With stones shuffling under your feet as you waver across the water in small streams, that journey through the shrubs and bush to your local "Secret Spot", that indulgence of stumbling around the sticks, rod in hand, and the appitite and entusiasm to ensure your own personal success, enough to spend tireless hours despite the frustration at times, but nothing in tow to make a hinder. It doesnt take long to realise and discover the commonly held sentiment that you have become addicted to Freshwater Fishing.
|Serenity In Its Own Right|
Many Anglers I know take a stint in most types of fishing, as myself I do alot of different styles of fishing for alot of different species, But every Angler has that certain type of fishing that they have a more predominent style in and find themselves more involved and engaged in, a certain passion that seems to absorb and engross themselves in being a part of. Freshwater Fishing does that for me.
Ever wondered and marvelled to yourself about something you have observed or experienced when your out fishing and come to conclude that "I would never have seen that unless I was fishing"? It happens to me on a greater scale and grows more increasingly with the more time im out on a the water. Like an afternoon surface session on the Bass, as you see a Cicada half out of its shell perched on a tree on a midsummer evening, or a Bass leaping out of the water and grab a dragonfly in mid flight to descend into the water again content with its evening meal. that is nature trying make a statement and say "Only when the last river has been polluted, the last tree been cut down, and the last fish has been caught, will we realise we cannot eat money, and no amount can buy back nature when its gone..... so revel"
|400mm Aussie Bass|
What is that greenwater species that you chase? Australian Bass is regarded in its own purest form as one of the best sport fish of the South. I, Myself can easily say that that is the greatest insult to this amazing species, as i could most promisingly regard this as one of the best fighting Freshwater fish of its size in the country.
|So much Passion for this Species, Jessi And Her Love Of Fishing|
Primarily freshwater (but estuarine spawning) the Australian Bass (Macquaria novemaculeata) are the native fish found in coastal and inland rivers and streams along the east coast of Australia. and I am clearly hooked on these fish, forgive the pun. Rated highly by anglers as a great sportfish that can put up a spectacular fight when hooked on light fishing gear. Although a relatively small fish that grows to less than a few kilograms, the Australian Bass displays amazing strength.
I find myself spending nights researching alot of fish that I target. The suited habitats and adaquate hiding for Bass during the day have this fish taking sub-surface and deep lures as Bass have quite large eyes that is to let as much light in as possible, as Bass are mainly a nocturnal species and do not like the sun much at all. residing in structural objests such as fallen trees (Snags) thay are an ambush predator hiding in the sticks of structure to then flee out and grab their prey and dart back into the snags as their guarded impervious shelter
Bass begin to become some what of a Pelagic Fish during the night time as above predators like Birds cant view them and tend to roam around the water columns and stray from the sheilded residence in search of food. The fun begins when you can target these on Surface Lures as they tend to feed on the insects that fly low to the crouched water's surface or ones that have fallen into the water as they barrage the surface causing exposions as they engulf their prey.
There is nothing more lively than a surface strike from any fish, but even the smallest of Bass will spring a stir as it makes its explosion on the surface decieving you into thinking you have just hooked a far bigger fish than you really have. Australian Bass are strong swimmers at all sizes and can easily traverse rapids and fast-flowing water. However, they generally avoid sitting directly in currents to conserve energy. So when you find a flowing river or stream there is generally a small section off to each side of this current that is still, this is called an Eddy, cast into it as close to bank as possible, especaially if there are snags along its side you can bet your house there will be Bass waiting in there out of the current. Bass are impetious and feirce territorial predators that mainly feed on the Insects, small Gudgeons or shrimps that regarly inhabit their area, but the point to where any creature that happens to inhabit its domain like lizards, mice and frogs will be in target to be eaten by a larger Bass. So key in chasing these species is to listen and observe the surroundings you are fishing in although Bass are not picky and will take most Lures, look around and see and hear the insects and amphibians around, cause believe me Bass fishing can get hard at times and when there are no Bass around you its cause there is no food there.
Another more Commonly targeted species mainly in the most Southern reaches of the Country are the most fierce and apex fish predator of the Murray-Darling River systems and creeks is the Elusive Murray Cod (Maccullochella peelii) . The largest freshwater fish this country offers.
|This Fish Displays Amazing Colours|
While extremely severe commercial and recreational overfishing in the 1800s and the early 1900s caused the first strong declines of Murray cod, overfishing by recreational fishermen, aided by inadequate fishing regulations, continues today and remains an extremely serious threat to Murray cod. The current size limit of 60 centimetres in most states is inadequate now that scientific studies have documented average size at sexual maturity in Murray cod.
