This Winter-onset weather pattern is a fair bit different from last year: The water in the local impoundments is just starting to drop to around 20°, when last year it was already about 17°.
My records indicate the season is probably around four to six weeks behind last year. However, the June fishing is always slow but if you can get out on the water on the back of three or four days of high pressure with very little wind, you should be rewarded with some reasonable catches.
I always find June is a good time to start collecting Brownie points in readiness for Spring or heading north chasing a few barra.
Up around the Barrington Tops you could get in a quick fish for trout before the season closes on the Queen’s birthday weekend. Fly or worms are the better options.
For the bass, topwater lures worked extremely well at the beginning of Winter last year. The dams are really gin-clear unless we get plenty of rain and I think it’s forgotten how. A topwater can be fished in the warmer shallows where the fish are working along the banks seeking food. Topwaters will be especially good if we do get some rain and the dams start to rise.
The main surface lures I like to use are poppers and prop baits, or fizzers. The poppers I find best if the water is clear or a little stained and has a light chop from a slight breeze. The prop baits are more ideal if the water is more heavily stained to muddy and has a lot more chop.
I use scent or gel on the lure and I’ve enjoyed using the garlic Dizzy Wax. I replace the rear hook with a red treble or simply mark it with a red marker pen and wrap with red binding .
For clear days and clear water I found the more translucent patterns worked best and in low light or dirtier water, the darker patterns and colours were more effective.
I also used fly line float enhancer on the leader and use mono line because it floats where fluorocarbon does not. The heavier the mono, the more buoyant it is so 12lb will suffice and this more buoyant line helps keep the lure’s nose afloat.
If using some of the prop baits, of which the Heddon Torpedo is my favourite, I thoroughly recommend putting light but strong split rings on the trebles to allow the hook to rotate 360°.
The big advantage with these types of lures is you can plop them into specific areas or close to cover without spooking fish. You can also work these lures very slowly on the retrieve, giving the bass or goldens plenty of time to strike. This time of year, they can be a bit lethargic.
I have been using these types of lures in around 6m of clear water and attracting fish from the bottom so don’t just limit them to around the banks. Also any small bottom rise or deep bank will suffice.
At Lake St Clair, the Fallbrook Arm and the Broadwater are the better options but you might be restricted to walking the banks, where there is some good fishing to be had. Worms are always the prime Winter bait from the bank.
For lure anglers the surface lures are very good but also small but shallow-running lure will work, along with hard or soft jerkbaits.
Small spinnerbaits around 1/4oz to 3/8 oz in dark colours also worth a try along the top of the weed or through the gaps, especially if the wind is blowing onto the bank.
There are some really good lures coming out of Japan for this style of fishing which can be cast quite a distance very easily. My favourite is the Jackall Chubby but there are plenty of others from Megabass, Eco Gear, Bassday and others.
Glenbawn has been getting plenty of pressure with anglers coming great distances from out west, Victoria and even Queensland.
Recent competition results has shown that the quality and numbers are steadily declining so it is a concern to see how the fishery will hold up, especially with the continuing fall in level and decline in water quality.
NSW Fisheries officers recently took a sample of bass, goldens and silvers to do some research into the species stocked in this great fishery and it will be interesting to read their report later in the year.
At a recent Glenbawn competition the winning bag was around 5kg for six fish, when a few years ago it was 12kg. It makes you wonder just where the bigger fish have gone.
If you have not been there for some time then you will certainly get a shock because some of those good old reliable spots are now 10m up the hill.
Having said all this, Glenbawn is still a top place to fish and I really enjoy the action here in Winter, especially after those days of high barometer.
The fish can move down quite deep this month because the thermocline goes deeper and it is not uncommon to catch fish in 15m. These fish can be targeted with really deep lures, especially using downriggers, 3/4 oz spinnerbaits or by jigging plastics on 5/8 oz heads. Berkley Gulp 3” Minnows work well, as does the Jackall Mask in gold or black.
I like to cast poppers and prop baits at the shallower fish that hang around the cover in close to the banks or up the backs of bays, where the water is usually a couple of degrees warmer.
Bait fishing is always a good Winter option, with the bigger single trees in around 10m the ones to bob around first.
DPI Fisheries recently stocked Lake St Clair with 102,000 golden perch and 73,000 silver perch, with the assistance of the boys from the Singleton Fly Fishing Club.Reads: 616