Bass Fishing, Canoe and Kayak River Guide

Bass Fishing, Canoe and Kayak River Guide

Author: WRT

Fish, Adventure, Repeat.

Winners are grinners :)

Some of you may recall that in the closed season we held a competition for an overnight trip and my companion for this weekend was the winner of that competition, Sean Conneely.

The rivers have been difficult of late and last weeks storm had really added some colour to the river but after a recon visit the day before, I was confident there was just enough visibility for us to harras the local Bass. We had already decided that Spinnerbaits (I hate them) and Beetle spin setups would probably win the day due to the colour but we were hopeful of being proven wrong.
Day One started slowly with Sean picking up the first fish on a paddle tail soft plastic. We cycled through the usual Lures but nothing would work. We decided that I would throw a Spinnerbait (ugh) and Sean started to work the Beetle Spin in the tight edges and snags. Sean had landed 5 or so fish so I changed to match his setup and that set the tone for the rest of the trip.
We soon worked out that the Fish were tucked right into the bank and snags and unless you managed to cast and put the lure on the fishes nose you would think that the river didn’t have any fish living in it what so ever. As the day progressed Sean was smoked by a monster Bass and he then realised why us country folk use 20lb braid and not 10lb braid like those city fellas (isn’t that right Sean)?
At the end of the day we had managed 15 fish and as we paddled back to camp we were treated to one of the most stunning sunsets I have ever seen that went on for over an hour.


Day Two and we awoke to a Satellite message from Joanne saying that Super Cells were expected and severe storms were heading our way. Brilliant!

As an experiment, Sean changed from a Motor Oil to a White plastic. After I had picked up 4 fish casting at water he had already fished we agreed that there was only one colour (Green) and that was that.
The Fish were on fire and so was Sean, we were having a blast. That is right up until I noticed a big white cloud forming in the distance. Within no time the storm was all around us and I was feeling a little silly, you see I had reassured Sean 10 minutes before that it will probably miss us.

This was by far the biggest Hail Storm I had been caught in and when I can I will upload the Video. It was actually frightening at one point.

We had a Beer and some lunch (Tin of beans) as we took shelter from the remaining storm and after 30 minutes we were back fishing. The fish didn’t seem to care about the storm and we picked our way through the tight rapids and bottle brush trees adding another 25 Fish to the tally before we hit camp.25198705_10159975576060352_1507789230_oThe final day and we awoke early and were fishing just on first light. I was smoked by a big Bass on my second cast that made for its home in the mess of bottle brush roots. Sean was on form (again) and was landing fish after fish. We went back to camp and packed up and made our way down the river. As we progressed nearer the exit point the fish shut down and we closed the trip on 56 Bass and 2 Cod. We had lost maybe 20-30 fish and considering the terrible water quality Sean had done brilliantly.

Such a great trip, Joanne and I are really happy that Sean had a great time and I can honestly say he was a very deserving winner.

On a side note check out this amazing Python that we passed that had just had breakfast from what looks like some poor Duck or maybe a bush Pheasant.



Up from the Big Smoke!

The boys from Bass Sydney Fishing club were waiting for me when I drove in and after a few handshakes and G`days we loaded up my Ute and headed off to our start point. Doug, Rico and Damien had a million questions and couldn’t wait to get going. We set off in the morning mist and the boys started cycling through Lures trying to find something that would get us on the board.

Ricos stunning Cod

Reports had suggested that the river was shut down and after a tough day fishing, we had only a few Cod to show and one small Bass so it looked like we were in for a fairly challenging trip.

Doug having a swim

Whilst portaging a main rapid we had a small mishap with 1 of the canoes and after some panic, shouting, leveraging the canoe from its pinned rock and then retrieving all the dry bags and gear Doug had earnt the nickname “Dangerous Doug” or “DD” (to his friends) for the rest of the trip.

O dear

We set up camp and at dusk we went out for a paddle only for Doug to have a fish hit his surface lure and whip the Rod out of his hands. He couldn’t believe it and it looked like it was lost to the river. I was fairly confident we could find it in the morning, so the boys pressed on and fished into the late hours for only a couple more smallish Cod.

Another tough day at the office

In the morning we managed to get “Dangerous Doug`s” Rod back and headed off down river hoping to pick up some bigger fish. Over the next couple of days, the boys focused on trying to find a decent sized Bass but the river was on lockdown.

Damien at the end of the falls

On the last night, Rico managed to sneak a perfectly conditioned 40cm whilst throwing large surface Lures as we all walked the bank for a few hours.

Rico with his Bass

29 Fish with a 40cm Bass and a 60cm Cod was the final tally. I think the boys had a great time and from a guides point of view, you couldn’t ask for easier clients.

