A cool start
  |  First Published: October 2010

The fishing should continue to improve although there have been some unstable weather patterns and winds which have had a strong effect at times. The warmer conditions appear to be coming about a month later than in recent years

The trout season opens this month and things are looking very promising for a good season, with some snow and good rain on the Barrington Tops.

The streams in the Tops are stocked with trout fingerlings from Ebor and are distributed with the help of the hard-working members of the Barrington Gloucester Fishing Club. Anyone wishing to join this club should contact secretary Sid Collison on 02 6545 2691 or email --e-mail address hidden--

The rivers around the lower Hunter have been fishing reasonably well since they opened last month but because the season is a little later, they should really begin to fire this month as the water gets up around 19° or 20°.

In the lower reaches you can expect the bass to take 50mm lures and lipless crankbaits during the day around the banks and cover, and as you move upstream to around the denser cover, spinnerbaits and Beetle Spins will come into their own.

I like spinnerbaits to be compact and around 1/4 oz with a single copper Colorado blade with a green/pearl skirt. The Beetle Spins I use have copper blades, 1/8oz to 1/4 oz jigs and about a 60mm plastic. My favourite is the baby bass Slider or Berkley Bass Minnow in galaxia green.

Vibrating new blades are also very productive worked parallel to the banks and in the deeper holes. I like the 40mm ones around 5g in the darker patterns.


Lake St Clair has been fishing reasonably well and should improve this month as the warmer weather patterns move through.

The water is still relatively cool so there has not been the weed growth and cover for the baitfish, especially the shrimp and gudgeons. But with the recent rise in water level it will only be a matter of time – this dam has not had the inflow that Glenbawn has.

Because of the strong winds, the water is not its usual gin-clear but it is still quite easy to see the weed line out from the banks. The St Clair bass are not in the same condition as those in Glenbawn but are still very healthy and strong.

The bass will be in tight to the banks or structure very early in the day.

This is where surface lures work well but last season, the suspending jerkbait-style hardbodies also accounted for some really good bass when worked along the 2m to 3m deep banks. The Jackall Squirrel was my favourite for this but at the recent AFTA Tackle Show there were some new lures from Jackall and other companies so I will be giving them a try.

Plastics on very light jigs can also be worked in these shallow areas with the 3” Berkley Hollow Body Split Tail very good in the hitch colour or the 3” Ecogear Grass Minnows in rainbow trout.

As the daylight grows, the fish move out a little deeper and are best targeted with lipless crankbaits and spinnerbaits in 3m to 6m, while school fish are in 7m to 10m are best hunted with ice jigs, blades and plastics. Smoke/yellow core and baby bass are good starting colours for the plastics.

Trolling can be very rewarding because the bass tend to move around a lot in Spring searching for baitfish and shrimp.

The lure needs to get down close to the bottom and have a tight action and vibration. There are plenty to choose from in the Trollcraft, Viking, AC and Stuckey ranges.

In Spring I use very bright colours, preferably with tiger stripes.

Bait-soakers have been doing really well with some nice catties on worms and bass and goldens around the timber on yabbies and shrimp.


In line with the rising and warming water, Glenbawn has been fishing really well lately. The bass are in excellent condition and have been gorging on the schools of smelt and gudgeons.

The Barrington snowmelt gives the dam a good influx of quality water and nutrients.

Although the water is a few degrees cooler than last season, that’s not slowing the bite. There has been some quality fish coming off the banks all around the dam with the best areas up towards the back.

These fish have been caught working shallow lures, plastics and spinnerbaits around the submerged weed adjacent to the bank.

There have also been some schools of bass, mostly targeted with ice jigs and blades.

This month the fish will be moving around the entire dam so they can sometimes take some finding. Where you caught some one day can be barren the next so sounding them can be most important.

Trolling can be a good option. Tow a lure that runs down around 6m to 7m and has a lot of action. The best Spring colour for Glenbawn is purple.

Also try the deep water adjacent to the steep banks and walls. Use 3/8oz to 1/2oz spinnerbaits and lipless crankbaits in colours golden carp, HL black and HL gold gill.

The deep school bass are usually in around 10m and are always going to take an ice jig or a blade. Blades around 40mm to 48mm and around 6g seem to give a better hook-up ratio.

Trolling the wall is always worth a try, especially if the dam continues to rise.

Good bass and goldens will always take a live yabby or worm fished from the banks or dropped down around the timber at The Narrows in 10m to 15 m.

This dam faces a lot of pressure from various competitions over October so it is advisable to get out early and enjoy those top mornings.

During Spring I will assist I&I Fisheries managers to distribute bass fingerlings in local impoundments.

Draft stocking figures for Glenbawn Dam are: 70,000 bass, 20,000 silver perch and 70,000 goldens. For Lake St Clair 50,000 bass, 20,000 goldens and 20,000 silvers. Dollar-for-dollar stockings will also complement these stockings.

The annual Glenbawn Classic is on October 2 and 3. This is a catch and release, lure and fly only event with good prizes in sections for adult male and female, juniors and sub juniors. I am selling my 24v 80lb Minn Kota Maxxum for $1000, email me.

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