Although summer has been a bit late arriving this year, the water temperatures are starting to rise in the dams. Due to a lack of good rainfall, the levels are dropping and the rivers are in need of a good flush.
This has really affected the fishing, with the fish numbers okay, but of no real size.
Up on the Barringtons, the streams are in poor shape, but there are still a few trout coming from the deeper areas. With some decent rainfall in the area, this should improve and help the survival of recent stockings.
Although the bass are still down around the tidal zones in both the Paterson and Hunter, they are very active and will take both lures and bait. To increase your chances, fish the tide changes and the low light periods of dawn and dusk.
Good options are surface lures under the trees in the darker hours, followed by blades, hardbodies and spinnerbaits as the light increases out in the deeper holes.
The Williams River has been fishing quite well, and has a good population of small bass, with the areas up around Clarencetown and down around Glenoak good for trolling and casting the timbered banks. This is an area where small hardbodies have always been very productive.
Lostock Dam has been very slow up until now, with the odd nice fish coming in on bait, live shrimp and trolled hardbodies. There is always some bass to be caught around the camping area on bait and lures.
With recent catches being just okay, this dam really needs some decent rain in the catchment to get firing. With its present water level and a serious lack of weed, the fishing can be very hit and miss.
To increase your chances this month, it’s best to get out on the water very early, as the fish seem to go off the chew after about 8.00am, and then come back on a couple of hours before sunset.
If you can find some weed, then the bait and bass should be close by. Without this cover, the fish will be constantly on the move, so a lot of sounding about using all your depth sounder’s resources can be very helpful. I use my Lowrance’s Sonar Logging, Structure Scan and Insight Genesis to give me all the assistance possible.
The long, shallow points that run out into deeper water appear to be holding bass in the 6-10m depths, as they seem to have some form of vegetation on them. The best of these are Loder Point, Adam Point and Perkins Point up the Carrowbrook Arm. I find that trolling along these with deep lures or casting lipless cranks and blades — keeping them right on the bottom — can be productive.
Other areas to try are around the timber in Camden Cove and Walkers Bay, using plastics and Beetle Spins. Fallbrook Arm and around the points on both sides from Fenwick Bay up can also account for fish using the same techniques.
In the Broadwater, if there has been a couple of days of southeast winds late in the afternoon (common at this time of year), then fish round the island and Swanny Bay late in the day with surface lures.
Bait fishing for some typical St Clair catties is also worth a try. The banks around Kelehear Point and Gindigah Bay are good spots to try with worms.
The dam is still quite clear down in the lower reaches, but the water temperature has warmed up in the last couple of weeks and the fishing has been quite good at certain times. It is the same here as St Clair, with the fish biting very early in the day through to around 8.00am, and then not come back on until late.
There has been some fish taken over recent weeks by baitos using live shrimp and yabbies around timber in the main basin, Yellow Buoy Bay, and up the back near Big Hill and Eagles Nest. Anglers have been getting some nice bass and the odd golden using Jackalls, spinnerbaits and surface lures.
These areas are where I have seen good schools of bait appearing. They are out in the deeper water in the brightest part of the day, and then move in shallower during the low light periods. Work the shallows early with surface lures and then progress to the deeper water using lures and spinnerbaits. Also try them around the more timbered areas and rock walls.
In the main basin, good areas to target, especially if the southeasterly winds hit in the afternoon, are the entrance and inside Boat Harbour, and also the dam wall around Cemetery Point and North Run.
Remember that when the southeasters hit this month, they usually come up very quickly in the afternoon, so keep an eye on the weather when up the back of the dam.
Have a Merry Xmas and tight lines!
Alan Price, a local from Denman, with two nice Glenbawn bass caught during a recent trip.
Glenn Evans from Tackle Power, with a healthy St Clair bass that ate a spinnerbait.
A St Clair bass caught by the author took a Jackall TN60 in Brown Dog pattern around St Clair Island.Reads: 988