Season running a little late
  |  First Published: October 2013

The season appears to be a little later this year than most, with the water still a bit slow coming up to the prime figure of 18°-19.

My diary from the past couple of years showed there were a lot of days marred by very strong winds, some southerlies and some westerlies.

The trout season opens this month and local reports look promising with good water flows. The streams up around the Barrington Tops are stocked with fingerlings from the Dutton Hatchery at Ebor and are distributed by the members of the Barrington Gloucester Fishing club. They will be stocked on the Saturday of opening weekend, October 5.

Over recent weeks the rivers down around lower Hunter have not been firing as well as they usually do but with an increase in water temperature as Spring progresses, this should change.

In the lower reaches of the Hunter and Williams rivers the bass seem to take a liking for lures of around 50mm. Lipless crankbaits and blades are best in the deeper water and up in the shallower areas 2”-3” plastics on Betts Spins or 1/4oz jigs do the job.

Towards the end of October as the bass move further upstream where there is more bankside cover, 1/4oz-3/8oz spinnerbaits with Colorado blades are very productive, as are 50mm lipless crankbaits in solid patterns.

The 3/8oz Mumbler is very good around heavy cover and also across shallow flats where the bass are feeding on prawns.

I think they work so well because they are really three lures in one, spinnerbait, crankbait and plastic, and also have their own unique vibration.

With the good flows in the rivers the bass fishing should be great right up the valley to Singleton, Jerrys Plains and Aberdeen.


Lake St Clair is still full and over recent weeks has just started produce some nice fish. They’re not in large numbers as I think the water is still not warm enough.

There have been some on ice jigs from out in 30’-40’ and some from along the banks on blades and plastics.

Towards the end of the month the water should begin to hit the mid 18°s. This is when the baitfish, mainly firetail gudgeons, breed around the banks, especially as the new weed growth appears.

Because the dam has been maintaining its current level there should be some really good weed this Summer; in recent years it has been fairly scarce.

Early starts are the best way to fish the banks with surface or suspending lures. There are now even some plastics designed to work along the surface that I will certainly be trying this Spring.

My favourite suspending lure for this month is the Jackall Squirrel, which can be cast a long distance and remain in the strike zone longer – a definite advantage this month when the water is very clear and the bass easily spooked.

The plastics I like to use are the still the original Sliders, along with the Berkley Bass Minnow, and the Jackall Cross Tail, which is hand-poured and very closely resembles the firetail gudgeon.

Quite often the bait schools move from the banks out into more open areas where they can very easily seen on the sounder. This is where they can be targeted with plastics on light jigs or better still, ice jigs. Choose one with red or orange in its pattern.

This is also a good time to troll out over the deeper points, especially around the islands and along Thunderbolts Run. Lures should go down to around 5m and be in solid dark patterns.

Bait fishos should start to pick up some nice catties along the banks and around timber, especially up around Gindigah Point.


In line with the high and warmer water, the fishing over recent weeks has improved with well conditioned bass coming from the banks and out in the schooling areas.

The influx of good fresh water from the Barringtons tends to attract the fish up towards the back of the dam, so this is a good area to target.

This month is a transition period and with the dam nearly 100% the fish can be quite hard to find.

Spend some time sounding areas to find them, trolling all the while. The lures can attract fish that sometimes cannot be seen on the sounder from quite some distance.

I have found that the best colours for mid- Spring are fluoro pinks or greens and the ever-reliable purple.

If working the banks look for the rather steep, rocky ones that have some timber. This is usually where the schools of bait appear.

These banks are best targeted using lipless crankbaits and 3/8oz-1/2oz spinnerbaits. Some good colours for the Jackalls are golden carp, HL black and HL gold gill and for the spinnerbaits I like purple/white skirts.

The bass can be a bit shut down so try working the steep, rocky banks down around the Narrows and the Main Basin with 1/4oz jigs and plastics.

The school bass are usually down around the 30’-40’ and are best targeted with dark blades around 6g and ice jigs. It can be very productive when using ice jigs to have some orange on them around the gills, as this is what the gudgeons look like this month as they are in the breeding mode.

Trolling around the wall and entrance to Boat Harbour can be very productive during October, especially for goldens around the full and new moon.

This dam faces a lot of pressure this month from various clubs and competitions so it’s a good idea to get out early. It can get very windy after lunch, too.

This month I will be assisting the boys from DPI distribute the bass stockings into St Clair and Glenbawn. I will give you the numbers next issue.

The Annual Glenbawn Classic catch and release is on October 5 and 6 with two sessions on the Saturday and one on the Sunday, with the presentation at lunchtime at the kiosk. On the Saturday there will be a barbecue lunch.

This year there will be a dash for cash and prizes for bass, goldens, silvers and catties. This is an excellent competition for all ages with the proceeds going to restocking the dam.

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