Australian Bass Distribution Facts
The Australian Bass is limited to the east coast of Australia. They’re found in the coastal rivers and streams from Wilson’s Promontory in Victoria east and north along the eastern Australian seaboard to the rivers and creeks of the Bundaberg Region in central Queensland. Hatcheries are now stocking fish in New South Wales but, to our knowledge, they’re not found outside of Australia.
These fish are found in abundance and size in many man-made lakes throughout south-east Australia. Here are a few spots where you’ll find excellent fishing.
- Lake Glenbawn is an excellent spot for bass fishing due to the number of sunken logs and trees near the bottom of the lake by the dam.
- The Clarrie Hall Dam which is the location for the Australian Bass Association’s annual tournament.
- Lake Wivenhoe is a great spot for trophy bass fishing.
- Somerset Dam is another trophy Australian Bass fishing lake.
- Glenbawn Dam has some very deep water, reaching as deep as 100 feet (approximately 33 meters)
- Lake St Clair
Australian Bass Migration
They move out of freshwater waterways into saline estuaries during mid winter. Keep in mind that winter and summer are reversed in the southern hemisphere in contrast to the northern hemisphere.
Australian Bass spawn with many other river based fish though the numbers for all species have been dropping for many years. Many reasons for the drop in population have been given from habitat loss due to human construction of dams and weirs to drought conditions.
As the Australian Bass migrate upstream, a loss of habitat has a direct and immediate effect on population numbers.
In an effort to increase their numbers and protect the fishing industry, many freshwater dams and weirs have been stocked with Australian Bass and form the basis of a growing recreational fishery in these areas.
Australian Bass are not found in the Murray-Darling system. Although the system is extensive it has only one viable entrance to the Southern Ocean, a feature that appears to be incompatible with the estuarine breeding habits of Australian Bass and other aspects of their life cycle. While stocking is an option, it would have to be an annual endeavour.
What is an Estuary?
An estuary is a semi-enclosed coastal body of water with one or more rivers or streams entering it. It has an open connection to the sea with a mix of salt and fresh water.
South-eastern estuaries are slightly stratified where the catchment is large enough to reduce rainfall variability. These south-eastern estuaries have a moderate amount of rainfall and tidal range.
The Hawkesbury river drains into one of these estuaries.
Estuaries are also characterized by a higher salinity from freshwater, but not nearly as much as salt water. And, depending on the time of day, rainfall and river flow salinity levels range widely within the estuary.
Many of the rivers in south eastern Australia are characterized by fallen trees. However many of these rivers have been dammed including the Hawkesbury and it’s major tributaries.
While much of the river still offers adequate habitat for the Australian Bass, the dams prevent proper migration and cause enough disruption to their habitat that spawning is negatively affected.
Those rivers not affected provide a lot of underwater debris providing the Australian Bass with a good habitat. And a good place to snag your line. Click here to read about river techniques.
The Hawkesbury river is one of the largest rivers along the south-east coast. It’s known for both it’s commercial and recreational angling. The flow of water is heavily controlled by dams with many smaller rivers flowing into it along its way to the coast.
Australia is a large country and the only country referred to as a continent. It’s located in the south pacific and has a temperate climate in the south. Contrary to what many believe, it does actually get snow with the lowest recorded temperature having reached -22°C or about -5°F.
The north is sub tropical with temperatures reaching as high as 50°C or 122°F.
Much of central Australia is desert and most of the population live along the coast. While the country is big, the population density is very low with a population of 24.13 million (2016).
Travel to Australia
The official language is English, as it’s a former British colony, with the Queen of England being the official head of state. Visiting Australia requires a Visa for entry unless you’re from New Zealand when only a passport is required.
Before booking a fishing vacation to Australia, check with Australian tourist organizations or embassies on the limitations of fishing gear permitted when traveling via plane or boat.
For many anglers Australia is a long way to go to be barred entry for not having the right papers. It’s also worth noting that Australia is very strict about immigration so incorrect papers could cut your trip very short.