Lake McDonald Bass: An Introduction For Fishos

Bass fishing has played a big role in his angling lifestyle and taken Kaydo writer Dane Radosevic to some incredibly picturesque waterways. A little gem, Lake McDonald is located about 20 minutes west of Noosa and this month Dane spills the beans on this easy-to-reach lake. Lake McDonald is heavily stocked and thriving with Australian bass. Leading on from my last article on targeting schooled bass during our cooler months, this dam is the perfect arena for the next technique I would like to explore.

Getting into Jerk Baiting

Jerk baiting is a very effective method when fished in the right situation and is a technique that I have only recently started to employ when targeting bass, however I have been using this technique for many years on numerous other species. The reason this dam is so perfectly suited to this style of fishing and why it is so effective, is the abundance of healthy weed beds.
Dane with a solid Lake McDonald bass. Note the electric motor, Lake McDonald is an electric only impoundment.

Dane with a solid Lake McDonald bass. Note the electric motor, Lake McDonald is an electric only impoundment.

Hook Ups In Cooler Weather

As the water temperatures drop during the winter months bass will try and find a comfortable spot to reside. Many will move out into deeper more stable waters where the temperature does not fluctuate as much, congregating in large schools as I explained in the last article, however not all the fish will make this move.

Look To The Weed Beds

Weed beds certainly play a large role in keeping fish on the edge during this time of year, reason being they heat up rather quickly during the day and retain the warmth making it a very comfortable spot for a bass to sit waiting in ambush for an unsuspecting prey. One advantage to fishing a jerk bait compared to any other form of lure is that you can work it almost on the spot and then pause the retrieve and have it suspend, which is the key to the technique and why I believe it is so successful.

The All-Important Pause

This pause is when 99 percent of the time you will get smashed as the suspended lure is just too tempting and appears as an easy feed for a nearby bass. Other presentations such as spinnerbaits and lipless crankbaits for example are generally slow rolled straight past and the fish have limited time to react. Having weed beds present is very important however finding the right weed beds can be crucial.
A pause during your retrieve can make the difference between fish or no fish.

A pause during your retrieve can make the difference between fish or no fish.

Always ensure that the weed beds you are fishing are alive and healthy. Dead weed beds won’t hold much in the way of aquatic life therefore there is no food source for the bass, nor is it comfortable for them as water quality and oxygen levels aren’t the greatest.

Polarised Glasses Are A Must

I generally look for the brightest and thickest beds I can find as these areas will hold an abundance of life. Owning a quality pair of polarised sunglasses like the Tonic’s for this style of fishing is very important, as it cuts the glare off the water enabling you to see the pockets and channels between the weed and enables you to position your casts into the strike zones.

‘Jellybeans’ For Bass

Two lures that I have found best suited to this style of fishing and have had the most success with has been the Jackall Squirrel 69Sp and the Daiwa Double Clutch 75Sp. Both lures dive to similar depths and suspend however possess different characteristics that can be beneficial in certain situations.
Josh with another nice Lake McDonald Australian bass.

Josh with another nice Lake McDonald Australian bass.

The Mighty Jackall

The Jackall  is a great all-round lure presentation however when fishing in the thickest of weed beds the Daiwa Double Clutch comes into its own, as its slender body profile and very narrow pointed bib allows it to rip through weed much easier. Colour hasn’t played a huge role in the strike rate as they have been hitting numerous different colours, more so the profile and action has been the determining factor. Although when the sun has been high fishing more natural colours seems to have been drawing more bites and when fishing low light or overcast conditions switching to a brighter more citrus coloured lure has paid dividends.

To The Business End

My rod of choice for this technique is a Barrabass XP902 which is a moderate fast action which allows me to work the lure imparting every bit of action through the tip and giving me good hook setting power. I like to use a 2500 size spin reel for this technique as often when the bass hit the jerk bait on the pause they will cut water towards you or sideways and having that bit bigger reel allows for a quicker retrieve  to catch up with the fish and set the hooks.
Catch an release is critical for such iconic species as the Australian bass.

Catch an release is critical for such iconic species as the Australian bass.

An Electric Only Waterway

A note for anybody keen on fishing Lake Macdonald is that it is an electric only water way, so abide by the rules and that way we can enjoy fishing this gem for many years to come. For any more information, hints or tips pop in and see myself or the team at Davo’s Tackle World Noosa, as we are more than happy to take you through step by step the key requirements to connecting with this awesome iconic Australian native species.
Dawn is the time to be catching good bass like this.

Dawn is the time to be catching good bass like this.

Dane Radosevic

About Dane Radosevic

My name is Dane Radosevic and I am 18 years of age, born on the Fraser Coast and raised in Hervey Bay, QLD. I enjoy participating in all forms of angling from bait fishing to my preferred methods of lure and fly.

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