Fish are fickle some days
  |  First Published: May 2012

As we move into the late Autumn the weather patterns have been a bit more consistent. Several days of high pressure have occurred but with the high come the strong westerly winds.

The fishing has been a little touch-and-go over the past weeks, with some days very productive while others very demanding and the bite can be very fickle.

This month and on into Winter, the river bass migrate downstream to where the water temperature and salinity are ideal for spawning.

It is during this time that the bass can be quite aggressive feeders as they gain condition before spawning.

In the Williams, Paterson and Hunter rivers, crankbaits, spinnerbaits and blades work the best becase the water is usually a little dirty. If the rivers are quite clear then Beetle Spins and Bass Spins will also be very productive rigged with a 2.5” or 3” plastic with plenty of scent.

Crankbaits need to be about 50mm long with rattles and get down to around 2m. Black or purple are hot colours.

Spinnerbaits and blades need to be about 6g with plenty of gold in the pattern, while spinnerbaits should have a Colorado blade.

Good areas to target include the deeper holes and where some of the feeder creeks or irrigation channels enter.


Lakes Glenbawn and St Clair are holding at capacity and have been for around six months, allowing time for some nice weed to form off the banks and out on the shallow flats.

With the water temperature falling to the high teens, it should quite a good month ahead provided we don’t get the strong westerly winds that coincide with the high-pressure cells.

It is absolutely magnificent to get out on the dam after a foggy morning as it usually is a sign that there will be little wind and a near-perfect day for fishing.

While deep jigging this month can be very productive on the school bass, I like to focus on those bass and goldens around the banks and trees. They are usually bigger fish, and as the day progresses this shallow water will be considerably warmer, attracting the baitfish.

Surface lures and the very shallow wake-style lures can be very productive in this area, especially if there is a slight chop on the water. St Clair and Glenbawn can be very clear.

St Clair was very popular over Easter but now the fishers will have it to themselves.

There have been some nice catties and silvers caught on worms, which is a good sign because the fish kill last year really wiped out a lot of catfish.

At St Clair this month there is usually a thermocline forming at 5m-6m and this is where most of the fish will hold, especially during the day. But remember, this could occur in 12m-20m of water.

With the dam at this current level there are a lot more areas for this occur and also there are now five islands in the Broadwater to target.

This month is when trolling deep-running lures is very productive, especially while sounding to find the bass schools. For lures that get down around 5m-6m try the Stuckey and Feral Catts in dark patterns.

There are other options for trolling, like 1/2oz and 5/8oz spinnerbaits, lipless crankbaits and blades.

The main advantage of trolling lures is that they can draw fish from considerable distances and although you might not see fish on the sounder, it is common to hook up to a few.

Long, shallow points up both the arms can also be very productive, especially if there has been some strong wind previously. Rip spinnerbaits and lipless cranks across the shallow weed and use jerkbaits and very shallow lures in close to the bank.

My favourite lures for this are the Jackall Chubby, Squirrel and the new Soul Shad.

Bait fishing can be a little slow but the trees around the back of the Fallbrook and Carrowbrook arms should be worth dropping down a worm or yabby, because this is where many of the catties and silvers have been caught recently.


Lake Glenbawn is looking good this Autumn and at its present level there are plenty of areas to fish, especially towards the back and middle sections.

During late Autumn the bass and goldens move around in search of warmer water and good food before the water chills and slows their metabolism.

This usually means covering quite considerable area using the sounder looking for the last schools of gudgeons and smelt.

This season this year appears to be about six weeks behind 2011 and the water temperature is just starting to fall into the high teens.

Bass, in particular, like to keep in close to cover, especially timber, where they can be targeted with crankbaits, spinnerbaits and jigs.

I like to use neutral-buoyancy lures in the early part of the day with the Jackall Soul Shad really working well just off the weed edges.

Good areas to target are around the Dogleg and the Panhandle up towards the back of the dam. Yellow Buoy Bay and the Narrows are a little closer.

Some of these areas are in around 5m-10m, ideal for dropping black crickets down around the larger trees.

Some typical areas in the Main Basin are along the western side, Sunken Cabins, Golden Point and Blackboys.

There are some good schools of bass in around 10m around Cemetery Point while further up they are usually around the Dogleg and New House Bay.

These deep school fish can be very hard to get to bite but persistence with a finesse approach and patience usually will get you a couple. You sometimes have to move away from the school because they can quite easily shut down.

Plastics on 2lb leader and 1/8oz jigs, ice jigs and blades are the better options to try.

I have been running the new Lowrance Gen 2 sounders recently and found them to be a lot more user-friendly and advanced than the previous range. There is a new StructureScanHD version now available and it has raised the bar in fish and structure-finding technology.

The new system delivers more side-to-side coverage as well as greater target and bottom definition, and now at a higher speed.

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