Last year we experienced some really hot days in January, reaching as high as 44°C, so it will be interesting to see what happens this year.
With the very good rainfall we received at the end of spring we should see some good fishing in the dams and rivers. The river fishing was not up to par prior to the influx of rain, but they have since cleared up and are starting to fish really well.
The dams also received some nice falls in their catchments. This will help put nutrients back in the water, along with some colour (both Glenbawn and St Clair were very clear). It will also add plenty of oxygen, which helps to get the fish active.
At the Barringtons the fishing should really fire now as it has received good falls. Thanks to stockings over recent years, there are plenty of trout in the streams. Worms and lures are the best options unless you can find some open banks to cast a fly.
In early spring, the members of Barrington Gloucester Fishing club released 106,000 rainbow and 10,000 brown trout fingerlings into the tops. The late spring rainfall would have been very beneficial to their survival.
The rivers around Morpeth and Clarencetown will fire now, especially around the lowlight periods where it is a lot more comfortable to fish on very hot summer days.
These systems both had a good flush in late spring and are only now starting to clear up.
This is the ideal time to target bass with surface lures worked in tight to cover. As the sun rises, move to shallow running lures, worked close and parallel to the banks. Then work deeper with lures that run down a couple of metres, especially trolling.
The ideal times this month in the lower reaches are between the full and new moon, as the reduced flow with the smaller tides keeps the river a fair bit clearer.
Up at Clarencetown, the Williams River fishes well but you have to find the areas where you will not get affected by the skiers, as this month it is very popular up there. It is worthwhile heading upstream in a canoe or kayak or head down around Glenoak (just remember there is an exclusion zone).
This river is ideal for casting small crankbaits and Betts Spins up amongst the cover and along the edges of the reeds.
Lostock is also going to fish well this month as the dam has some very nice weed along the banks and the bass are in prime condition. The bass are best targeted with lipless crankbaits, hardbodies and spinnerbaits. The Jackall TN50 and Marz lures work very well here, both trolled and cast.
Recently DPI Fisheries put in 12,000 bass fingerlings into Lostock, which should help to increase catch rates in future years.
Lake St Clair has risen a few feet thanks to the rains in late spring. It has also lost some of its clarity, and as soon as it settles down the fish will again become very active. The water temperature rose very quickly, which can make the bass hard to find, but by now it should be easier to catch a few.
The dam is very popular this month with skiers so you will have to fish up the arms and around the backs of bays in the Broadwater.
Every form of fishing will work this month, especially trolling on some of those hot stinking days that we can get at this time of year.
The weed appears to be growing, and with the dam at its current level the fishing looks good for this month, especially on surface lures and shallow crankbaits. This is also an ideal time to use both Bassman Mumblers and Jackall Squirrel 61s around those large clumps of weed in the 3-4m range.
I like to get out very early or late and target the bass with surface lures, with my two favourites being the Jackall SK Pop, especially if there is a chop on the water, and the Megabass Siglett.
As the light increases, I then go to deeper presentations in the deeper areas with crankbaits, blades and spinnerbaits.
Up the Carrowbrook towards the back there are some nice areas of weed and cover with the bass really hitting spinnerbaits, lipless crankbaits and beetle spins, especially if there is some shade on the water.
Another area to fish and get away from the skiers is in and around Gindigah point and up Reedy Cove. There is quite a lot of good structure and cover up this section, and it is worthwhile doing some productive sounding in this area. I have been doing some Lowrance Insight Genesis mapping here, and have located a lot of good fish-holding areas.
Up the Fallbrook arm there are also some really good areas that have plenty of excellent weed, and a lot of fish are taking to spinnerbaits and TN60s. Andrews Point and the northern side of Wood Bay are worth a try, and right up the back around Richards Reach are also worth a cast.
Fishing with bait is a good option this month. For best results, use yabbies or live shrimp and fish the timber adjacent to the steep rocky banks. I haven’t seen too many catfish but I am sure fishing off the banks using worms should catch you a feed.
Lake Glenbawn receives huge pressure in January from both anglers and skiers, so it is strongly advisable to get out early. The days can also be very hot and humid, and quite often in the afternoon strong southerlies can hit.
With the dam at its current level, it’s looking great for the rest of summer and into autumn. There is not a lot of weed adjacent to the banks and the fish appear to be holding tight to cover and structure. Not many bait schools have appeared, which could be a result of the very clear water.
The best areas appear to be up the very back of the dam and especially around the timber and steep banks. Spinnerbaits, Jackalls and Betts Spins are accounting for most of the fish, whilst trolling deep lures is also a very good option.
Some good trolling runs are up around the Panhandle up to the Ruins and also back down the dam along the Castle rock to Boot area. The lures to run are the Feralcatts, Marz and Stuckeys, as they get down to around 5-6m.
Another good trolling run is around Golden Point and south around the Sunken Cabins. Trolling 5/8oz spinnerbaits and lipless crankbaits is very productive in this area also.
Surface fishing is very productive around some the more heavily timbered areas, but look for areas where there is some current flow or wind lines.
Bait fishing is very popular over the holidays. This means finding some trees in around 10m of water and dropping some worms or yabbies over. There are some nice catties and silvers around with some really honker goldens.
There are some good areas on the North Run and up the dam around the point on the right before you get to Yellow Buoy Bay.
Aberdeen Fishing club did its annual bass stocking in December with money raised by its members. If anyone wants to join or find out more about what the club is doing, check out the new website (created with the help of Karen Fontaine) at www.aberdeenfishingclub.com.au.Reads: 572