Evidence is mounting that there is serious competition for food between larval/early juvenile Cod and the introduced carp. Introduced carp dominate the fish faunas of lowland Murray-Darling rivers; the sheer amount of biomass carp now take up, and the large numbers of larvae carp produce, causes serious negative effects on river ecosystems and native fish.
|Photo Courtesy Of Todd young|
When researching the Murray Cod just before my First Cod trip I found that in their natural habitat Cod generally feed on almost anything smaller than itself, including finned fishes such as introduced carp, goldfish, redfin, native golden perch, bony bream, eel-tailed catfish, western carp gudgeon and Australian smelt, and crustaceans such as yabbies, shrimp and Murray crayfish. but seeing as i would be targeting this species in a relatively small impoundment i came to the conclusion that many if any of these species in this impoundment would not be presnt if fact they would be feeding on such prey as larger insects such as Cicadas and Moths. Therefore i began to think if they are not feeding on as many fish as thier natural habitat would provide like fish, then they would be more inclined to turn there nose to a bibbed minnow, not saying that they wont take strike one, but im a firm believer in matching the hatch and what better time to catch these species then when the insects are more active, as my good friend Todd Young suggests.... Nightime
|Jake Coxon With His Monster 89cm Murray Cod.|
Murray Cod would have to be one of the most frustrating species I have ever had to oppurtunity of chasing. After several strikes from a Cod on the surface only to have him spit the lure was becoming frustrating and at times leaving me in baffle and disheartened.
But the moment you hook one and you feel it begin to peel line you know he has been hooked and hooked good.
|Great To See the Big Girl Go Home|
Many different species reside around the same reaches as the Murray Cod. Another important species originally of the Murray system is the Golden Perch (Macquaria ambigua), like most fish every species has the most optimum and most productive time to target
Golden Perch numbers being caught and the moderate size of fish being landed is unquestionably during the Spring months. Chasing Golden Perch either in New South Wales or Victoria The Warmer months seem to have the finest amount of action and optimum time of the year to chase these amazing Australian Natives
|Impoundment Golden Perch (Photo Courtesy Of Todd Young)|
|Amazing How Fat These Fish Can Get (Photo Courtesy Of Todd Young)|
The secret in the success of Golden Perch in impoundments is to analyze the best concentrations of fish that the Dam/Lake holds. It is definately not the utmost basic or easiest affair as to know a species location but the authenticity is at the basis of your research. Alot of anglers will not be prepared to concentrate their efforts into investing the time to observe the landscape, that really goes for most freshwater fishing. When you compass an area that you are going to fishand that are not familiar with, always spend and contribute some precedent time prior to your trip and discovering as much information as possible as this is what makes the difference between knowledge and impatient haste.
|Todd And I with Some Healthy Yellow Belly (Photo Courtesy Of Todd Young)|
There is nothing that helps sustain the energy levels and relaxing on a riverside, beer in custody, and a baited hook. But there is a very little amount of challenge or skill that dismounts itself in place where fun becomes competition like Lure fishing. Replace coastal warm Summer breezes with Mountain ranges and Apine altitudes but not forgetting the climatic change. Think you now know im talking about Trout Fishing.
Trout Anglers know of the exisite little Trout streams on previous explorations resulting in serene locations that hold the secret to their Trout fishing. Either chasing Trout on Fly gear or spin gear there is something special about reserching fishing grounds and chasing those Rainbows and Browns following their footsteps so to speak. Trout fishing has long been one of the oldest forms of fishing, in fact Fly fishing holds many credits as being the one of the first recorded techniques of fishing into the roman era of the 2nd century. I mean catching fish with moss or a small insect on a hook seems a scarce technique that would likely lead to defeat. So became the Artificial Fly, The fragment references of the 19th Century had Great Britains exchange of baited hooks for Trout and discarded for Fly Rods.
Although Trout are an introduced species in Australia, they are well considered as a great Freshwater Sport fish of our counntry. Trout are usually found in cool 10–16 °C of clear streams and lakes. Trout generally feed on other fish, and soft bodied Aquatic Invertebrates, such as Flies, Mayflies, Caddisflies, Stoneflies and Dragonflies. but nothing gets me more pumped than to chase these magnificent species on Lures.
The Nepean River became Trout City when the Warragamba Dam spilled in March of 2012 and flushed them into the system which was a rare change from the bass, mullet, perch and carp usually caught in the waters. Both Brown Trout and Rainbow Trout were caught in the Nepean River until the summer.
But since then the Dam has spilled over and stocked the River with Trout once again for a bit of fun in the cooler months of Winter this year. Trout are a great learning experience for any Angler from an Amateur to a more experienced fishermen and aspects of Trout fishing is now used in most aspects of fishing all round, with your dedicated and challenge seeking Anglers that chase Pelagic Fish in the Saltwater such as Tuna, Kingfish and Marlin on Fly to add to that added challenge. Thereis no doubt that those Anglers learnt there skills from the humble beginnings of Trout.
Cheers Dale Ward