IN THE rivers down around the valley, the fishing has really slowed right up, which is normal for this time of the season.
Up around the Barrington Tops there will be a few trout to be caught on worms and fly with lures being unproductive.
This is a good time of year to get some Brownie points saved up for later. Or, as I like to do, you can head up north to where it is 30° and do some barra fishing.
In the local impoundments the water temperature will fall to about 12°, which will really slow up the fishes’ metabolisms and make for some very tough angling. Although the fishing can be really hard during this month, it can be very enjoyable with the early morning fog making good conditions for surface lures, especially Bill’s Bugs and Fizzers. Then, following the early foggy mornings, the warm days are made for trolling deep lures or even, in some cases, using downriggers or lead-core line around some of the sections near the old river bed.
When I intend fishing impoundments during Winter I like to see about three to four days prior to my trip a high barometer, or at least a rising one.
At Lake St Clair the most productive section will be in the Carrowbrook Reach, as it always seems to be a little warmer and there is more timber for the fish to hang near for cover and feed. Try around the edges of the weed but, as the water is usually very clear, sometimes the fish will be easily spooked. Be very reluctant to throw big, heavy baits so usually 3/8oz spinnerbaits in bright colours, especially green, and small crankbaits to around 50mm long in bright colours will do the trick.
Last Winter I had a lot of success using Jackall TN 60 crankbaits in around six metres adjacent to the weed beds and around the trees in about 10 metres. Trolling along some of the points that face north using deep lures is also worth trying in the middle of the day.
The bait-fishing will also be a little slow but worms and especially shrimp will be the go for some of the large silver perch that are now appearing.
Lake Glenbawn can be very rewarding this month but it requires covering a lot of water, which itself can be very enjoyable on a nice sunny day. I have found that this month, especially after several days of high pressure, there are some definite thermoclines formed around 16 metres.
They are in open water so you will need to have the sensitivity on your sounder turned right up to find one and you should also be able to see if there are any fish below or in the thermocline . These fish are usually goldens and bass.
There are also big clouds of baitfish associated with these thermoclines. Before the advent of jigging plastics to target these deep fish, I had a lot of success downrigging or lead-core lining small lures such as Deception Nippers or Tilsan Bass along these thermoclines.
But pulling these fish from that depth can give them an attack of ‘the bends’ and they would not swim away unless you deflated their air bladders with a needle.
The dam is still around 62% so trolling around the back of the dam from the soil conservation shed up to the ruins is usually very productive with lures that run around five metres. Black and gold or purple and black are good colours to begin with. Troll along the river close to the trees.
Bait-fishing will also be a bit slow but concentrate on the individual trees with yabbies and worms, as there has been some giant silvers and goldens caught in June.
This time of the season, the bass are not prone to take reaction baits but it is worth jigging some of the larger plastics in shad patterns among the timber in about 12 metres. A good section for this is up around Bass City.
For those who want to target giant goldens, I have had my most success this month using AC Invaders in the No 42 colour pattern around the backs of bays where the water is a few degrees warmer than the rest of the dam.
I recently was talking to a few of the guys from NSW Fisheries who said that on a recent trip to Glenbawn they had found a few anglers with more than their bag limits and about 10 metres of net that contained hundreds of bass, including some absolute monsters.
So if you see any of this sort of activity going on, please report it them because they are going to act on your report. You can call the fishers Watch line on 1800 043 536.Reads: 658