Many species of fishes, both freshwater and marine share the name bass. All these species belong to the large order Perciforms. The Australian Bass (Macquaria Novemaculeata) is mainly a freshwater species. Until the name Australian bass became common and popular it was known as perch.
Australian bass has a long range. They are visible in the rivers and streams of coastal areas like Wilsons Promontory in Victoria. In the Bundaberg region of Queensland they can be seen in the rivers and streams. We can identify it easily because of its even arched dorsal profile and a straight snout. It has a protruding lower jaw and large eyes. It exists in a variety of colors. The colors can vary from shiny gold to green with a bronze hue. Australian Bass are very interactive with their owner. They show great curiosity and confidence even as juveniles. They can be somewhat aggressive and territorial fish to their own kind and others.
Australian bass is a small to medium-sized species. This river fish in the wild can have an average weight of half a kilogram and length of up to one foot. Any fish of 1or more kilos is a great catch. The largest these fishes ever grew in rivers and streams is around 3 kilos. If they are bred in artificial water bodies, they can grow much larger than the average weight.
Australian bass is surprisingly not present in certain areas which otherwise seem perfect. Some of these systems have only one passage to the Southern Ocean. This is not good for the the Australian Bass. It can migrate considerable distances. There are records of upstream travels up to an altitude of 600 m. The migration happens at different times for different locations. The species is a strong swimmer and can cross rapids and fast-flowing water. However, it generally avoids sitting or swimming in currents to conserve energy.
In recent years, population sizes of Australian bass have declined. The building of dams has made potential habitats inaccessible. It inhabits the upper areas which are far from the coastal rivers and lakes. They spend most of their time in freshwater but move down into the estuary to breed during winter. Look for them in areas with some kind of structure in water. They like having places in the river or stream where they can hide like; fallen trees, rocks, thick vegetation. It does not have to be deep and can be only one meter in depth. During the day they love to spend time undercover while at night they hunt prey.
Australian Bass usually thrive on a diet of insects like cicadas and caddis fly larvae. They also eat crustaceans like shrimps which are there in the freshwater prawns. Small fish common in freshwater habitats like flathead gudgeon is also part of their diet. Australian Bass is a predator.
If a small animal which swims across such as mice, lizards and frogs, can become prey. Live baits such as yabbies, garden worms, grubs or live insects are used as baits while fishing for bass. They are not picky eaters and will go for anything and everything.
Water Type: Freshwater