Bass & EP season re-opens

ANGLERS can target Australian bass and estuary perch in NSW from Saturday September 1 when the annual three month closed season ends. The closed season for bass in Queensland also ends on August 31.

NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) Senior Recreational Fisheries Manager, Cameron Westaway, said an annual zero bag limit for the species is in place in all rivers and estuaries in the state (except in impoundments and in rivers above impoundments) from June 1 to August 31 to protect the vulnerable species during spawning.

“Both Australian bass and estuary perch form schools and migrate to parts of estuaries with the correct salinity over late autumn and early winter to trigger spawning,” he said.

“When they are in these large groups they can be vulnerable to fishing, so a three month zero bag limit for these fish applies.”

The spawning period for these species has now finished with many returning to their spring and summer feeding grounds higher up in the catchment. From September 1, anglers are permitted to take these native species, however, bag limits of two Australian bass or estuary perch per person, or a combination of both, with a possession limit of four apply. Only one fish of over 35cm is permitted to be taken from rivers.

NSW DPI Director Fisheries Compliance, Glenn Tritton, said these fishing laws are designed to protect, conserve and improve our fisheries resources for future generations. “Anyone who is unsure of the rules and regulations should contact their local Fisheries office before they go fishing, as heavy penalties for illegal fishing are in place,” Tritton said.

“Before dropping a line, fishers should check they have a current NSW recreational fishing licence, available online at or by calling 1300 369 365.

“Fishers are also reminded to have their recreational fishing licence in their immediate possession at all times or face a $75 on the spot fine.”

Information on freshwater fishing rules can be found in the NSW Recreational Freshwater Fishing Guide available from DPI Fisheries offices, online, at fishing licence agents and bait and tackle shops.

Check out a Fishing World how-to bass fishing video here.

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