Welcome to the Australian Bass Fishing Guide. Bass is a great surface sports fish sometimes mistaken for the Estuary Perch. Pound for pound they are considered one of the best sports fish on the planet. Especially when using surface lures waiting for those boof moments.

We are seeing increased stocking programs of bass locally as part of the state government’s 10 million by 2022 initiative which is great news for local anglers. This means they can be found in increased rivers, lakes, and estuaries across the state. Bass love structure and rock walls and targeting them with ultralight gear with surface styles lures is an amazing form of fishing.


Workshops | Giveaways | Podcasts | Competitions | Reports | Maps | GPS Marks | Rigging Tutorials | Sounder School | Exclusive Footage | Tackle Talks | Gear Guides | Kayak Club | Much More

Become a FishingMad Member

Australian Bass Facts & Catch Limits

  • Australian Bass has the scientific name of Macquaria novemaculeata.
  • The minimum legal size is 27 cm
  • The daily bag limit is 5 over the legal size.
  • At FishingMad we highly recommend catch and release.

Best time to catch Australian Bass ( Seasons )

In Victoria, Australian Bass can be caught most of the year. However, they are more active in Summer and Autumn. They are often best targeted at Dawn/Dusk. 

Australian Bass Fishing Calendar


How to catch Australian Bass

Bass is one of the best finesse sports fish on the planet. Thanks to recent stocking programs they are becoming more widely available in Victoria and Australia. Bass love structure and getting your lures deep into the strike zone are key to catching them consistently. Catching Australian Bass on top water with surface lures truly is one of the best fishing methods available. With surface, lures mix up your retrieval techniques. Bass generally like them worked back fast and erratically creating splashes and surface movement but sometimes long pauses may also be required. Some of our best catches have come by just letting a surface lure sit on the surface or even a continuous slow roll. Often Bass are more active right between dawn and dusk than through the night. During the day they will often seek shelter deep within the local structure.

Watch the vid below which highlights the importance of getting lures right amongst the snags when targeting bass & estuary perch.

Rod & Reel Setup for Australian Bass ( Gear Guide )

Bass Fishing requires a combination of finesse and power. Finesse works lightly lures but has the power to pull these aggressive fish out of the structure. When it comes to selecting a rod and reel suitable we recommend

Bass fishing with lures and soft plastics | Light spin rod between 6 and 7 feet in length in 2-4kg, 2-5kg, or 3-5kg paired with a 2500-size reel. Spooled with 8-12 pound braid and an equivalent fluorocarbon leader.

Bass fishing with bait | Spin rod around 7 feet in length in a 2-4 or 3-5 kilo class. Coupled with a 2500 or 3000 size reel spooled with 8-12 pound braid and an equivalent fluorocarbon leader.

Best Baits to Catch Australian Bass

Bait Choices

Our best bait recommendations include maggots, scrub worms, and yabbies. They will also take small flesh baits presented on a running sinker rig. Where possible fish with as little weight. When land-based you may need a heavy sinker to cast out as far as you can.

  • Scrub worms
  • Powerbait
  • Yabbies
  • Mudeye
  • maggots
  • live minnows

Thread a small running sinker through the mainline shown in blue, around 8 pounds. Then tie a small swivel to the end allowing the sinker to run up the mainline freely. On the other end of the swivel tie, 50cm of 8-pound fluorocarbon leader is shown in grey. Then finish with a size 6-8 bait keeper hook.

Running sinker fishing rig


Best Soft Plastics to Catch Australian Bass

Soft Plastics

Soft plastics options available to target them, Bass, almost endless. They will also happily take crab and yabbie imitations, grubs, worm imitations, curly tails, paddle tails, and minnow imitations. We generally would have 1/12 through to 1/48 jig heads in a 1/0 size. Take your time when rigging and make sure the plastic is on straight, this improves the plastic action.

  • Munroes 2.75 paddle tail ( glass monkey )
  • Daiwa Bait Junkie 2.5 inch grub
  • Pro lure live yabby
  • Kietech crazy flapper
  • Zman slim Swimz
  • Damiki Monster Miki 2.5 sp
  • Berkley powerbait grub
  • Zman 2.5 inch grub
  • Dawia Bait Junkie paddle tail minnow
  • Squidges biotough grub
  • Dawia Bait Junkie paddle tail minnow
  • Squidges biotough grub


Best Lures to Catch Australian Bass

Lure Choices

Bass love lures and the options available to target them are almost endless. They are especially fun to catch on surface lures and will hit a topwater lure as hard as any local fish species. Other good options include deep diving hard body lures, Vibes, and Blades. For jig head selection it’s a good idea to have multiple weights and sizes with you. This way you can adjust based on the current strength and weather conditions.

  • Jackall Micro Tappy
  • Tiemco Cicada
  • Storm Gomoku Popper
  • Shimano BT Bait Bantam
  • DSTYLE Reserve Minnow
  • Berkley Pro-Tech 60mm Suspending Jerkbait
  • Savage Gear 3D Cicada
  • Jackall Micro Pompadour
  • OSP bent minnows
  • Savage Gear Fathead shallow diving crank
  • Tiemco TT Pencil
  • Daiwa Dr Minnow Joint 5F
  • Daiwa Slippery Dog
  • nories laydown minnows
  • Daiwa Presso minnows
  • Rapala countdown floating minnow
  • Daiwa Double Clutch
  • eco gear ZX40
  • Rapala Countdown Minnow
  • Jackall Chubby


Best Bass Fishing Locations

  • Blue rock dam
  • Rocklands Reservoir
  • Werribee River
  • Lake Bullen Merri

If you feel this Australian Bass Fishing Guide fish species guide is missing key information or needs any corrections. Then please let us know by emailing our team at enquiries@fishingmad.com.au with specific details in the email. Thank you. You can obtain a free Victorian recreational fishing guide from the Victorian Fisheries Authorities weblink