July is usually one of the most trying months for fishing the local impoundments. The westerly winds can be quite cold and strong and the water temperature usually falls to the low teens.
However, if you can manage a period of four or five consecutive days of high barometric pressure and very little wind then the fishing can be a little better and a day out on the water very enjoyable.
In my past 20 years of fishing Glenbawn and St Clair I have found that the full moon this month is by far the most productive time to fish these impoundments, you just have to tell the weather gods.
At Lake St Clair there have been some reasonable numbers of juvenile bass coming from jigging and trolling in around 10m and a few are being caught on fresh bait around the timber in this depth.
At Glenbawn the bass have been in really good condition and have been coming from the back of the dam, where jigging, trolling and bait fishing in the deeper water is the way to go.
There have been some nice goldens and silvers coming from the same areas on hard lures worked around the sunken timber.
This month the impoundments experience an isothermal, which means that there is no distinct change in water temperature from the bottom to the top. Because of uniform oxygen levels and water temperature, the baitfish and the fish can hang at whatever depth they wish.
This is where a good sounder is required to firstly find the baitfish and then the fish that are usually suspending underneath.
I have noticed that around noon is when the fish are more towards the top of the water column, providing it is not very windy.
Lake St Clair is very clear at present with some reasonable weed way out off the banks in around 4m-5m. To target them use Beetle Spins, blades, deep crankbaits and lipless cranks.
There are some places up the Carrowbrook Arm worth a try casting to the edges and gullies – Bird Point, Loder Point and Adam Point.
There are usually some bass suspending out in 10m-12m up around the middle of the Carrowbrook Reach along the river channel and these are best targeted using blades and ice jigs.
The Fallbrook Arm is a lot more protected from the westerly wind, with the area around Redhead Corner good for trolling and working the banks. There can be some bass holding in 10m-15m out off the point.
This section of the dam can also be very good to walk the banks casting deep lures or lipless crankbaits out over the weed.
In the Broadwater there are plenty of deep school fish holding in 10m-15m around St Clair and Alcorn Island. They will take any deep jigged presentation.
Trolling can be very productive and helps locate some of the rather large schools of baitfish, especially around the Broadwater.
Some good lures to try are Stuckey, Viking and Halco in their deep range; you will need to get down around 5m-6m. Productive colours this month are black/silver, yellow and red with some areas worth a try including Thunderbolts Run, Wallaroo Point and Jeanie Miller Bay.
Bait can be also worthwhile, especially yabbies, and the trees up the Fallbrook reach in around 10m are the spots to grab a cattie or golden.
Glenbawn is absolutely picture perfect at this time of the year, providing there is no wind and the days are sunny.
The most productive option for Winter to head to the back of the dam and fish in 6m-15m using bait, lures or jigs.
Dropping or working lures in or across the sunken timber can be very productive but you can also donate a bit of gear. Drop lures or plastics into the timber vertically, use plenty of scent and move from tree to tree until the fish are located.
On a good sounder you can see your lure in the basses’ faces and you need that to get them to bite some days.
Ice jigs are perfect for this but be prepared to lose a few. I have found that some ice jigs have a swivel as part of the line attachment and that is fine but on the ones that do not you get a lot of line twist. Using a swivel at the attachment will stop twist.
Trolling is always productive this month and armed with a good sounder and the knowledge of how deep your lure runs, you can troll over the tops of the sunken timber. Hang on because when the fish strike they will give you a good run for your money.
Some areas worth a troll are around the Boot, Castle Rock and Pelican point.
Bait fishing the timber around the steep banks up the back section with plenty of worms on your hook can be very rewarding. There are large silvers as well as bass and goldens.Reads: 1032