August is the most enjoyable month to be out on the dams because the mornings are quite brisk, with the usual fog followed by a nice warm day.
This is the last month of Winter, the ramps are not very busy and although the fishing might be tough, the fish that can be caught are usually in prime condition. The benefit of fishing this month is that the best session seems to be from 10am to about 3pm, when the barometer, the water and the air temperature are at their highest.
Because the water temperatures is around 12°, the metabolism of the bass and goldens is slowed right down, making them very reluctant to feed. To target them you will need to slow your presentations down and virtually put your lure or bait right in their faces.
At Lake St Clare there will be schools of bass scattered around the dam and up the arms. They will be easily located using a good sounder and will most likely be very close to the bottom, where they can be targeted using plastics and very light line, preferably 2kg to 3kg fluorocarbon with 1/4 oz jig heads. Start with pearl or light-coloured grubs.
If these schools are adjacent to the banks, then, into the afternoon, work along the bank using spinnerbaits or shallow lures. Also try surface poppers and buzzbaits.
The goldens are also very slow this month but can be caught around some of the backs of the bays, where there is sometimes a difference of 1° in water temperature. Goldens like to hit a slowly-worked lure or plastic. Good lures to try are the Deception Shrimp and the AC Invader.
The bait-fishing can be rewarding for bass and goldens, with a yabby or worm dropped around some of the timber. A trick that I have found to help is to pull up to the tree and bump the branches. This shakes the weed loose and also gets the baitfish and shrimp moving.
At Lake Glenbawn, the better fishing will come from the back of the dam, with bait probably giving the best results. Also effective will be trolling along the river with lures that run down to about five metres and give a lot of vibration. Stuckey lures are good for this. Every couple of minutes, just slow right up, because this is when it will be hit.
Working along the river casting lipless crankbaits around the timber is also another good option to get the fish active. Then follow back along with a slow-rolled spinnerbait or a bibbed lure. Bait-fishing from the bank around this end of the dam is also very productive with worms, crickets or yabbies prime baits. The saltwater nipper is also very good.
The only downfall this month is that sometimes the dreaded westerlies blow and blow and blow. If this happens, head to the protection of the small bays and look for an increase in water temperature where the fish might hold up. In these spots, work the lures very slowly and sometimes you may have to cast to the same snag several times before a fish might strike .
The fish that are caught during this month will be very fat and because it is the hardest time of the season to catch them, each capture will be the most rewarding.
Mason Alexander of Lithgow took this early-season bass on a hard-bodies lure.
A Rapala ice jig did the trick on this suspended early-season bass in Glenbawn.
Chris McLean took this bass first cast with an AC Invader lure.Reads: 555