July can be a very cold time to be out on the water in the Hunter Valley. If you’re brave enough to put up with it, you can be rewarded with some great fishing and near cricket scores of fish caught. The frosty mornings can make for glassed out beautiful days on the water.
There isn’t much fishing pressure in winter and the fish aren’t shy. You can have some days when you’re the only one out there. The local lakes are into their winter patterns by now and the fish are in a full feeding frenzy. This month is going to fish very similarly to June in both St Clair and Glenbawn.
Fishing in low light I like to throw a jerkbait around shallow cover like weedbeds. Using different types will allow you to reach different depths. Use the smaller shallower bibbed jerkbaits for getting over the top of weeds and into holes.
The bigger deeper diving bibs are best used along the weed edges and over suspended fish sitting out of deeper cover. When fishing deeper water allow a longer pause between jerks for the fish to come up to your lure. It’s not unlikely for a fish to swim up 10ft for a jerkbait slowly worked over the top of them.
A jighead rigged paddle-tail plastic works really well once the sun is up. Natural colours on a 1/4oz jighead are good place to start. A nice small hook on the jighead like a no. 1 or 2 is better for cutting plastics down in size. Most of the baitfish in the lakes are under 3” in size, so keeping your plastic nice and small will catch you more fish.
Taking your time to make sure the plastic 100% straight will make sure the plastic swims true. Fish these plastics deeper along the weed edges, rock walls and around timber. There will be fish on the sounder suspended out in deeper water off points in 20ft down to 60ft this month.
Sinking your plastic down to these fish and slow rolling through them will catch you fish. An ice jig is another good option for these deeper fish. The Rapala Jigging Rap in size 3 or 5 is my favourite. Short, sharp and aggressive hops in front of the fish’s face will work at this time of year.Reads: 335