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Hot bassin’ weather
  |  First Published: December 2010



For the rest of Summer the fishing should be really good but this month the days can be very hot and long.

Recent weather has been very unpredictable but there have been some nice catches from the local rivers and dams.

Up at the Barrington Tops there have been some nice trout caught on bait, fly and lures and this fun should continue.

All the streams have good flows and there have been successful stockings over recent years and all browns and rainbows are in excellent condition.

The lower reaches of local waterways have been fishing well for bass at times but then a fresh comes along and scatters the fish.

The upper Hunter will produce some nice bass this month; use surface lures just on dark and medium-depth lures and bait during the day.

Much the same applies for the Paterson River right up to Lostock Dam. Small spinnerbaits and lures will be best with surface lures in the low light periods.

Lostock is also firing this month with good numbers of fish coming from the weed adjacent to the banks on lipless crankbaits, Beetle Spins and blades.

At this dam it can be quite hard to work out a pattern sometimes but the quality of fish is exceptional so it is worthwhile spending time there.

Bass are in good numbers in the Williams River around Clarencetown. They are a little small but are still very good fun with small lures and spinnerbaits.

From Clarencetown to Dungog a canoe is needed as the river passes through private property but the rewards are there.

ABUNDANT WEED

Lake St Clair is holding at a very good height with abundant weed and cover for the fish, gudgeons and shrimp.

In January every form of fishing will get you bass, goldens and silvers and bait will get you catfish.

I always like to begin and end the day with a surface session and at brighter times I go to lipless crankbaits, spinnerbaits and blades as the fish move deeper.

The surface lures can be poppers, fizzers, jerkbaits and bibbed wake baits, usually in translucent patterns in clear water and more solid patterns when visibility is poor.

Bass can ‘hear’ or sense a wide range of movement over considerable distances, a lot further than they can see because their vision is only acute at feeding distance.

The noise a lure transmits can bring responses from bass quite a distance off, which is very helpful to get the fish away from cover and out to where the lure is swimming.

This is where the colour selection can be vital. The correct colour may assist a fish to zero in on the lure if it contrasts with the surroundings, which is why the addition of black stripes can sometimes make a considerable difference.

When choosing lures it is important to match the feeding behaviour of the bass at the time – it could be cicadas, grasshoppers or other insects.

At Lake St Clair the banks up both arms are firing, as are the shallower points in the Broadwater.

It is always worth trolling along the deeper gullies of around 6m to 7m that lead into the main channel. Use lures that have a strong but tight action and get down around 5m. Dark purple or even black are good colours.

Bait fishing is enjoyable in January. With the dam at its present level you can fish off the bank or tie up to some of the trees in the 10m depths up the Carrowbrook and Fallbrook reaches. Best baits are yabbies and live shrimps.

GLENBAWN TRAFFIC

Lake Glenbawn is usually fairly tough this month because there are plenty of boats out on the water. This month it also tends to be hit with a mid-afternoon southerly.

However, with the dam at its present 80%, there are plenty of prime areas to fish and some sheltered bays to get out of the wind.

Glenbawn has recently produced some great early morning bites and good catches on bait around the weedy banks.

It is always a good idea to get out at dawn to get the surface bite and then work out into the deeper sections before the south-easters hit around midday.

This dam has been getting plenty of rain and continues to rise, so the majority of catches will continue to come from the upper sections. The banks and adjacent timber are best targeted with shallow lures or plastics worked over the submerged weed and around the timber.

Trolling along the old river bed is also very popular and productive this month with lures running down around 3m to 4m. The Stuckey in yellow with green dots is a real killer.

Down around the bottom of the dam along the two walls can also be very productive for giant golden perch. Use green/red 65mm to 70mm lures with a wide action.

The banks in the Main Basin are very productive, especially at night for catties and silvers on bait.

Remember, it can be very rough on this dam on the run home into the southerly so be prepared to come back early if it looks a bit rough.

Last month marked the closure of Aberdeen Fishing Supplies, which had been operating since 1989. I am sure Reon will be missed, along with all his fishing info for the area.

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