Backyard Bassing

November 30, 2018 10 Comments

Catching bass from a kayak using a depth sounder

Downrigging mackerel, trolling for tuna, jigging kingfish are guaranteed to make our clients happy. But what happens when the weather is so bad you can’t get offshore?


Weather can be extremely unpredictable making offshore fishing difficult

We’ve had a shocking year for weather. A friend who was out on a Sydney charter boat recently told me the skipper had mentioned that, at one point, he had only been able to fish for two days – out of three weeks! Due to howling non-stop winds. Just an idea – and mainly an idea for metropolitan anglers – with something that’s been working like a dream for me lately.

Launching the Kayak for a session of bass fishing close to home

Freshwater fishing. I’m usually pretty hard on Fisheries, but I’ve got to confess they’ve done a fantastic job in stocking dams here in Sydney.

A bass caught in one of the dams stocked by fisheries

I’ve been out chasing bass four times in the last ten days. Can’t recommend the experience too highly because it ticks so many boxes: local spots – meaning quick to get to, meaning you have time for a quick session after work – now that daylight saving has arrived (sorry, Queensland!) and yes I am hooked up, in this pic:

An afternoon fishing session on one of the many dams near home

Inexpensive. I’m using a $200 used kayak and our $95 3 kilo spin combo. That scored me ten bass in Lake Parramatta on Monday night – including at one point, three fish in five casts. Small kayaks are cheap on Gumtree and eBay:

Single Kayaks can be found cheap on gumtree

You can even get two affordably

Exercise. Maybe not relevant for a lot of our readers but important for a bloke like me who spends most of his waking life sitting in front of a computer screen. Paddling around for a couple of hours is the light workout I need.
The fish are a bonus. Here’s a 32cm from Lake Parramatta on Monday:

Adding a depth sounder and rod holder to your kayak works well

How does it work? I like to be hooked up, plain and simple. And one of the best ways to make that happen is not to put all your eggs in one basket. So for instance, on Monday I arrived at Lake Parramatta and quickly set up our rod pod on the little deck. Mixed up a can of corn niblets ($1.30 from Coles) and a bag of breadcrumbs (90 cents from Coles) in a bucket, with a little water. Threw that out in front of the pod and set two rods, passing the baits into the burley zone. Turned on the alarms and went to sort the kayak and bass gear. If anything was to happen, the buzzers would let me know:

Using the rod pod with a couple of 602 light combos on the wharf

This tactic alone is deadly. All year I’ve been catching big carp from ponds here in Sydney - in just short sessions, after work:

Catching carp is a great past time when the bass aren't biting

Send me an email if you need some locations:

One of the great carp fishing locations in Sydney

Here’s how to get started. Number 1: Check your local Fisheries web page for fish stockings in your area. Here’s where I’m headed on the next run. Forty thousand bass stocked in tiny Manly Dam – in the last eight years:

Fisheries have been stocking dams with bass regularly

And here’s a link to the NSW Fisheries website. Five minutes on Google will find one in your State:


Two: Get a kayak. If you have to buy one they’re not expensive. But maybe you can borrow one? Fishing from a kayak is so much better than fishing from the bank:

Launching the Kayak off the wharf

Three: Get the right gear for the job. We have the perfect bass combo for just $95 + postage:

The Downrigger Shop Light Spinning Combo is perfect for bass

Needless to say it's not just for bass. Ideal for flathead, squid, bream, trout, salmon and FAD dollies. I even got a 12 kilo bluefin tuna on mine a few years ago:

Up until Christmas we'll even throw in a black bass lure of the sort that’s been working so well, over the last two weeks:

A freshly caught bass on the deck

The whole outfit works beautifully and I should mention the reel itself is only $48 – in case you already have a suitable rod. Click here for more:


If you want to try the rod pods they are only $130 including delivery. Can’t recommend them too highly because you’ll be doubling the chances of a hookup on every trip. Note rod pod at top right:

Using a rod pod on the bank for great carp fishing


In closing, here’s a video you might get a laugh from. From years ago, when we were at the 4WD and Boat Show, at Penrith Panthers. Our stand was next to the Sydney Bass & Bream Club, and I thought it would be rude not to buy a couple of spinner baits from one of the club members selling there. About 50 yards from our set up was the Aqua Golf pond, where people whack golf balls into the water for fun. Headed down to Aqua Golf with the new lure tied on, with blokes calling out ‘you’re not allowed to fish in there!’

Me: ‘I’m not fishing! I’m only casting.’
Here’s what happened next…

Thanks for reading and get back to me if you need any tips whatsoever on where to go and how to do it,
Andrew Hestelow
Managing Director



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fletcher gee
fletcher gee

April 29, 2020

Wondering if u got any good spots near the northern beaches??

Bernie Hughes
Bernie Hughes

March 24, 2020

Was at Lake Parramatta today. Heard there were bass there. Will need to get me a black lure. Know it was some time ago but any tips on best areas of the lake?

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