Break out the surface lures
  |  First Published: November 2007

This month should see an increase in insect activity so it will be time to get out those favourite surface lures and plugs.

There is certainly a big range of these now both locally made and from Japanese Bassday, Owner, Smith, Lake Police Jackall and many others. The best time to use the surface lures is about an hour either side of sunrise and sunset on a rising barometer. This really brings on a reaction bite along with the adrenalin pumping strike.

The Paterson, Williams and Hunter rivers are beginning to really fish well and with the longer daylight hours are really coming up to a reasonable temperature, which raises the bass’s metabolism for some excellent catches of active fish.

These rivers are tidal and fish the best on the tide changes with 1/4oz spinnerbaits and 40mm to 50mm lures and lipless crankbaits. Really bright colours are the first option but if the bite is a bit slow, revert to Beetle Spins and 2” to 3” grubs.

The Williams above Seaham will also fish really well. It is not tidal and really clear so the bass can be easily spooked. A more finesse approach is best with accurate casts to cover or snags. Very bright coloured plastics and lures with fluoro always a very good option.

The rain and snow up at the Barrington Tops in the past couple of months has produced some nice trout on worms and flies and should continue to fish well into Summer.


In Lake St Clair the water is just starting to warm but a lot of algae has bloomed and the level is starting to fall again. I hope that it can hold up long enough for some decent weed to form around the banks, where it will attract baitfish and shrimp and the bass, goldens and catties will follow.

This month can be a transition period for bass as they move around the entire dam looking for the right conditions, be it water temperature, food and best oxygen levels and water quality.

Trolling can be a good option to find these moving fish with Jackall TN60 or 70 lipless crankbaits in the deep sections along with more traditional crankbaits. Last season I used the Jackall DD Cherry in bluegill and accounted for some excellent bass and goldens.

Good colours for crankbaits are gold/black, purple and peacock.

Spinnerbaits around 1/2oz with silver willow blades and very contrasting colours, especially green or gold, are also very productive and can also be trolled. If trolling, it is best to use a single willow blade to allow the lure to get a little deeper.

Bait is always productive this month, especially with worms, yabbies and shrimp.

The Singleton Flyfishing Club will stock bass into St Clair through the dollar-for-dollar DPI scheme this month. I think it is the only club to do so this year.


There has been enormous pressure on the Glenbawn fishery from all the recent competitions but it still manages to produce some reasonable catches.

Fortunately there has been some recent rain and snowmelt from the Barringtons which has helped the dam rise to around 38%, where it was around 12 months ago. The rise has opened up some new territory to fish. The snowmelt has kept the water temperature down but as Summer arrives it will not take long to get past 20° and the fish will really come on the chew.

If the dam can hold this level for the next four to six weeks it will give the weed time to grow around the banks and produce excellent edge fishing with lures and spinnerbaits.

Where this weed forms the bass and goldens will not be far away because schools of smelt seek it for cover. This is certainly a good area to target around sunrise and sunset with shallow-running lures, spinnerbaits and surface lures.

As the day warms up, work out into the deeper water of around 5m with deeper lures and lipless crankbaits. Trolling along this 5m contour with crankbaits and lipless cranks is a good way to locate fish travelling in search of the best environment.

Ferralcatts, AC Deep Invaders and Jackall DD Cherries in colours with a lot of flash and even rattles will be good. Spinnerbaits from 1/2oz to 5/8oz with silver willow blades and pearl skirts are also worth casting or trolling.

Bait is very productive around the timber in the middle to lower sections in 10m to 12m, especially yabbies, shrimp, worms and Gulps, particularly the 2” or 3” shrimp. Silvers are also very active this month and will take live worms and small lures.

This month I plan to help DPI fisheries stock Lostock, Glenbawn and St Clair with bass fingerlings. I hope that it will be a good season to give them a good start to life.

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