The days are now short and the water temperature in the dams is falling to the mid-teens as the predictable westerly winds chill the surface layer and the anglers.
Numbers of fish have been coming from St Clair and Glenbawn but they are mostly falling to fishers using live yabbies or worms.
Up at the Barrington Tops there have been numbers of trout caught over recent months but the closed season starts on June 10.
After producing some numbers of bass over recent weeks, the local rivers are now closed until September but it looks like it could be a good season coming up.
On the dams, June fishing will be fairly slow but you can help your results if you pay a lot of attention to weather patterns, in particular the barometer and the winds. You also should try to fish around the full and new moon.
The ideal situation is to have 4-5days of high barometer, over 1020hpa, and light to moderate winds. If you get very strong winds it tends to mix up the top layer of the water column, making the thermocline go deeper and take the fish along with it.
Fortunately, the best fishing times in early Winter are office hours, with the prime time around noon, when the barometer and water temperature are highest.
Although the numbers of fish caught might not be high, the quality is usually very good because they tend to hold up in an area for a reasonable time and not lose condition.
I have noticed over many years of fishing for impoundment bass and golden perch that they can be in two very different areas, either in very deep water adjacent to cover or in shallows, especially at the backs of bays.
The influences that cause this are less obvious than you might imagine.
Cold water is the first thing you notice when you launch your boat. You will also notice the lack of aquatic vegetation and that the water is very clear.
The change not so apparent is the hydrological effect to the water column.
Prior to Winter the thermocline or temperature break is quite definite and usually around 5m down. This is where there is good dissolved oxygen for fish and bait.
During June, the thermocline can drop right down to 25m as the dam becomes almost ‘isothermal’ and the entire water column can be of the same temperature.
So our fish can now be either shallow or deep as they roam throughout the water column, following their food sources.
In Glenbawn and St Clair the bass look for hardyheads and firetail gudgeons. These schools of bait can be found out in open water feeding on the masses of microscopic rotifers and copepods, which can be identified on a good sonar as big black clouds.
Once the bass are located, it can be quite a process to get them to bite but with so many techniques available to the angler today, it is a matter of patience and experimentation.
Techniques available include deep lures, lipless crankbaits, ice jigs, blades, plastics and even bait.
Lake St Clair is typically very clear at present with small areas of good weed out in 4m-5m off the banks holding some reasonable bass.
Most of these areas are around the Broadwater, Connell Inlet, and Thunderbolts Run. Use Beetle Spins, blades, deep crankbaits and lipless cranks.
If it has been really windy then there are some good spots to try up the arms.
Up the Fallbrook at Richards Reach, along the river channel and then back down out off Fenwick bay near the timber are spots where the bass hold up in the deeper water.
These areas are good for casting and jigging but trolling deep lures is also a very good option.
Try trolling lures from the Stuckey, Halco and Marz ranges, with purple a really good colour. If it is overcast and very clear, go for brown or red.
Up the Carrowbrook Arm some spots worth a try are the deeper water off Adams Point, Loder Point and Perkins Point.
Up the back of Jeanie Miller Bay and Reedy Cove are good spots for bait fishing and, if it has been fairly windy, casting the banks.
Glenbawn is picture perfect at this time of year, especially at the present water level, but be very careful because that rotten westerly can get up around midday and blow a dog off its chain.
A very productive area to fish this month is up the back of the dam from One Tree up to and beyond the Eagles Nest. The fish can be holding along the river or out in 20m-30m, especially down near the Panhandle. This is also a good area to troll deep lures, especially a Feralcatt.
Dropping or working lures across the sunken timber can be very productive but you can also donate a few lures. Dropping plastics vertically alongside the trees is also worthwhile; use plenty of scent and move from tree to tree to locate the fish.
With a good sounder, especially one with DownScan, you can follow your lure and virtually put it into the bass’s mouth, which is required some days.
Ice jigs are a good option for this style of deep bassing, especially if you are fishing 15m or more.
Another good section of the dam to fish this month, if you think the wind might get up, is down around the Sunken Cabins and in Yellow Buoy Bay. You can locate the fish on the sounder and target them vertically or again troll deep lures across the tops of the trees.
Fishing with worms around some of the timber near the North Run and Cemetery Point can be rewarding, especially on those sunny days.Reads: 909