Early and late, fishing is great
  |  First Published: December 2004

The days are long and hot now, so plan to get out on the water early and then get out of the hot midday sun.

All the river systems down around Maitland will fish really well this month with bass taking lures and spinnerbaits in dark colours early. Later in the day they prefer the brighter greens, yellows and some of the fluoro colours.

This is one of the best months to use surface lures in the low light and cool of dusk and dawn but I have even got some good fish in the middle of the day.

For surface lures I like to use a 6’ spin stick and a small threadline spooled with 6lb braid and about a metre of 8lb mono as leader. This is one case where floating nylon leader has it over sinking fluorocarbon, which may affect the lure’s action.

My favourite lures fall into two classes, fizzers and poppers. My favourite fizzers include the Heddon Tiny Torpedo and Teeny Torpedo and Cotton Cordell. My favourite popper is the Rapala Skitter Pop.

Although using surface lures does not always guarantee you a bass, it certainly gives you a rush when they get hit.

The mullet are around in big numbers in the Hunter and Paterson this month and they are good fun to catch and not to bad to eat. All you need is some dough or really fresh bread. I like to set a berley trap a couple of days before going to hold the mullet where you are going to fish.

There has not been much happening up at the Barrington Tops but a few small trout have been caught on fly and worms.


Lake St Clair is just holding its level and so the weed beds are still there, although some of the ones in the shallower sections are starting to die off. This is a very good impoundment to fish the shore line for bass and goldens, along with some big silvers.

St Clair is one of the better dams at this time of year because every form of spinning will get you fish. I like to get out there early using surface lures and then go to lipless crankbaits or spinnerbaits.

As the day progresses and the fish move deeper, I then change to deep lures and soft plastics and work around the eight-metre drop-offs and river channels.

This month any lure or spinnerbait that has purple in it should be a good starting point. Fishing with worms for bass, goldens and especially some of the giant catties, around the banks in the main basin will surely get you a feed.


Lake Glenbawn is usually a bit harder to fish this month. There are always plenty of boats on the water so it is always a good idea to get out there early. Watch for the late south-easterly that hits after lunch.

Because Glenbawn is still dropping, it is wise to keep watch for timber emerging anywhere around the dam.

Bait fishing is the norm for a lot of people on holidays with good catties on worms around the banks and giant silvers to be caught around the trees using worms and yabbies.

Surface lures are a good option at dawn and dusk, especially if the grasshoppers and cicadas are out in force as they were last year.

Spinnerbaits and crankbaits around the more heavily timbered areas in the middle section of the dam always work from dawn to about 10am. Then move out into about nine metres to troll or jig around the trees.

You will find green or purple shad spinnerbaits in 1/2oz with willow blades effective starting points. With the crankbaits Stuckeys, Feralcatts and AC Invaders in purple are good to begin with.

The Jackall TN60 and TN70 lipless crankbaits worked around the timber are also magic this month.

During this period it is not uncommon in some of the deeper sections that the bass and goldens hold up against some of the underwater structure in around 15 metres. The only way to fish for these is by using plastics or ice jigs. My favourite jigs are the Rapala and the Jackall Mask Vibe .

My boat is for sale to make way for a new one this month. My 435 Hornet Trophy is powered by a 40hp Yamaha four-stroke with electric start, power trim/tilt and is on a Dunbier trailer. The boat has an under floor rod locker, 90-litre livewell and 55lb Maxxum Minn Kota electric. Price is $12,000 so phone me on 02 4930 1532 if you’re interested.

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