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Simon Fitzpatrick
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Last summer I was able to dedicate some quality time to fishing. Chasing Australian native fish in my local creeks, rivers and dams I was lucky enough to tempt many fish on both lure and fly. By-catch included some very nice eastern cod that can be a real test on light bass gear.

A couple of valuable lessons were had during these fishing trips. On overcast days, fishing the surface is an excellent proposition even in the middle of the day. On some of my local dams, it is difficult to raise a fish at the best of times. However, tying on a surface lure in any low light conditions, be it dawn, dusk or during overcast day light hours can produce great results.

As an added benefit I found that often the larger fish are the most eager to scoff a well presented surface lure or fly. During a recent trip in the canoe down the skinniest of creeks I managed a 42cm bass on a cicada surface lure. I was amazed at the size of this fish inhabiting such a small creek. Upon closer inspection I noticed a small water dragon protruding from the bass’ mouth! What a guts! He had obviously just eaten the dragon and then decided to have a go at my lure too. No wonder he was so big.

On a different trip I was using the same cicada lure, again targeting Bass. This time a nice 65cm eastern cod snaffled my offering. The loud implosion when he smashed the lure at the surface nearly caused me to wet my pants. The fish then proceeded to put up an excellent tussle on my 6lb outfit.

Our Australian native fish species often appear to react to a lure out of instinct. ‘Reaction strikes’ can be triggered if a surface lure sounds just right when it hits the water. If the lure or fly touches down with the same sound as an insect such as a cicada, a bass for example, will smash the lure in a split second without a second thought. Similarly a jungle perch will follow a lure as it is cast through the air across the river with tremendous speed and crash tackle the offering as soon as it touches down. If not in the mood for food a cod will simply chase away any intruding lure from its territory. However if you can provoke the cod by landing the lure in it’s face, the fish will smash the lure in an instant. In these cases the strikes are lightening quick. There was no time elapsed for contemplation.

The challenge of catching our natives lies within figuring out how to trigger a reaction strike on any given day. Ya just gotta love fishing for Australian natives!

Join me for one of my bass fishing kayak charters today. Visit www.northernriverssportfishing.com.au

Simon Fitzpatrick (Fitzy)
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Northern Rivers Sportfishing now offers bass fishing charters.For more information visit http:www.northernriverssportfishing.com.au
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2015-08-16
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