Australian Bass are an Australian native fish found in coastal rivers and streams along the east coast of Australia from Sunshine Coast Queensland to Wilsons Promontory Victoria, also has been stocked into impoundments in South East Queensland. A great sporting fish and excellent table fish caught with determined fight on lures and flies, also yabbies, worms and shrimp are used. The flesh is white and is rare for bass to have a muddy or weedy flavour. Primarily freshwater but estuarine spawning. Highly sought after in impoundments as a sport fish with several specialist Bass tournaments on the circuit throughout Queensland and New South Wales.
Australian bass are small to medium size, vary in colour from silver, black and bronze. Grows to maximum 4kg and 65cm in length. An aggressive predator well known for their spectacular fighting ability.
Australian bass will not breed in farm dams or impoundments, requires salt water for egg and larval development, although they spend most of the year in freshwater they move down into the estuary during winter to breed. Australian bass are slower growing than Silver and Golden perch, taking approximately 2 years to reach legal size.
They eat small fish, crustaceans and other invertebrates such as insects, mosquito larvae. A closed season applies to bass with a bag and size limit also.
Australian bass are predatory fish and if stocking in dams keep in mind should you wish to add more fingerlings in future years, the older fish can predate on new fingerlings although structure can help mitigate this. It is generally wise to catch each stocking before adding more.
Habitat & Distribution
Australian bass occupy fresh and brackish waters in eastern drainage rivers from the Burnett river in Queensland to Gippsland in Victoria.
Juvenile and adult bass spend most of their life in freshwater. Adults use both still and flowing water, particularly pools with overhanging vegetation, submerged snags and undercut banks.
Bass have been successfully introduced into the large impoundments in Southern Queensland and thrive in these conditions, although will not breed as they are cut off from migrating downstream to the estuarine waters.