In the spring Australian Bass can be found congregating underneath willows feeding on the falling insects that are so plentiful in the spring. While they will go after pretty much any kind of food, their preference is always for that food which is the most abundant.

Best Lures to Use

Australian Bass respond very enthusiastically to all types of fishing, it’s hard to go wrong. We recommend using lures and flies that take advantage of this weakness in their diet.


Bait fishing, lure fishing and trolling are popular methods with the most popular method used by local Australian anglers being that of casting with lures. Light lures work best using a light line of around 6 or 8 pound test.


Effective lures include diving plugs. Australian Bass also like surface and deep diving lures, diving plugs, minnows, poppers, crawlers, spinners, spoons, spinnerbaits and soft plastics lures.


Use dark shaded lures that replicate their favorite prey such as minnows and other small fish, but note that their food preferences changes with the season and the abundance of a particular food source.


Fly fishing should take advantage of the various insects that fall into the water. Try the Teeny T-300 or T-400, the Lefty’s Deceiver with the big eye and the Dahlberg Diver on a strong 3/0 hook all work very well.


The Australian Bass love overhanging willows in early spring as there’s a lot of insect activity around the bank side vegetation and this is where they gather to pray on the falling insects. They’ll lie in wait under overhanging trees, near sunken logs and other debris in wait of falling insects.


Finding these fish in the open during the day is not common. They’re most active in moving around during the twilight hours.

Where to Find the Bass

So for the spring look for a bend in the river where there are a group of weeping willows close to the water. The area should be relatively calm as you’re unlikely to find any Australian Bass in fast moving water.

Technique to Use

While shore casting can be effective, a good technique for catching Australian Bass involves drifting downstream, casting into shaded areas that provide good cover where sunlight has yet to strike the water.


Cast flies, lures or baits into the area close to the shore. Repeat several times trying to hit the same spot until you get a strike. If after about 9 casts you don’t get a strike, try another spot several feet away.

Food Preferences

They’re known to eat plankton, insects, small and large fish, crayfish and frogs. The Australian Bass is a sight feeder and takes food from the surface, in the water column, and off the bottom. It often feeds in schools near shore, close to vegetation.


The size of the lure seems to not matter too much. During the day, they lay in ambush but will travel further afield at night for food.

Places to Avoid

  • Areas to stay away from include the middle of a river, fast moving water, shallow water and of course sunlight.

We have mentioned various lures and insects that are effective here but the key is to hone in on what is popular for the given area you are fishing. Check with local bait shops as they should be ‘in the know’.