I’ll say nothing.





When it blows from the East the fish bite least

23 fish may sound a lot but when you put 4 experienced Fisho`s on New South Wales premier river (arguably) over 3 days the numbers should be 60-80.
However, Bass can be moody little buggers and we were faced with the fact that the weather had turned to custard and the barometer was sitting at 1011. Then add an Easterly wind this was really going to be a struggle.

Day One Scotty upset a great Bass from out in the middle of a decent size hole. It was all smiles and photos as this Bass smashed Scotty`s previous best and it set the mood high and we all thought that maybe things would be OK.23516039_10159838738585352_521606720_oUnfortunately, this would be the only fish landed for the rest of the day and by the time we hit camp the mood was low. A few beers and some very nice Scotch that Chris had brought along (I think it was very expensive) lifted the mood and I ended up having one of the best afternoons just sitting and chatting that I think I have ever had on the river.

Day Two and Chris paddled out whilst we finished breaking camp and within seconds a small Cod had taken a shine to his lure. I wouldn’t call Chris an excitable fella but he started shouting and gesturing as a giant Cod came up from the depths and grabbed the small Cod he had on. The big Cod let go and just before Chris could do anything a different Cod came up and hit the small Cod off the lure and then took the Lure. Chris only had light fishing gear so we quickly paddled out to help to land this stunning Eastern Cod.23584220_10159838735905352_886539610_oThe rest of the day we picked off Bass and Cod mostly from the bigger holes. Jason had sent a deep diver down and was rewarded with one of the biggest hits I have seen and we all thought he had hooked a really sizeable Cod. By the way the fish was hugging the bottom you would have thought it was a 70cm Cod but he coaxed her up and netted this perfect Bass. I think I was more excited than him as it is great to see not only a client but also a bloody good mate catch a new PB.
When we neared the end of the same hole I hooked a 40cm Bass and just as I had him beaten I also had a giant Cod come up and grab the poor fella. The lads laughed as I shouted and screamed for the 90cm+ oath to let my precious Bass go and after a big tail slap on the surface he/she sunk back down into the darkness.
2 Cod attacks in 1 trip are really unusual but its great to see some big fish around and I really wouldn’t to be a small fish living in that river.

Day Three and we awoke to wind and spitting rain.
We had already decided that we might paddle out and get back to the cars early as work commitments loomed and the weather was just crap.

So on reflection, it was so amazing to be back on the big river again after 3 months I absolutely love it and dread the day I am too old to paddle it. Although we didn’t slay the fish I think 4 new PB`s for the lads on 1 trip is pretty bloody good and spending time with people like Chris, Jason and Scott really make this job pretty easy.



The Perfect Trip?

We had changed our minds a few times over the last few weeks in regards to where we will fish, but we finally agreed on some high Northern New South Wales hills and we made the drive towards some access I had secured the year before.

When we arrived there was a local fixing up something by the gate so I jumped out of the car for a quick chat and things escalated quickly. He was aggressive and in my face within seconds and it looked like we were about to have a dust-up. After some short words and when he accepted the fact that I was not going to back down or was not there to rob his house, he softened just like Jackal and Hyde. He was all smiles and now giving me advice as to where I can drive in and what to look out for.

Some odd people live in those hills.

Laughing this off we unloaded the Canoes and said our goodbyes to poor old Joanne who had to make the drive home past our new friend’s place (Mr. Hyde).


Always good to have a launch picture so the rescuers know what to look for!


We got to camp in a few hours with no sign of a fish and made ourselves comfy for the night around a small fire and a couple of cold beers.

The next morning Frank was up like a shot and paddled out to a small hole not far from camp.

Twenty minutes later he was back and he shouted: “get the camera”.


Frank with his 48cm Bass


Now with high expectations, we set off around 9am and fished hard but with the massive Moon, I didn’t expect to see much till late morning.

Around 11am the fish started to show and we started to clock up some good numbers.
Just around Midday, I hooked a fish with my Mazzy Popper that had some weight. It took me straight into a snag and I was bricked. I instantly jumped into the water like some lunatic and swam towards the snag leaving my canoe and paddle to start to float down the river.

I managed to untangle the line from the snag and to my amazement the fish was still on. Soon as she broke the surface I could see it was a big Bass and in the excitement, I was shouting all kinds of nonsense at Frank (he has this on Video and may hold me to ransom one day).


23261905_10154924940066288_1940227401_o (Large)
54cm of Wild River Bass


By the time we finished up at camp we had 20 or so fish. We set up camp and went back out straight away. We fished from a single canoe, walked the banks for a few hours just picking off Bass and Cod until we had over 30 fish in total. That night around the fire we talked about the crazy wind we had been competing with and of course the amazing Bass & Cod we had landed.

