The season appears to be about three or four weeks later than last year, with the water still cooler than normal but the fishing should continue to improve, provided the weather remains stable.
The trout season opens this month and is looking very promising after all the rain that fell on the Barrington Tops during Winter.
The streams in this area are stocked with fingerlings from the Dutton Hatchery at Ebor and are distributed by the members of the Barrington Gloucester Fishing Club.
Over recent weeks the rivers down around the lower Hunter have not been firing as they should but as the water gets up around the 17° to 18° the bass should come on the bite.
In the lower reaches of the Hunter and Williams rivers the bass seem to like lures around 50mm, lipless crankbaits and blades in the deeper areas and 2.5” to 3” plastics on 1/4oz jigs on the shallows and flats.
As the bass move further upstream where there is more bankside cover, 1/4oz to 3/8oz spinnerbaits with Colorado blades are very productive, as are 50mm lipless crankbaits in solid patterns.
Towards the end of last season I tried some compact 1/4oz Chatterbaits with very good results when worked under vegetation, around lily pads and across shallow rocks. I think they work so well because they are really three lures in one – spinnerbait, crankbait lure and plastic – and have their own unique vibration.
Lake St Clair is nearly up to 100% and over recent weeks has been a little dirty, but a bit of time locating the bass can be rewarding. Good numbers of fish are coming from up the arms and they’re in excellent condition.
The water is still cooler than normal but towards the end of this month it should be up around 18° or 19° and this is when the baitfish, mainly firetail gudgeons, breed around the banks.
Because the dam has risen very quickly there is very little weed near the banks; it is about 20m out in around 7m of water. This is where the bass are holding.
Early starts are the best way to fish the banks with surface or suspending lures, my favourite is the Jackall Squirrel.
Another option is a 3” plastic on a 1/8oz to 1/4oz jig rigged weedless, because there is a lot of vegetation down a little deeper. My favourite plastics for this are the catalpa Slider and the pearl watermelon Berkley Bass Minnow.
Recently I have tried the Jackall Cross Tail Shad, which is a hand-poured plastic, and caught some really nice bass in this dam in about 7m. This plastic really resembles the firetail gudgeons to a tee.
Because the bait schools can be holding out in 10m, the bass can best be targeted using blades, ice jigs and plastics. These deeper school fish are around 36cm, while the trophy bass will be coming from the edges.
This is also a good time to troll out over the deeper weed using lures that run down around 5m, especially in the darker colours. There are plenty to choose from in the Stuckey, Halco and Viking range.
Bait fishos will also have a ball fishing the banks for catties and dropping shrimp or yabbies down around the trees up the Fallbrook and Carrowbrook arms.
Glenbawn dam is quite high and with so much new ground, it may take a few trips to get on top of the fish. It has not been at this level for a number of years.
Although the water remains cool, it has not affected the fishing with good numbers of bass being caught in 10m to 15m, mainly on ice jigs and blades. A few are coming from the banks.
This month the fishing is good throughout the entire dam and each year differs as to where the majority of the fish are caught.
The back of the dam is usually good for the trollers, bait fishos and those who wish to jig, cast spinnerbaits or lures.
The middle section from Yellow Buoy bay to the Boot is also good for trollers and those using lures or plastics. The bottom section around the Main Basin is good for bait fishos and the wall area is for trolling.
Trollers will need lures to get down around 6m to 7m with purple and black top colours. They can also use heavy spinnerbaits and lipless crankbaits.
Worms and yabbies this month can be very productive fished from the banks or bobbed from boats adjacent to the trees.
Those wishing to use lures for the deep bass cannot go past 6g blades, ice jigs, Jackall Masks and lipless crankbaits.
The top plastics are the Sliders, Berkley Bass Minnows and the new Jackall Cross Tails.
Glenbawn faces immense pressure this month because of many tournaments and so it is advisable to get out early and make the most of the usually brilliant days – they are now longer and warmer.Reads: 1388