slow cranking then pulsing, fast crank and pulse, to a draw/sweep of the rod. These lures are a traditional shaped, different to a jerkbait and look more like a shad/bait fish. These lures come into their own when you need to target bass in deeper water then a jerkbait will reach.

There you have it three of my go-to techniques for winter bass on my local weed lakes. Grab your bass outfit, a tackle tray of lures, rugged up for the cold and get out there and enjoy some red-hot winter bass fishing. The lakes are quieter this time of the year and it’s an awesome season to be catching your Australia bass.





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