Choose your moment
  |  First Published: July 2006

Lake St Clair shuts down very quickly this month. It is open to the very cold winds and it is very shallow, especially around 36% capacity, so it does not take long for it to get down to around 11° and make the fish reluctant to bite.

The other problem here is the water can be very clear and the fish are very easily spooked.

In the past I have found fly fishing around the banks very productive for goldens and bass. Last season I also had good results around the banks with very shallow lures such as Mann’s 1 Minus, Rapala Husky Jerks and now Harry Watson has brought in some Jackall Tiny Frys and Chubbys that I can’t wait to give a try.

There will also be some good goldens and bass around the timber in the Fallbrook middle section and around the Carrowbrook river section but they are sometimes very reluctant to take a lure. Downsizing to a smaller version such as a 50mm AC Invader or TN 50 Jackall will sometimes work.

Trolling can also be an option because you can cover a lot of water and pick up the occasional fish, using the sounder to try to locate some water that may be a couple of degrees warmer, especially after days of strong winds. Begin with lures that run around 3m, such as a Deception Shrimp or Stuckey in brighter colours like green, yellow or metallics.

Bait is usually a good option with worms and yabbies around the trees for goldens, bass and silvers and worms around the muddy banks for giant catties.

This month at Glenbawn the fishing can be very slow and often frustrating. The dam is dropping quite quickly and is now down around 36% so the fish will be moving around a lot in search of food and warmer water. The water can go down to around 10°c as it gets the very cold winds from the Barrington Tops.

Glenbawn really needs a couple of days of high pressure with no wind to get the fish to bite so try to plan your trip with that in mind.


This month fishing around the timber is the best option for bass and goldens using bait or lures. When I mean bait I also refer to soft lures like Berkley Gulps or Slider Grubs. Timber in around 6m to 10m is a good place to begin as the fish like to hold up very close to these trees which radiate heat from the sun down their trunks where small baitfish can feed and weed grows.

I have found that by dropping a vibration lure down around the timber (not your favourite Jackall) will get the fish on the move and with my sounder I can quite easily see if there are any fish swimming around below. You can bump into the tree with your boat and it will also help get the fish moving around because it drops weed and food off the branches and stirs things up.

Jigging plastics down around the base of the tree or dropping a live yabby should get you into the action. Don’t be afraid to use scent on your live baits.

I find the silent Jackalls or Masks the better option and work these around the tree bases along with the section between the trees and the bank. If there have been a couple of really windy days before your outing, casting live yabbies with very light weight into the shallows is very productive. You could also use very shallow lures, as mentioned previously, or hard or soft jerkbaits.

To give yourself the best chance of the fish being on the chew. plan your outing to coincide with a rising or high barometer for at least two days prior and definitely no wind from the west or north-west, which puts the fish off the bite. If you can strike good weather it can be very pleasant and quite enjoyable and there are usually not too many boats out.


These dams have been suffering a lot from very little rain and the huge number of fishing competitions and recently the number and quality of fish has declined very rapidly. It has become very important to release all fish with the least amount of damage. Do not use towels to hold them, do not store them in inefficient livewells and return them to the water as soon as possible.

It is good to see that the State park at Glenbawn is taking advantage of the low water level and has started on a second ramp in the protected Curra Keith Bay, which will be a godsend on a windy westerly day.

With frosty mornings and cold westerlies, there is not a real lot happening in the rivers and it is a good time to leave the spawning bass in peace so they can complete their cycle.

The trout season is now closed but with the hard work done by the Barrington Gloucester Fishing Club in stocking the upper streams, the area gets some snow or rain in the next couple of months it should fire in October.

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