May is one of my favourite times of the year to fish for a number of reasons. Firstly, it’s a lot cooler; the water temperature is dropping and you can use a variety of lures and techniques. lf we get an early start to winter, usually after the first frost, fish will start to move to the edge or will sit shallow. This is when we cast paddle-tail plastics. Some of the popular ones are Keitech Easy Shiners in 2” and 3”, Keitech Swing Impacts in 2” and 3”, Sliders in 3” or 1.5”, and Ecogear 3” Power Shads.
There are a few different techniques to use with the 1.5” rigged on a 1/8oz jighead, one of which is to cast to rock walls or deeper edges and shake vigorously as the lure falls. Quite often you get a strike on the drop and don’t always feel the bite until you take up the slack or you notice your line peeling off your reel. Sometimes, on a good quality rod all you feel is the slightest touch.
When fishing this style I usually strike on all touches, because the first touch is when the fish takes your lure and the second touch is when the fish spits the lure out. This can cause you to go through some tackle because you might brush on a tree or twig, think it’s a fish and strike. Still, we all don’t mind losing tackle as long as we catch fish.
Another approach is to rig a 3” paddle-tail on a 1/4oz jighead and cast it into deeper water around 20-25ft. Let the lure hit the bottom then do a double hop with two turns of your reel while waiting for the bow in your line to straighten, then repeat this all the way back. As with the other technique, I usually strike when I feel a touch.
Trolling is productive at this time of year, with the fish moving back up through the water column. The Smak Golden Child in camo and Glenbawn purple are my picks, also an Australian Crafted in magic knight or colour 44 or 77. Try trolling around the rock walls, as the fish tend to sit close to rock walls in the cooler months because the sun warms the rock.
At Glenbawn I like to fish the heavily timbered bays all over the dam, because timber also holds heat. You’ll usually find these bays are a degree or two warmer, even the timber near the Eagles Nest. While you’re there you could throw a suspending jerkbait like the Toray Dunk or High Cut at the rock wall.
At the Eagles Nest you will also find schooled fish around the 40-60ft mark. Try deep jigging and also ice jigs, such as those from Nils Master, Smak and Jackall. Ice jigs should be fished vertically using a moderate/fast action rod, usually 6-12lb. Some anglers like to drop the lure into the middle of the school while others like to stop the lure about 1m above the school. A gentle flick of the rod tip will make the lure rise about 1m, and when it drops it will dart around, provoking the active fish to strike. Everyone has their own twist on this technique; some flick harder, while others just lift the rod tip 1m and let it fall. I believe it’s best to be flexible, so if the fish don’t bite straight away you can try different techniques until you find what works.
The fishing at St Clair will be much the same. There is weed all over the dam, and in some areas it comes out of the edge about 50m. Early on you should fish the inside edge of the water; there is still a 5-10m gap between the water’s edge to where the weed starts. Try a variety of lures from suspending jerkbaits (Jackall Squirrel 51 in ghost gill) to Beetle Spins with 1/6oz jighead (Slider in muscadine) and if you fish very early try surface lures.
As the day goes on and the fish move out deeper, try positioning your boat over the weed and cast back out to the fish using a 1/4oz jighead and Gulp Minnow Grub. Let it hit the bottom (around 25ft) and slowly retrieve it, the same as when you fish vertically. Remember to let the rod load up and don’t strike early.
Another technique is to use a 3/8oz Bassman Beetlespin. This approach elicits a reaction bite, and the fish really give it a whack.
• Peter Fogarty runs the popular Lake Glenbawn Kiosk - offering fuel, tackle, ice and the best food on the lake. Make sure you drop in when you visit the lake for the latest reports.
You can also visit them on www.lakeglenbawnkiosk.com.au or call on (02) 6543 8355.Reads: 683