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A high barometer can save the day
  |  First Published: August 2015



August can be a very enjoyable time of the season to head out for a fish, but the mornings can be cold and foggy, although are usually followed by very bright and clear days. It is also quite common to get long periods of high barometer readings, which tend to peak around midday. This is the peak bite period.

The water temperature in the dams is usually at its lowest this month, around 13.5°, with Glenbawn the slowest to start to warm as it’s fed by snow melt from the Barringtons.

It takes a serious attitude change to go fishing during winter, but it can be worth the drama. With this month being the last of winter, it can only improve as the days become longer and a bit warmer.

With the very cold water temperatures comes a slow-down in the metabolism of the bass. This leads to a smaller strike zone and the fish less reluctant to feed and travel. This can be true for both vertical and bank fishing around structure and cover.

The key ingredient is to keep the lure in the zone longer by fishing slowly and using a finesse approach of light leaders and sharp hooks.

The bass and goldens tend to prefer deep water this month, be it out in the 20-30m areas where they can hold in 10-15m, or adjacent to steep dropoffs or banks close by to deep water. These areas allow the bass to easily move up and down the water column, depending upon the weather, water temperature and clarity, without using too much energy.

I like to fish banks that face north during the early morning periods and very late in the afternoon, as they have had sun on them all day, can attract bait and have more weed growth. Any nearby timber can transfer warmth into the water.

Vertical fishing is best using ice jigs — Jackalls and Nilsmasters — or plastics slow rolled with the use of a good sounder. The new Lowrance Chirp range is excellent for this, as it has very good target separation, as you can see your presentation at the correct depth.

Use blades and plastics when working the banks, as they can be adjusted to the correct depth by their weight and retrieved with regular pauses — sometimes as long as 5 seconds. Another very good option for the banks is neutrally buoyant jerkbaits, with my favourite the Jackall Squirrel.

Keep in mind that this month the bass are usually in spawning mode and condition. Although it doesn’t happen, they can be very scattered and slow to react. Try different areas, from open banks, adjacent to timber and varying structure.

Over past years I have noticed that until the water temperature begins to rise in August, wherever you find the fish they will usually hold there for an extended period. This can mean a lot of sounding around, but Lowrance Sonar Logging is the ideal tool to help you find them, as it can be very enjoyable just logging this month.

When using Lowrance Sonar Logging, I save it to an SC card and when home on a freezing cold day play it back on my laptop. You will be surprised at what you can see, but missed when out on the water. When you find areas of fish, you can then go to Lowrance Insight Genesis and check out the maps and work out why the fish were holding up in that particular area.

Lake St Clair

It has been fairly ordinary up there over recent weeks, with plenty of schools on the sounder, but all very reluctant to bite.

Up the Fallbrook will be the best option, with the deep water around Carnell’s Corner for deep jigging and plastics off the banks, trolling up to Richards Reach, and also dropping baits around the timber.

Further down the Fallbrook off Point Andrews in the river channel is worth a try, both deep jigging and dropping bait alongside the timber.

Around the Broadwater is another good spot for the deep fish, especially the area north of Alcorn Point and around the deep section off Richards Point if there have been some strong westerly winds blowing. They’re common this month!

Further up the dam, around Gindigah and Perkins Point should be some school fish out in the 15m depths, as well as up the arm in amongst the timber.

The Carrowbrook is usually a bit quiet, but in saying that, if there has been an influx of fresh water then it is worth a try in the river channel up at Bird and Lloyds points. This area is really good for small spinnerbaits.

Lake Glenbawn

There have been some pretty cold and windy days, but when it’s nice, the fishing has been quite good.

The better fishing this month will come from around the back of the dam, up near the Soil Con Shed, and the Panhandle. The bass tend to hold up in the deeper water around 10-15m, especially near cover and structure change.

Another very good area to try is around the Dogleg on the point where it meets the river channel.

A spot that is closer to the bottom of the dam (which is handy if a westerly comes up around lunchtime), is in Yellow Buoy Bay. Look for the deeper areas where there is a change in depth. This is 1 location where the use of Lowrance Insight Genesis maps will give you a hand up.

Trollers and baitos will also be able to try this area, as over the years it has accounted for some quality fish.

With Pete and Carol still at the kiosk, I am sure they will steer you in the right direction.

Along with the boys from Port Stephens Hatchery, we had a very successful morning catching brood stock for breeding this year, scoring about 16 pairs. I will keep you informed on their progress as they all spawned 3 weeks ago.

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