Lake MacDonald has continued to deliver the goods with quality bass – some over 50cm – responding to poppers worked slowly around the many lily and cabomba beds.
The large weedbeds at the southern end of Bass Bay have been delivering the goods lately, as have the laneways around Three Ways. Surface flies have also been very effective. Early starts are a must; the surface activity slows considerably once the sun comes up.
Then it’s back to the bibbed minnows, spinnerbaits and bibless rattlers to pull a bit of depth and tempt the bass out of their shady daytime lairs deep in the weed forests. Small green or purple minnow lures work for me around the weedbeds. White and chartreuse spinnerbaits also work well, as do all manner of soft plastics and bibless rattlers.
When fishing with these lures, I recommend allowing them to sink down the weed faces before you start a slow and steady retrieve. Used in this way, these lures will attract the maximum number of fish because more water is covered than a standard cast and retrieve.
Positively buoyant bibbed minnows can also cover plenty of water. Cranked down to an acceptable running depth they can then be twitched back to the boat in a slow, stop-start, ‘I’m dying’ type retrieve. Hang on to your rod!
Trollers generally succeed with extra deep minnows in the deeper parts of the lake such as the old creek bed. Gold has been a good colour, as has silver which more closely resembles the bony bream upon which the bass are feeding. Try casting your lures along the narrower clear stretches of water as the breeze pushes the boat along, and then troll as you head back to the start of your drift. Some anglers prefer to use an electric motor or two to hold position and probe the depths and laneways in the weeds.
Saratoga have been making more regular appearances as well, mostly on surface lures. While there are some serious ‘toga in MacDonald they are usually caught as a by-catch by those chasing bass. Occasionally golden perch are caught by anglers lure fishing for bass, and Mary River cod sometimes turn up as well. Silver perch are the most rare catches here. Bait anglers seem to have more luck with the silvers than those tossing lures about!
The Lake MacDonald bass have been very responsive to poppers this summer. Pete James tricked this 51cm bass with a Storm Chug Bug.Reads: 871