Bass fishermen are a special breed and that is because they love to wrestle with the monsters of the deep. Bass fish are fighters on the line and they grow to prodigious sizes. A fisherman knows he is in for a fight when he has hooked a Bass. There are two distinct types of Bass, the freshwater and the marine species. The word Bass comes from the Middle English word ‘bars’ meaning ‘perch’. Both freshwater and saltwater Bass are from the order known as Perciformes.
The bass are then categorised under three classes, which include the black basses, temperate basses and Asian basses. Under the first of these you get the Choctaw bass, spotted bass, smallmouth bass, Guadalupe bass and largemouth bass. The temperate basses include: striped bass, white bass and European seabass. The Asian bass include: blackfin seabass and Japanese seabass.
The Australian bass is part of the temperate perch family, Percichthyidae. Australian bass are primarily freshwater native fish found in streams and rivers near the east coast of this island continent. A close cousin of this fish is the muddy bass found in the Brisbane River and in brackish waters in the Queensland hinterland. The dirty Brisbane waters are a favourite location for this much sought after angler’s fish and rare as they might appear to be they are well worth seeking them out. These fish are highly predatory and were originally thought to be related to the barramundi; this has now been found to be erroneous.
Australian bass have a forked tail fin and a spiny dorsal fin of medium height. The gill covers on this fish can cut fishermen handling them due to their sharp flat spines. They are gold, bronze or bronze green in colour and can grow up to sixty five centimetres long in the far northern waters of Australia. They reside in the freshwater reaches of coastal rivers for half the year when it is warm and move to the estuaries in winter. Australian bass are reported to be slow growing and long living.
Bass are good eating fish as well, with non-oily white flesh, which is prized by many leading chefs. Many keen fishermen practice catch and release with the fresh water bass, as they are more interested in the fishing experience as sport. Waiting for that tug on the line and then it is on, as the bass twists and turns, fighting the fisherman all the way.