The days are know becoming quite hot and long so plan to get out on the water early, have a break in the middle of the day and then fish until sunset, when the fish tend to bite quite well.
All the river systems down around my part of the valley will be fishing really well with the bass taking crankbaits and spinnerbaits in brighter colours. But I find the better fishing using surface lures in the low-light parts of the day.
I use a 6’ 2kg to 3kg rod with a 1500 series threadline reel spooled with 6lb braid and a metre of mono leader of 4kg. Mono is more buoyant than fluorocarbon and helps the action of surface lures.
There are plenty of surface lures on the market but my favourites are the Jitterbug and the Tiny or Teeny Torpedoes. Although using surface lures does not always guarantee you a bass, it certainly gives you a rush when they attack.
Also in the river this month is an abundance of mullet which are good fun to catch and are quite nice to eat on the barbecue. All you need is some home-made dough or really fresh white bread and I have found a few drops of vanilla essence help the mix.
The Williams River is also good for a few bass and mullet but there is always an abundance of ski boats during the holidays.
Up at Barrington Tops the fishing is slow and the local clubs have been putting in 128,000 rainbow trout fry and 4000 brown trout fingerlings.
Lake St Clair is just holding its own but it needs more rain. There are some reasonable weed beds around the banks but with the warmer weather they are starting to die off. St Clair now lends itself to all the forms of fishing with surface lures early and late in the day, crankbaits and spinnerbaits later and good trolling and bait fishing.
As the day progresses, the fish will move back into the deeper sections around the old river beds and steeper banks. This is when deeper lures or heavier spinnerbats are required. If using Jackalls, the TN70s are good but the Mask really excels in this environment.
Fishing with worms for bass, goldens and especially the giant catties around the banks in the main basin will surely get you a feed.
Singleton Council is in the process formulating some strategic plans for the future development of St Clair which could see the area handed over to a commercial operator. Ideas include cabins which would leave around 50 camping sites. I will keep you informed.
In November the boys from Singleton Fly Fishing Club helped distribute a further 10,000 bass fingerlings from the dollar-for-dollar program. This money was raised by selling stubby holders and raffles with Rio Tinto putting in $500 and ABT $500.
Lake Glenbawn is usually a bit tough this month and there will be a lot of boats on the water. It is a good idea to get out early and it common for the south-easterly to blow up around 11am.
The dam is still quite low but there are some good weed banks and plenty of timber to fish around.
Bait fishing is the norm for a lot of people on holidays with good catties around the banks on the eastern foreshore. They are partial to worms and live grasshoppers. Try yabbies around the timber in around 10 metres for giant silvers, bass and goldens.
Again, surface lures are excellent around the low-light periods with buzzbaits really turning on the action if it is very windy.
During January it is common for the bass and goldens to hold up tight to cover in the 12 to 15 metres. They can be seen on sounders such as my new Eagle 2000c and it is then a matter of dropping Jackall Masks or ice jigs among them.
For the trollers, the sections about 10 metres deep at the back of the dam should be productive with Stuckeys and AC Invaders with rattles. I recently have been trying the Viking Talisman, which is also a rattler, for some good fish.
Remember to be well-prepared for the heat of the day and keep an eye on the weather.Reads: 501