Water levels damned
  |  First Published: November 2006

The late rainfall we received in September has helped to flush some of our rivers and increase the water levels in dams,

Up in the Barringtons a small snow drop helped get some of the major streams flowing and kicked some small trout into action. The Paterson, Hunter and Williams rivers received a bit of a flush as well, and when the water begins to settle we should begin to see some good fishing. This is the month to start on surface lures. Shallow run lures on the run-in tide in the early morning or later afternoon on a full or new moon. As the tide peaks use spinnerbaits, lipless crankbaits and lures out in the deeper sections. There is a whole new variety of lures perfect for this type of fishing now available in Australia including those from Eco Gear, Lake Police Jackall’s, Megabass and Smith. I’ve had some excellent sessions on all of these lures, but using the correct line size and rod is vital to success.

The Hunter and Williams rivers are home to some good mullet and can be tempted with dough, while there are good catches of bass to be had on worms and live prawns. Trolling with Marz lures is another option in these rivers as snags are minimal. In the Williams, I like to use bright lures, small and compact spinnerbaits, beetle spins with 1/4 oz heads and curly tail grubs or Squidgy’s. The Squidgy spinnerbaits in 7g are also good to use in Alvin purple or Neon.

The lack of rainfall in Lake St Clair has kept the ramp inaccessible but the fishing has been productive on the banks casting over the weed into breaks. Flycasters have been getting some nice fish late in the day with dry flies around the banks adjacent to the camping ground. The water is often clean around certain banks and casting small finesse lures such as Jackall Chubbies and Ecogear CK5s out into the deeper water has produced some really good bass and golden perch. For baitfishers the banks has also proved rewarding with giant catties, goldens and the occasional silver. Fortunately Glenbawn still has enough water to keep the ramp open. With a lot of the dams now out of action, the Glenbawn has experienced more traffic than usual, but anglers aren’t getting many bites. Mix up your bait and fishing techniques to entice the fish. This year, the huge population of carp has really started to irritate me. It important to not only kill catches but also dispose of them on land as their eggs may germinate if left in the water.

There are still some schools of small bass around the dam but if you’re chasing the big fish it is best to target warmer sections of the damn where there is plenty of cover adjacent to deeper water. I like to hit the banks early and late in the day with surface or shallow lures and then work down the water column with crankbaits and heavy spinnerbaits. Trolling deep lures along the river channel that flows from the island right down to Yellow Buoy Bay using dark colours such as purple/silver is also effective. I like to use my Eagle Seachamp 2000 for seeing these fish, with the sensitivity set on around 84%, so I know exactly how deep I need the lure to run.

Baitfishing can also be quite worthwhile this month, provided the dam does not drop too much further. Try fishing the midsections of the dam using yabbies and worms for giant silvers, catties, goldens and bass.

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