Fish of the Month: Australian Bass (Macquaria novemaculeata)
A great fighting freshwater species with superb eating qualities, Australian bass take various different lures such as hardbody, soft plastic and spinner bait, but my preference is a live shrimp either under a float or on a paternoster rig if fishing deep.
Stocked in many of our dams and water catchments, North Pine Dam, Lake Kurwongbah, Somerset and Lake Borumba are fantastic places to chase these fish. At this time of year they start to school together in deeper water, making them an easier target around dam walls and river bends.
A Stocked Impoundment Permit Scheme (SIPS) permit is required to fish most lakes in South East Queensland, which is easily available online or at most good fishing tackle shops. A possession limit of two is in place for Australian bass, but this is more than enough for a good feed.
Found along the East Australian Coast, the most northern natural population is in the upper reaches of the Noosa River, although they are stocked as far north as Central Queensland. A 50cm fish is a really good catch, where most I see are around 40cm.