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Good times linger still
  |  First Published: June 2012



This month water temperatures start to hit the mid-teens but this season appears to be around six weeks later than normal and we haven’t had too many cold westerlies so far, so the fishing remains still quite good.

Nice fish have been coming from Glenbawn and St Clair, with some caught on live yabbies and crickets.

Up at the Barrington Tops there have been good trout caught, especially on bait and the odd fly, but the season ends this month.

Down around the lower Hunter and tributaries there have been bass caught but now the river season has come to an end to allow for their spawning to assist in the sustainability of local fish stocks.

Fishing on the lakes in June can quite often be very slow so it can help your results if you pay particular attention to the weather patterns leading up to your trip.

The wind and the barometer, in particular, are the most important with those westerlies not the wind you need for your trip. A barometer steady over 1020HPa for two or three days prior is ideal.

Fortunately in Winter early starts are not critical because prime time is usually from around 8am to 4pm, when the water is warming and the barometer is at its peak.

TARGET AREAS

Over past years I have noticed that Winter bass and goldens can be holding in fairly deep water or in shallows adjacent to timbered banks.

The influences that make for these two differing target areas are less obvious than one might imagine.

Lower water temperatures are normally expected and are immediately apparent when you launch your boat. You will also notice lack of or decreased vegetation and with very clear water.

It is the hydrological change in the Winter on the lakes that has the most significant effect on fish behaviour yet often can be overlooked – the stratification of the water column.

Prior to Winter there a definite thermocline or temperature layer appears around 5m-6m. This is where the favoured dissolved oxygen levels are for bass and their food sources.

In Winter, the thermocline ceases and the lake becomes roughly the same temperature (isothermal), sometimes called a ‘roll-over’. The entire water column now has suitable dissolved oxygen to accommodate the fishes’ needs.

This explains why sometimes the fish can be shallow, especially on the windblown banks, and on very calm days can be quite deep.

Bass, in particular, roam throughout the water column in search of their food sources, which in Glenbawn and St Clair at this time of year are schools of hardyheads and fire-tail gudgeons.

These dense bait schools can be found in the open water where there are large numbers of rotifiers and copepods, which appear on a good sounder screen as a dark cloud. You can usually see good arches, meaning fish, holding adjacent or under these schools.

On very calm days, in particular at Lake St Clair, out in the Broadwater you can see the baitfish jumping from the water as the bass attack them from below, forcing them to the surface. As the baitfish hit the cooler surface water they go into shock, making them easy prey.

I have had some very good days throwing small surface lures, fizzers in particular, into these areas.

ST CLAIR

At Lake St Clair the fishing has been a bit slow with the bass in particular quite spread throughout the dam. Up the back end of the Fallbrook Arm there are a few trees to target for goldens and bass with bait while along the old river channel is worth a troll with lures that run down around 5m-6m.

Working the deeper banks and points with Beetle Spins and blades will also be productive.

Down around Redhead Corner and off Point Andrews is also a good area to jig for the deep suspending school bass, with black Jackall ice jigs dynamite for this.

Up the Carrowbrook Arm there are not too many good trees but trolling along the banks around Perkins Point, Loder Point, Adams Point and Bird Point can be very productive, with the Stuckey in fluoro colours my lure of choice.

These areas can also be very productive casting Beetle Pins, blades and small hardbodies, including my new favourite super deep Jackal Chubby.

There are some deeper areas to jig in 10m-13m from Perkins Point along the old river up to Lloyds Point. A sounder is useful here to find not just the fish but the deep timber.

In the Broadwater try around Jeanie Miller Bay, One Tree Point and Connell Inlet working along the 5m contour with blades, Beetle Spins and lipless crankbaits, or jig in open water in 10m-15m.

If there have been strong westerlies in previous days then work in 5m-6m along Thunderbolts Run with blades, deep lures and lipless crankbaits.

GLENBAWN

Lake Glenbawn can be very hot or cold this month because of strong, cold winds blowing down from the Barringtons. Still, some quality fish are taken and some of my best golden perch fun has come this month at the back of the dam.

Up the back from One Tree along the Panhandle and up to the Ruins is good for bobbing worms and yabbies, trolling deep Feral Catts and Stuckeys along the edge of the timber and casting deep cranks, blades and Beetle Spins around the weed off the points or amid the timber.

There are usually some deep bass schools around the Dogleg and Pelican Point which can be targeted with blades, ice jigs or plastics. If using plastics in this deep, cold water I like to warm them using hot water from my thermos.

It is always worth a troll along the dam wall and to work lures and lipless crankbaits around the timber at Golden Point, Sunken Cabins and Little Wall.

About 90,000 golden perch have been stocked into Glenbawn and 40,000 into Lake St Clair as part of the NSW Government’s program. Fingerlings were bred at the DPI Narrandera Fisheries Centre.

I have had a few emails from anglers concerning the new Alabama rigs that are presently the flavour of the month in the US. I have been in discussion with Fisheries compliance officers and it looks like that are not legal to be used in the freshwater in NSW if they have more than three hooks, as the rule stipulates only three hooks can be used. I will try to get more info before my next report.

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