Rivers, dams slow to warm
  |  First Published: December 2012

It’s been a little late arriving this year but Summer is just starting to affect the water temperatures, with Glenbawn and St Clair both down around 4° on the corresponding period last year.

The rivers are also a bit cool but have been fishing really well over past weeks. The most significant factor I notice with these lower temps is the lack of good insect activity but the bugs are just starting to appear.

Up on the Barrington Tops there was a significant snowfall in late October and this will make for a good trout season. Recent stockings of rainbows and browns should benefit greatly from the milder weather, abundant food and good river flows.

The bass have been very active in the lower reaches of the Paterson and Hunter rivers with good catches on lures and bait. As this month progresses the fish will move upstream as there is plenty of flow and food in these rivers.

In the lower sections blades and hardbodies are really working well and further up the systems in the deeper holes bait is a very good option, especially worms.

I have received some reports of silver perch coming from around Paterson on bait.

Surface lures are a very good bass option this month, especially just on daylight and late afternoon.

Plenty of bass are coming from the top of the Williams River around Clarencetown and in the deeper holes up towards Dungog.

Lostock Dam has been a bit slow but as it warms it should come on song this month with some of those well-conditioned bass it is renowned for. Some good bass have taken spinnerbaits and worms around the camping area.


Lake St Clair is slowly dropping and with the cool water there is not much fresh weed appearing. The bass are holding in the limited weed or are moving around a lot so it is imperative to use the sounder to locate the deep weed and the fish.

The long, shallow points around the Broadwater have been producing bass in 5m-7m on blades, Jackall TN 60s and trolling lures that run down around 5m.

In the Falbrook Arm up from Carnells Corner bass around the edges are taking blades and crankbaits while in the deeper water in the river bed there is the occasional school bass that can be targeted with jigs.

Up the Carrowbrook Arm some bass are holding around the points near the 8-knot signs. They are best targeted with lipless crankbaits and Betts Spins.

Up near Walkers Bay and Readhead Bay on bright days, work plastics down around the timber in 7m-8m. Trolling around these trees with lures that run down around 5m is also very rewarding and also you can troll lipless crankbaits and spinnerbaits.

Fluoro pattern lures, especially green, seem to produce more fish.


Lake Glenbawn is very clear and the water is slowly warming, so the bank fishing can be a little tough.

In recent weeks some good bass and goldens have taken live shrimp and yabbies dropped down around the timber in 10m-12m around New House Bay and up the back of the dam past the 8-knot signs.

Small schools of bait are starting to appear around various areas but lack of good weed and warmer water means they are not as prolific as in recent years. These schools move into the shallows in low light and go out deeper as the day brightens.

Work the shallows early with surface lures and progress to deeper water with plastics, blades and crankbaits. Around the more heavily timbered areas let spinnerbaits fall alongside the timber or rocky walls.

The upper dam from the 8-knot signs up to the ruins is a hot spot in December for bass and goldens, especially with spinnerbaits and other reaction lures.

Further down the dam, around the Narrows and Yellow Buoy Bay, there are some good banks for casting lures, especially very early or late in the day.

The entrance to Boat Harbour and the Sunken Cabins are good areas to drop fresh bait down for bass and goldens.

Remember the weather can be unpredictable in the afternoons this month so it is a good idea if you are fishing up the back of the dam to keep an eye on things. It can get very rough coming across the basin into a stiff southerly.

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