Comfort factor rises
  |  First Published: February 2006

This final month of Summer should see the fishing become a little easier and more comfortable.

The holiday period is over, boat traffic not as heavy and the days will not be quite as warm.

The rivers will continue to fish really well this month, especially around quarter- moon neap tides with less current flow and slightly clearer water.

Try to fish the first of the low tides using crankbaits, spinnerbaits or soft plastics. Start very early using surface lures like Heddon Tiny Torpedoes and SK Pops and then progress to shallow 40mm lures around the weed banks and willows.

Then out into the deeper water as the tide drops with deeper lures such as 3/8oz spinnerbaits and soft plastics on Beetle Spins.

If the water is not too dirty good colours include yellow, green, red and brown but if it is a little coloured go to darker shades like purple or black. When using soft plastics in clearer water I have had some excellent results with more translucent colours with fleck in them.

As for spinnerbaits, Secret Creek has a 3/8oz model in a new colour with a lot of gold and brown in a very fine skirt. I trim it back to around 30 strands.

Trolling along the deeper sections and drop-offs is also very productive using 40mm lures that just touch the bottom and stir up the mud. These should also entice a strike from some of the very good flathead that are about.

This is also a productive month for the bait fishos with live prawns good for bass, bream and flathead and dough or fresh bread the way to go for mullet.

The non-tidal Williams River will produce some excellent catches but the bass can be very tiny. In this very clear system brighter colours seem to work better with hot pink and fluoro green crankbaits and the chartreuse spinnerbaits effective.

Don’t forget there is a river bag limit of two bass with only one to be over 35cm.


Lake St Clair is still producing some good fishing but some days they can be very touchy so you might have to be prepared to keep changing lures and techniques until you can establish what they are biting on.

There is still some good weed around the edges. Just around daylight, surface lures and buzzbaits will give you plenty of action around the back of the weed and timber. As the day moves on, go to spinnerbaits, lipless crankbaits, shallow crankbaits and plastics.

If the day becomes very clear and still, as it often does this month, you might have to move to the deeper sections and use your sounder to locate fish in around 10 metres. Target them vertically using plastics, ice jigs or a 60mm or 70 mm Jackall Mask in ayu pattern.

Later in the afternoon the fish tend to move back to the banks again, where they can be caught on crankbaits and spinnerbaits.

Trolling is also very good for targeting these deeper fish in the middle of the day with any of the ultra-deep lures that get down to nine or 10 metres. I like to use a lure with a tight action and sometimes one with a rattle can mean the difference.

Next month the first round of the ABT BASS event will be at St Clair so expect to see a few boats pre-fishing.

At the end of December,with ABT putting up the money, I stocked over 3000 bass fingerlings into St Clair. The average length of 30mm was twice as long as those normally stocked but we must remember that over a good season only 300 of these fingerlings will survive.


Lake Glenbawn will see a change in the fishing this month with the bass and silvers moving around the entire dam and the goldens seeking out the more heavily timbered sections. So it will be very important to use your sounder and intuition to help to locate the fish – that is why sometimes the trollers can have a very good time.

While the goldens and silvers tend to keep to the banks and around the nine-metre mark, the bass can be virtually anywhere. Once the day becomes brighter the deeper channels and drop-offs with cover are preferred spots,with the lower section of the dam usually the better area to begin looking.

Once these deep fish are located targeting them is the same as in St Clair. My preferred lures are ice jigs and Jackall Mask 60s or 70s.

This is also a very good month to work the banks very early and late in the day with surface lures, especially poppers and buzzbaits with white skirts. It’s also a good time for the giant silver perch with some up to 70cmfalling to garden worms.

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