The next day we were up early and as keen as Mustard.

We picked our way down the river and targetted pools with the Mazzy Poppers, Alive Chatter Baits and anything else we could use. Frank used a spinnerbait in the deep holes to upset the Bass that thought they were safe. With this type of fishing, Eastern Cod are a bycatch but as they are actually a protected species so you need a quick photo and return them to the water to go about their day.

In the late afternoon, Frank hooked onto a really big Cod that had him in all sorts of trouble. His reel was given a run for its money but he landed the 80cm chunk and it was not till later when we stripped it we noticed he had totally melted his Clutch.

The fishing on this trip was as good as it ever gets and even with the wind and the giant Moon, the fish played the game.

The final score was 114 fish and by the time we got to the car (on Franks 40th Birthday) we had both had enough.



Long wet weekend.

Normally my fishing trips and guided tours seem to be filled with schedules and stress. It always seems that I  have to get from point A to B by a certain time or make sure I don’t forget something. Is the client happy? Will we get a big fish and so on.

This long weekend we loaded up the cars and trailer, threw in a few of our favorite people, some beer, wine and sneaked off onto some private land where we could relax and have a little fish if the mood took us.
The weather was wet for the most part with drizzle and showers but no one complained as it really didn’t matter and after a 4-month drought the rivers and farmers need every drop.

We managed to do a bit of fishing and even went for a night session which resulted in one of the biggest Bass surface hits I think I have ever had. This resulted in a mid 40`s Bass who played up like she was a 50+.

Considering the water is so low we ended up with plenty of Bass and a couple of small Cod and dropped plenty.

Few drinks and a decent fire and a fair bit of bullsh*t made for a great couple of nights away.


Roll with the punches

So Paul and Andy`s trip was cancelled last year due to floods and this trip did not start well at all. On the first day, Andy fell crook with a 24-hour virus that really knocked him around. My Canoe fell off the back of the trailer (first and last time) and this resulted in us having to chase down a Drover who thought he had scored a free Coleman Canoe. He had it all tied up on his horse truck and was just pulling away. All that said and done once we got into it we started to find our groove. It was tough on the first day with Andy crook and the Bass shut down but with a change of weather the fish switched on and the next 2 days were as good as it gets. With Bass up to the magic 50cm and some surface smashing Eastern Cod by day 2 we were over 20 fish and the boys had already booked the next trip. We lost count but I think the final tally was between 30-40 fish with a healthy mix of Bass vs Cod.

The water is starting to warm up nicely
Paul enjoying (I think) his first “Wild River” Portage
Paul with a new PB Eastern Cod


2nd nights Camp
Andy with a perfect Bass taken off the top water
Andy with a mint condition Eastern Cod
Casting from the camps banks
This Bass was only 15ft from Camp
Paul with a new PB Australian Bass
Low water = Dragging


Andy with a perfect Australian Bass



What to do……

So the drought continues and the rivers are just getting more unfishable each day.
With new clients heading this way on Wednesday I am faced with having to make a decision on what system to fish.

I went for a quick overnight 40km- 50km paddle (It hurt) to pre-fish some tidal water and managed 28 fish.
It was a big paddle but I shouldn’t complain when you get to camp in spots like this…


You would think that my problem is solved and just take the boys there. However, the problem is the biggest Bass was only 44cm. Now I get that a 44cm Bass is awesome but that should be the average size of a fish on our trips.

So do we drag and haul ourselves down a dried up river bed looking for 5 fish or fish the lower river and take the numbers.

What would you do?


2017 Season is under way

With the first trip done and dusted and a fresh nights sleep, I am already looking forward to the next trip.

Neil Duncan put the effort in as we dragged our Canoe & Kayak down the very low Clarence River and he managed some great Bass along with a stunning Eastern Cod.

The weather was fantastic although the wind was annoying and the nights were a little too cold to go out and fish for long.

Judging by the posts on Facebook it looks like everyone else had a cracking start to the season and I see a few people even had a 50cm+ Bass on opening day….. Nice.

Let’s hope that’s a sign of things to come.


Neil Duncan


Bass Season 2017/2018

Welcome to our humble little page.

if you have not visited before we offer guided Fishing, Kayak and Canoe trips on and around the rivers of Northern NSW.

The 2017/2018 Season is about to hit us and to commemorate this along with the launch of our new website we have teamed up with Everything Bream & Bass to offer someone the chance to win an overnight trip valued at over $800.

The competition starts on the 17th of August so make sure you keep an eye out for the post on our Facebook page and Everything Bream and Bass page

Alternatively, you can message or call us to find out how we can plan your 2017/2018 trip.
Dave & Jo

Book Now