Report: Going off the grid – Filming for Fisho TV

YESTERDAY, Fisho embarked on another filming mission for our upcoming online TV series. The plan was to document a day’s fishing in out-of-the-way-bass country close to Sydney.

The fishing crew for the day included Fisho writer Chris Cleaver, keen bass fisher and lure maker Scott Anderson and Fishing World’s Jim Harnwell. Scott Thomas and myself were on filming duties.

Getting to the venue involved about an hour-long drive from the Sydney CBD to our 6.30am meeting location and from there a short drive to our walk-in point. Being downhill most of the way, the trek into the planned fishing location was a fairly easy 30-minute stroll – although it would prove quite a different story on the way back …

After working out where we could best access the river, we made our way down through thick timbered scrub to a pool Scott A had fished a few days previous, He’d scored some quality wild bass so we were all pretty pumped. We’d worked up quite a sweat in the highly humid still conditions, which hopefully signalled the right conditions for some champagne bassing.


Scott Anderson working the first pool.

The first casts across the glassy pool proved bass were in residence, with several slurps and boils around one of Scott’s newly designed cicada surface lures. The intention was there but not the follow-through. Jim eventually hooked up on one of Scott’s new creations. Unfortunately Jim had his drag set for his local Shoalhaven bass – which are usually relatively small fish. This bass was a different class, however, and quickly shot off, ripping line off Jim’s spool, and getting itself in under a rock. After a bit of to and fro, the lure came unstuck and, in a sort of comical anti-climax, flew into an overhanging tree branch and snagged up.

We persisted. Several times we spied some nice bass cruising the pool’s clear waters. As it was a sunny, cloudless day, it was easy to see the fish. Maybe they could see us as well?

More casts produced more follows and the odd boil, but none of the explosive strikes wild river bass are known for.

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Chris Cleaver and Jim Harnwell trying to lure one out …

Persistence paid off eventually as Chris Cleaver teased a following bass into nailing his slow-rolled beetle spin. Luckily, I had the camera recording when Chris hooked up and unceremoniously lifted the 38-40cm bass (see top right) through the trees tuna pole style for a quick pose and release. One down…

From there the fishing just got tougher despite our best efforts at a few more inviting (and very hard to get to) pools. Ain’t it always the way when you bring out a camera? Eventually we were resigned to the fact the fish were shut down. Typically, we theorised on whether recent rain or a low pressure system was to blame.

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Light … camera … bass!Scott Thomas waiting for a bite.

Apart from me clumsily tripping on a tree root, landing headfirst under an overhanging rock and slicing a finger, there was little more excitement. The walk out was, as mentioned previously, virtually all uphill … in around 30 degree heat and high humidity … I for one was happy to reach our parked cars.

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Maybe we’ll catch one in here?

To finish off the day we went back to Scott Anderson’s place where he gave us a run-down on his amazing handmade Nutterjuck timber lures – these things are works of art! Scott produces Nutterjucks in limited numbers – he concentrates on surface models mostly as that’s what he likes to fish – and the demand quickly outstrips availability. All of his lure releases are snapped up in minutes via his Facebook page. Check out Scott’s handiwork at and stay tuned for footage of him talking about lure making.

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Lure maker Scott Anderson showing off some of his creations to Fisho’s Jim Harnwell.

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As we were leaving Scott’s place the sky closed in and thunder echoed around us. A big front was heading through – presumably this atmospheric disturbance was what had switched the fish off? Bucketing rain and flash floods weren’t far away. We’d have to go bassing again another day … Maybe next week!

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