Over the remainder of Summer we should see some good fishing in the dams and on local rivers.
Although the recent weather have been a little unpredictable, culminating in some flooding in early December, the fishing otherwise has been good with Glenbawn and St Clair producing numbers of bass on lures, along with the odd yellowbelly.
Lostock Dam has also been firing with bass taking spinnerbaits, Beetle Spins and small lipless crankbaits along banks with good weed growth.
On this little dam it can be quite hard to work out a pattern for the bass but the quality of the fish is exceptional, making it worthwhile to put in the effort.
The rivers have also produced good bass, especially on surface lures in low-light periods.
Barring further flooding, the rivers should continue to fish well through January, with surface lures best early and then crankbaits, blades and 1/4oz spinnerbaits in the deeper water. Good lure colours include yellow or brown and in spinnerbaits, green or even black.
The Barrington Tops are producing trout and all streams have good flow.
Stockings earlier in the season bode well for next year. Around 10,6000 rainbow and 10,000 brown trout from Ebor Hatchery and were distributed with the help of members of the Barrington Gloucester Fishing Club. Anyone wishing to join this club can give Sid Collison a call on 02 6545 2691.
Lake St Clair is holding at around 95% with not much weed in close. Most growth is out from the banks in around 10m and pushing almost to the surface.
This dam in January lends itself to all forms of fishing. Surface lures and shallow-running crankbaits can be cast around the backs of both the arms in relatively shallow water, and around the entrances to the bays in the Broadwater.
Surface lures I like include the Lucky Craft Sammy, Jackall SK Pop and Heddon Torpedo fizzer but there are plenty to choose from in the tackle shops.
The shallow runners I prefer are the Jackall Chubby 43mm, Megabass Baby Griffon and Kokoda Bugger Chug. All work well this time of the year because they resemble the cicadas in the trees. It is quite common to catch a bass full of cicadas.
As the day progresses and the fish move out into the deep weed, spinnerbaits, lipless crankbaits and deep crankers are the next step.
Last season I worked on a compact shaker blade style of lure to fish this tall deep weed, because you need a lure that has action, flash and depth capability to target the bass hiding in the weed.
Glen and Sue Casey of Bassman Spinnerbaits now produce this compact Mumbler. It has a very strong action, plenty of flash, can be used with a plastic trailer, and most importantly is compact and not prone to getting hung up on the tall weed.
The 1/4oz one runs down to around 5m on a steady retrieve.
There will still be the schools of smaller bass out in the 10m deep sections that can be targeted by trolling deep lures or jigging plastics.
Bait can also be very productive but the problem with the dam at its current level is there are no trees to tie up to in the heat of the day to drop a bait down, so mostly it will mean fishing the banks with worms and yabbies.
Lake Glenbawn receives huge pressure this month from anglers and skiers, so it is strongly advisable to get out early. The days are quite long and can get very hot.
It is quite normal for south-easterlies to hit after lunch so you might not get an evening fishing session in.
With the dam at its present level things are looking great for the rest of Summer and into Autumn.
There are plenty of good banks to fish, with cover and weed for the lure angler. Again, trees for the bait fishos to tie up to are pretty scarce so they will have to fish from or near the banks.
Bait fishing is very popular over the holiday break with good catfish coming from anywhere around the main basin on worms. The bass, goldens and silvers like shrimp, grasshoppers, yabbies and worms.
Low-light periods are for surface lures, especially around the more heavily timbered points and gullies. At brighter parts of the day move to deeper lures like spinnerbaits, shaker blades, lipless crankbaits and most reaction lures
Goldens and bass will be out in 5m to 6m with virtually any part of the dam productive.
On the very warm days trolling can really help to locate the fish and work out the depth they are feeding at.
Look for large schools of bait, either swimming along the edges or holding at 5m in the water column.
Late last month members of the Aberdeen Fishing Club stocked Glenbawn under the dollar-for-dollar scheme with money raised by the club and Australian Bass Tournaments.Reads: 2342