Bass activity increases
  |  First Published: October 2006

Westerly winds have been blowing on and off but this month they should disappear, making for some enjoyable fishing on our rivers and dams.

I have not heard what the trout fishing has been up at the Barrington Tops because the season has just opened but there has been a little rain so the streams should fire now before the hot weather dries things up.

As the Paterson and Hunter rivers warm up the bass have become a bit more active and there should be some fish around 40cm willing to take reaction baits. When the water is dirty around the new and full moon I like to use spinnerbaits, lipless crankbaits and hardbodies with rattles.

Crankbaits 40mm to 50mm long are ideal with the Jackall Chubby and some of the new Smith lures ideal. Use spinnerbaits around 3/8oz with copper or gold Colorado blades and bright skirts if it is sunny or white or clear if it is overcast. Colours for the crankbaits are much the same but try gold/black for bright days and lighter shades of green or even brown on dull days.

Up the Williams River above the weir the bass seem to like more subtle presentations, possibly because it is not tidal. Plastics and Beetle Spins are the better options, along with smaller crankbaits and compact spinnerbaits.

This is one river where I find the bass really like bright lures and plastics with some of the fluoro colours working well, especially pink.

It is probably a little early in the season for using surface lures because the insect activity has really not fired up but if we get some warm days they are worth trying early and late. I have some really good lures to try from Jackall, Smith and Ecogear.

I cannot report too much on Lake St Clair because it has been virtually impossible to launch a boat.

Unless we get about 250mm of rain, I suggest you do not try because there have been some vehicles bogged for hours until help arrived, which would nearly have to be a tractor. Some efforts are being made recently to alleviate the launching problem at St Clair and I will keep you posted.

I still like to fish this great little dam and it is very easy to work the banks if you do some walking. The most exciting form of bank fishing here is working neutral-buoyancy lures or stickbaits along and among the patches of weed. Because the water is very clear I like to find banks that the wind has been blowing onto, making the water a little discoloured and giving the fish some added protection.

Some of the newer crankbaits are excellent for this style of fishing because they are designed for this finesse style, can be cast long distances and their low buoyancy allows them to be worked very slowly, keeping them in the strike zone for maximum time.


At least there is still a usable ramp at Glenbawn but the lake certainly is copping increased fishing pressure now and is going to be very busy with all the competitions and also waterskiers. The dam is down to around 30% and there are quite a few dangerous areas appearing around the middle and back sections so take plenty of care when travelling around these parts.

The water should start to rise to around 17° to 18° this month and the fishing should start to fire for bass and goldens. This is predominately a reaction bite with spinnerbaits and lures around the banks early in the day and then working the deeper water with cover as the day progresses.

The best spinnerbaits for this early bite have purple skirts, willow blades and weigh around 1/2oz. Use lures with translucent or neutral colours and as the sun rises, move to shades of purple.

There are always some schools of smaller bass holding in 9m to 12m off or near the river bed up around the island and up to Pelican Point. Target these by trolling deep lures with a tight action or by jigging soft plastics on 1/2oz jigs.

This is also a very good month for chasing quality goldens by jigging a plastic around the trees or dropping a fresh yabby into cover. Casting lures around the backs of the bays in the late afternoons, when the water is warmest, can also be very rewarding if there is some weed present. I had a lot of success last season using the silent lipless crankbaits in ayu and black/gold.

I have just returned from a week at Arnhemland Barramundi Lodge in the Northern Territory, where Lowrance sent some of their ProTeam members for some excellent fishing. Among the crew were Mark Taylor, Steve Starling, Chris Wright, Harry Watson, John Schofield, Ian Miller and Jason Wilhem, to name a few. We certainly had an excellent time thanks to Todd, Scott and the crew from Lowrance.

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