Rain helps the cause
  |  First Published: May 2005

Much-needed rain has given the rivers a welcome flush-out and helped to raise the level of the impoundments.

Although the rises were only very marginal they will help to keep the fishing very good.

The Hunter and Paterson rivers have had a good flush and the saltwater has been pushed down to around Morpeth, where the bass will be getting ready to spawn later in the season.

This month is usually time to work lures and spinnerbaits around some of the creeks and drains that feed into the river. Along the main river bed you can sometimes locate definite holes and drop-offs where the bass can hold up as the tide changes.

In some of these holding points the fish can be targeted with soft plastics. Last season, working a Jackall TN50 along the bottom with a stop-start action was very productive.

Lostock dam was already 100% before the rain so when it goes over the spillway, so do a lot of the larger bass. This is something that no one can control but the dam will still fish well.

The Williams River will also fish well after a good flush-out and as the bass move down the system to spawn it is always good down around Seaham using spinnerbaits, Beetle Spins and small crankbaits. Brighter colours are the option to begin with.

Glenbawn and Lake St Clair are continuing to rise slowly and along with the falling water temperature, the fishing will begin to slow up.

Lake St Clair fishes reasonably well at this time of year around the shallow banks up both arms but the water can be very clear and the bass and goldens very easily spooked.

It is sometimes better to walk along the banks casting to the fish which can be seen through polarized lenses holding off the edge of the weed.

Casting spinnerbaits around 3/8oz is the way to tempt these wary fish and neutrally buoyant lures such as the Deception Shrimp and AC Invader are also effective.

If the fish are reluctant to take these, experiment with other options such as lipless crankbaits. Try silent or rattling to see what will work better.

If the day is very clear and there is very little wind the fish will move back into the deeper water or around the timber, where trolling deep lures or jigging plastics is very good. A good colour for plastics is something with pink or red in it, along with pearl. For crankbaits the combination of purple and silver is good.

Bait fishing is a little slow but if the dam is still rising, use worms around the soft banks and yabbies around the timber for bass, goldens. silvers and catties.

Lake Glenbawn fishes quite well this month before the water drops below 18° for giant goldens, silvers, bass and the occasional cod.

Bait fishing is best with yabbies and cooked prawns around the back of the dam and down around the bottom of the dam worms seem to give the better results. Fish along the bank or around the trees in around 12metres of water.


Sometimes the best bite at this time of year can be from 10am to around 2pm because this is when the water is warmest. Trolling deep, dark lures along the easily recognised river bed between the trees adjacent to the Soil Con shed should be rewarding.

Quite often the goldens will move into the backs of bays where the water can be a little warmer. These areas are best targeted using crankbaits and lipless crankbaits.

This is again a transition time for the bass and they can be found anywhere around the dam as they seek food and water to suit their comfort zone.

In recent years I have targeted bass along with goldens holding up in 30 metres of around the 15-metre line out in the middle of the dam.

Once we had to hunt these fish with downriggers and lead-core line but now it can be done with jigs and plastics.

The only problem with this style of fishing is that the fish will not be able to be released because their swim bladder will be blown up because of barotrauma from being dragged up from deep water. So unless you want to keep these fish I do not think you should use this technique.

I noticed some significant weight-per-length variation last season and again this year. In one section of the dam I have caught bass 50cm long that weighed 1.2kg and in another section a 50cm bass could weigh 2.3kg.

I think some fish tend to hold in a particular section of the dam while others must be gypsies and travel a lot.

Although this month the fishing will become a little harder it can still be very enjoyable. There is usually a run of three to four days of consistent high pressure and very little wind, making for the best fishing conditions along with very little boat traffic at the ramps.

Because the days are really enjoyable I use this time to explore new spots – there are worse things you could be doing.

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