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Wind, low water but better fishing
  |  First Published: September 2006



I hope that we don’t get the strong westerlies we did last Spring because I can remember being at Glenbawn on some days when they were up around 40 knots, which makes for a pretty rough ride at best and a very dangerous one at worst.

With the warmer and longer days the water temperature in the rivers and dams should begin to rise. It has been down around 8° in the rivers and 11° to 12° in the dams.

This time of the season you have increased chances of catching those trophy-sized fish and although the mornings can be quite cool, the days warm up quite quickly, making for some really enjoyable fishing.

In the local rivers around Morpeth the bass will have completed their spawning and the rising water temperatures will have increased their metabolism. They will be very active and will attack crankbaits, spinnerbaits, Beetle Spins and plastics.

Lures worth a try include the Jackal Chubby in deep and shallow versions,1/4oz Secret Creek spinnerbaits with white/green skirts in single willow blade models and Beetle Spins with a 1/4oz heads and 2” plastics.

For those who wish to troll along the deeper sections, the Deception Nipper and Mann’s 5+ in bright red are very rewarding, along with any of the locally-made Marz lures.

The Williams is also very productive using the same lures but because it is not tidal above the weir, working very light jigs with 65mm plastics, especially Sliders in baby bass colour, are also worth trying. Sometimes the addition of an Action Disc about 10cm in front of the lure will help.

DAMS LOW

Lake St Clair is still very low, making it virtually impossible to launch any sort of boat, but it can still be fished by walking the banks or by bait fishing. The water is always very clear in Spring and with the rising water temperature there will be some good weed beds forming.

This dam is best fished from the banks using spinnerbaits and surface lures but the really good results will come from fly fishing. The fish can be very easily spooked because they can be in quite close chasing shrimp and smelt.

At Glenbawn, where the water level is also very low but at least you can still launch a boat, the water has been down around 12° but should start to warm up. When it reaches around 18°c the mass schools of smelt appear.

This month bass and golden perch appear in good numbers around the back section of the dam, attributable to the influx of snowmelt which has very high oxygen levels to make the fish very active.

Targeting these fish best by working the deeper sections adjacent to the banks with crankbaits, TN60 Jackals in bright or holographic patterns and 3/8oz to 1/2oz spinnerbaits in chartreuse or pearl work well.

This time of the season the bass and goldens can also be in the very shallow water in close to the bank so work along in close. The fish can be very easily spooked so drifting along, even without the electric, is sometimes necessary.

Bait fishing is best done around the banks with worms and cabbies and if you are lucky enough to find some of these banks around the dam you will certainly hook some nice fish.

With the great pressure of fishing competitions on this dam and St Clair mean they no longer produce very large bass as consistently as they did back in the late 90s so we must make every effort to try to protect the trophy fish that remain.

STOCKING FIGURES

I have just received the draft stocking figures for Glenbawn , which are excellent, but we must remember that probably only around 10% of these fingerlings will survive. There will be 50,000 silver perch, 80,000 golden perch and 70,000 bass released, supplemented with stockings from the dollar-for-dollar money donated by the ABT from recent competitions there.

The Lake St Clair figures are 20,000 bass, 60,000 golden perch and 30,000 silver perch, also to be supplemented with dollar-for-dollar stockings. Lostock Dam is to acquire 7500 bass with additional stocking from ABT money.

During the next four months a lot of competitions will be held at Glenbawn and it would be good if some of these organisers could see it fit to donate some of their entry fee money to the restocking of this dam, as does ABT.

The annual Glenbawn Classic is on September 30 and October 1 with entries being taken on the Friday evening. There will be a briefing on the Saturday at 5.45am . The Classic this year for the first time will be a lure and fly only comp with catch and release and some of the proceeds will go back into stocking the dam with fish.

Remember those really strong westerlies this month so be very careful out on the dams.

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