A chance at a trophy fish
  |  First Published: September 2003

IT WILL be good to see the end of the strong westerly winds and an increase in the water temperature, which has been down to around 11° in the rivers and impoundments.

This time of you have the best opportunity to hook some of those trophy-size bass, goldens and silvers, so go early, stay with it and fish hard to earn the rewards.

In the rivers around Morpeth the bass, which have by now spawned, will be working their way back up the Hunter and Paterson rivers. These fish will take spinnerbaits and lures. Some of the lures to use are Mann’s 5 +, AC Invaders and the Marz lures. These lures are only 40mm long and run down to about 1.6 metres. Good colours to try yellow/brown and green/yellow combinations.

Spinnerbaits of around 1/4 oz with single willow blades and purple or chartreuse skirts also work well, with Bassman, AusSpin and Down Deep some of the ones to try. There an unlimited number of plastics available these days, so a good combination to begin with is a 1/8oz jig with any natural colour grub or tail. Work these right under the willows on a rising tide.

Up at Lake St Clair, where the dam has been holding up well from the lack of rain and cold westerlies, the water is very clear and should start to rise in temperature, making for a good reaction bite.

When the temperature rises to about 18° the shrimp begin to move around the banks, making for some very good fishing. There is probably no specific section of the dam to fish but I like to look for places where there is a 1° or 2° rise in the water temperature, and this is usually somewhere facing north.

Spring is always a good time to walk the banks fly-fishing or casting lures, spinnerbaits or plastics. Colours to try in lures are yellow/green, red/yellow and brown /yellow and the metallics will also work .For spinnerbaits, try 3/8oz with silver willow blades with green or silver skirts. They should be worked fast for good results.

Plastics will also give some good results with 3” paddletails and grubs on 1/4oz heads in natural colours effective. Big goldens will also take lures, and spinnerbaits but using worms around the timber in the Carrowbrook Reach should give the best results.

At Lake Glenbawn, the water temperature should start to rise this month as there is not much snow to melt on the Barrington Tops and run into the dam. This impoundment does not begin to fire until the water reaches 18°, as this is when the smelt begin to appear. At the same time, the weed beds begin to form around the edges.

This month the bass and goldens seem to concentrate around the back of the dam and, as it is at around 70%, there are some excellent sections to fish. Try trolling along the old river bed with lures that run down about five metres in natural colours – a good colour to try is green/silver.

For those who want to work spinnerbaits or plastics, cast around some of the timber that lines the old river bed and also try some of the points. The goldens this month tend to go into the backs of the bays, where the water may be half a degree warmer. They can be targeted with hard-bodied lures or bait .

At the beginning of October the Glenbawn Classic will be held. I will give more details next issue but organisers have introduced a new section for competitors who currently fish the bass tournaments and it will be run under the same rules, with live weigh-ins after each session. There should also be a sponsor announced shortly for this section.

I would like to emphasise that the trophy fish caught at this time of the year are that size because they are eight to 10 years old, so it is very important that they are returned to the water as quickly as possible to limit the damage done to them. Remember, catching is one thing but killing is another.

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