Comfort factor rises
  |  First Published: February 2004

THIS MONTH the fishing will start to become a little more comfortable as the weather cools a little.

The holidays are over and the boat traffic is also far less intense, making for more enjoyable fishing and a lot less time lost at the boat ramps.

The Paterson and Hunter rivers will fish really well this month, especially around the moon quarters. The neap tides then mean a lot less water movement and so clearer water, making it easier for lures, spinnerbaits and plastics to work.

Begin in the early mornings with surface lures or shallow crankbaits up around the bases of the willows as the tide is falling, then work out into the deeper water using deeper lures or spinnerbaits. Start with a basic colour like green, yellow or brown. If these don’t work, keep trying different colours until you find what the fish want.

If you get hits or catch a fish or two hooked only on the back treble, maybe the fish aren’t all that interested in the colour you are using. Keep trying different colours and different lure actions. You may have to go to a lure with a rattle if you are using a silent one. When a fish takes the whole crankbait and is hooked on both trebles, you know you have found the right combination colour and action.

This also works when using spinnerbaits, where you can vary the blades, weight and colour combinations. Soft plastics also work very well up under the willows and through the ribbon weed along the banks. I like to rig them weedless and use plenty of Yum catch scent as it is very oily and stops the plastic getting caught in the willows and the weed. Colours which seem to work if the water is a little coloured are frostbite and avocado.

This month bait fishos do extremely well on mullet using dough, and catch bass, bream and flathead on prawns.

The Williams River is not tidal the fish and are more widespread and a little harder to find. Working along the banks where there is some cover is a good start. Try bright green and pink lures and 1/4oz spinnerbaits with purple skirts. Remember that the bag limit for rivers is two bass with only one fish over 35cm.

The Barrington Tops is still in need of rain and I do not think it is worth the trip until this occurs.

I have had a few emails about Lostock. The fishing there is quite good and surface lures and spinnerbaits are the best options. Those who intend to fish the ABT electric event there on February 22 should allow plenty of time to get there as the road from Gresford to the dam is very narrow and has some very sharp bends – take it very slowly. For more information give Paul a call on 0438 390 503.


Lake St Clair is still producing some good fishing and is holding up well despite the lack of rain. The large weed banks of previous seasons have not formed but the fishing will still be alright. The majority will be bass with the occasional yellowbelly on trolled lures and catfish on worms and yabbies.

Begin by fishing around the edges early in the day with soft plastic grubs and shads, spinnerbaits in dark colours and hard bodies in natural colours. As the light increases move out into around 10 metres with deeper lures and 5/8oz spinnerbaits. Very late in the afternoon and after dark, walking the banks with surface lures and lipless crankbaits will get your adrenaline pumping.

Lake Glenbawn will see a change in the fishing this month with the bass moving around the entire dam before they start to school up in the deeper sections. The fish tend to be adjacent to timber in around 10 metres, so troll deep lures and use heavy spinnerbaits and soft plastics once the schools are found. A good colour this month is a white body with a red head.

This month is also good for giant silvers and golden that guzzle worms and yabbies around some of the trees in about 12 metres.


An enormous number of anglers have been targeting the bass schools in both dams with some cricket-score catches. These fish were from some of the largest stockings into these impoundments.

Five years ago Glenbawn received 180,000 fingerlings which are now around 35cm. These are going to be the mainstay for the future of bass fishing in so it should be the responsibility of today’s anglers to let these fish grow to the trophy fish of the future. In most impoundments it takes 10 to 12 years for a bass to reach 50cm. Although there is no minimum length for bass in impoundments it is a shame to see people cleaning 20cm bass at these dams.

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