Comfort factor increases
  |  First Published: February 2005

This month the fishing will start to become a little more comfortable as the weather cools, the school holidays become distant memories and traffic around the boat ramps peters out.

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

Begin in the early mornings with surface lures or shallow crankbaits around the bases of the willows as the tide is falling, then work out into the deeper water using crankbaits or spinnerbaits. Good colours to begin with are dark purple or black and as the sun rises, come back to the lighter shades of green and brown.

If you find that the fish are just hitting the lure or spinnerbait and not hooking up, keep changing colours or try a lure with a rattle in it. If using spinnerbaits, try a different style blade.

A trick that has been useful for me when using using spinnerbaits is to keep the rod tip high and after winding the reel about half a dozen times, raise the tip to bring the spinnerbait to the surface while winding slowly and then pause for a moment. This often entices a strike. Continue to do this all the way to the boat.

If using soft plastics, try a Carolina rig with about half a metre of leader and work it out into the middle of the river as the tide falls. Start out with the colours that look like prawns because that is what the bass and flathead will be feeding on.

This is still a good time to spend on the river catching mullet on a float with fresh bread or dough. And if you can catch some live prawns, they are dynamite on bass and flathead.

The Williams River will also produce some good fishing this month but the fish will take a little finding as this river really cops a lot of boats towing water skiers, especially above the weir.

Begin by working along the edges of the reeds and because it is not tidal, the bass tend to hold right in tight among the vegetation. The past couple of years I have had a lot of success using pink fluoro lures and spinnerbaits with black skirts with fluoro green tips.

Remember, you are allowed to keep only two fish, only one of which can be over 35cm.

For those fishing the ABT Bass Electric event this month at Lostock Dam, it is producing some reasonable bass but it is very important that you do not fish in the prohibited areas as you could ruin it for other anglers.


Lake St Clair is still producing some good catches by all methods and despite the lack of rain there are still some reasonably good patches of weed for the fish to lurk around.

While the majority of catches in this dam comprise bass, catfish and goldens, in recent times the silver perch have really started to appear. This is good for the bait-fishos because they are excellent to eat. The best bait this month is definitely a worm, followed by a shrimp or a yabby.

Those trolling early and late in the day should begin along the steeper banks, especially in the Fallbrook Reach, and then move out into the deeper water using lures that run down to around eight metres. Spinnerbaits and lipless crankbaits will also work there.

In the evening and into the dark, surface lures, especially Jitterbugs and poppers, will bring the bass on.

It is good to hear that the hard work done by the Singleton Fly Fishing Club has meant that Lake St Clair will be stocked with 24,000 bass through the Dollar-for-Dollar Native Fish Stocking Program.


Lake Glenbawn will see a change in its fishing this month as the bass especially move around the entire dam in preparation to schooling up, so it sometimes takes a lot of hard work and constant surveillance of the sounder to find these fish.

While the goldens and silvers tend to keep to the banks, the bass can be anywhere but they tend to like to hold up in eight to 12 metres. A good indicator on the sounder is some good black clouds of micro-orgasms that are also at that depth.

When the schools are found they can be targeted with plastics, ice jigs and lipless crankbaits, the best of which is the new Jackall Mask Vibe 60mm, which as designed especially for this style of fishing. It has a soft body and puts out a natural vibration, feel and has the excellent sinking capability of a jighead-rigged plastic but with an uncanny resemblance to bait.

Trolling for goldens in prime condition around the backs of the bays among the timber in the middle section of the dam is also worth the effort. Start out using lures that run down around six metres.

This month some of the really big silvers should appear and I saw some 70cm long caught last season on the ever-reliable garden worm s fished off the bank in the main basin.

I would like to thank Mark, Max and the guys from Graham Barclay Marine for putting together such a top Quintrex 475 with a 75 E-Tec motor for me to use this year. I also thank Mick Mee from BLA for the Minn Kota and Humminbird products and Alco Battery Sales, who supplied the Delkor and Trojan batteries that are used by most of the BASS and Won series competitors in the US.

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