The weather over recent weeks has had some affects on the dams and rivers. The nights have still been quite cool so the water temperature has not been up to that at a similar time last year and the weed growth has been restricted.
It should not be long before the crickets and grasshoppers begin appearing and this will be the time to get out the surface lures for those adrenalin-rushing topwater hits. There are a lot of surface lures available and my favourites are still the fizzers and poppers.
My favourite fizzers for the dams and rivers are the Heddon Tiny Torpedo and the Taylor Made Fizz Banger. The poppers I like include the Jackall SK Pop, Megabass Siglett, Taylor Made Basscada and the Crickeye from Paul Nicel lures.
The best time to use the surface lures is about an hour before and after sunrise and about 2-3 hours after sunset.
The Paterson and Williams rivers are in pristine condition and producing some nice bass right through from the lower sections to the upper reaches.
The Hunter River is not quite as clear but is also providing good bass right up the valley. It has plenty of flow and good structure to hold the fish.
Hardbodies around 40mm long will work well, along with 1/4oz spinnerbaits and Beetle Spins with 1/4oz heads.
There are plenty of crankbaits to choose from but the locally made Marz and the Japanese Jackall Chubby are hard to beat. There are also plenty of spinnerbaits out there but I like the Secret Creek and Bassman, with the Mumbler shaker blade also working well.
Up around the Barrington Tops the trout are in good numbers and in prime condition, taking bait, lures and flies.
Lake St Clair has been fishing OK over past weeks but with the lack of good weed the bass have been hard to find and are moving around a lot, which means a lot of time on the water staring at the sounder. The water is still around 3°-4° cooler than previous years, making the bass a little reluctant to bite.
The weed started to appear in late August and then in September it died off in the very cold nights and is only now starting to get growing again. It appears this Spring is about 4-6 weeks later than last year.
There are not too many school bass around the dam, with most catches coming off the banks in 5m-7m. They are not holding in any particular pattern because not many schools of smelt or gudgeons have appeared.
Bass on the edges are best targeted using plastics, blades and hardbodies. Around the timber try small spinnerbaits and 50mm Jackalls.
There are some nice bass in Wood Bay up the Fallbrook Arm out off the old weed in around 5m and then farther up, from Carnells Corner up to Richards Reach, along the banks and over the river bed.
Up this section there are a few trees for the bait fishos to tie to, with some nice goldens and odd silver perch to be caught.
The Carrowbrook Reach will fish well this month with the points near the start on either side worth a try, along with the timber at the back of Redhead and Walkers bays. This is a good area to troll or drop jigs around the trees.
Farther up, from Adams Point to Pump House Point, the banks will fish well with spinnerbaits, blades, small hardbodies and plastics. In this section it is best to find some of the drop-offs or gullies, where the fish tend to hold up.
Glenbawn has been a bit slow to warm up and the fishing has been likewise. One day they will bite their heads off and the following day they’ll be completely shut down. You have to be patient and just keep on the move until they come on the bite or the stars align.
I think a lot of the problem is that because of the lack of good weed and bait schools, the fish tend to be less aggressive in their feeding.
There are some good bass and goldens at the back of the dam, especially in 5m-7m off the deep banks and around the timber. Bass have been grabbing lipless cranks and the goldens have been taking blades.
Trolling the area in close to the rock wall at the Dogleg and One Tree will also be quite productive around sun-up. This is also a good section to drop a big yabby down around some of the timber in close.
Around the dam walls and Golden Point at new moon time will be very productive, especially trolling very deep lures or jigging vertically in the sunken timber.
The final bass stocking from DPI Fisheries at Port Stephens was completed recently with the total stocking of Glenbawn 70,000, Lake St Clair 50,000 and Lostock15,000.
This month, with money from ABT and the Aberdeen Bowling Fishing Club, we will stock Glenbawn and St Clair with bass fingerlings under the dollar-for-dollar scheme.
I recently had the opportunity to see and use the new range of Lowrance HDS Gen 2 Touch sounders, which are a giant step forward with very user-friendly technology.Reads: 1160