Techniques for chasing Bass and Estuary Perch.

When it comes to fishing for bass and estuary perch I wouldn’t say that I have done a lot of shore fishing for them. My preferred way to target them is out of a boat in rivers, creeks and dams and when I do target them I will spend three to four days in a row working the water to a lather.

As usual I will take along way too much gear. I will have everything from soft plastics, spinnerbaits, hard bodied lures and blades. As I like to try and cover all bases. It doesn’t matter whether I target them in the creeks, rivers or dams. I just love the thrill of catching them and maybe I should do more of it.

In this article I am going to let you know of five techniques that have worked for me over the years.

Technique 1.

Over the years I have found that Spinner baits are really easy to use and everyone can have great success when using them they are very popular with many anglers as they are nearly snag proof.

The next time you are out in a boat try casting a spinner bait into some drowned timber stands and allow it to sink for a few seconds. Then start your retrieve and you will find that the spinner bait will bounce over and through the branches and logs of the trees. If I do feel the lure bump over branches, I’ll stop the retrieve and let the lure free-fall down the face of the branch.

I’ve found a lot of native fish sit under these branches and will smash the spinner bait as it free-falls. After the free-fall I’ll continue with a slow roll back to the boat.

Technique 2.

Although many people troll bibbed minnow patterns, lipless crankbaits and blades. Have you ever thought about trolling a spinnerbait with a curly-tailed grub on the stinger? This is a very effective way to cover a lot of water in search of bass and estuary perch at a very slow pace.

Even though I have a 60hp outboard that can be trolled at a very slow pace (around 4 knots) I prefer to use my 80lb thrust Minn Kota up the front, as I can get down to about 1 knot and sometimes the wind will be enough to push the boat along.

If I see the rod tip start to stop pulsating I will speed up a bit, as the spinner bait is hitting the bottom. It is also a very relaxing way to enjoy the magnificent scenery and birdlife. This is where a good sounder like the Humming Bird 788ci Combo GPS sounder come into play in locating structure and bait schools. It can also indicate the depth the fish are holding so you can choose a lure that swims at that level.

Technique 3.

Have you ever thought of skip bouncing a popper or walk the dog lure into a set of standing trees, under an overhanging tree of into a partial submerge snag? Before I do this, I will squash the barbs down.

Giving the hook one less thing to get snagged up on. Once the lure is in the strike zone I will usually give it a couple of small twitches and then let it settle. If nothing happens I will repeat this until it’s in the clear. Once out I will start a slow and steady retrieve back to the boat. For this technique I have beefed up my leader to around 5 to 6 kilos.

Technique 4.

Tea bagging is what I refer to when I position myself over the top of the school on fish and drop the soft plastics, blade, ice jig or spinner bait to the bottom. Once it is on the bottom I will wind in the slack line so that the tip of my rod is about 30 to 40cm off the surface of the water. Then I will slowly raise it off the bottom so that the rod is now parallel to the water’s surface. This allows you plenty of room above to strike when the fish hits the lure.

Technique 5.

Bait Buttons have been around for a number of years and I have mainly seen them used to keep a stinger hook on when using spinner baits. That’s not all they can be used for. Lately I have been experimenting with boat the small and large Bait Buttons from TT Lures.

If you refer to the accompanying photo you will see how I have positioned the bait button to stop the plastic sliding down the hook.

Well, there you have it. Five of my favourite techniques when it comes to target Bass and Estuary Perch. They may be simple, but they are very effective. It’s up to you now to get on the water and try then out for yourself.

About Peter Fonda

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