It will be great to see the end of the blustery westerly winds and there should be an increase in the water temperature in the local rivers and impoundments, which have been down around 12° this Winter.
This is the prime time of the year to catch those trophy-size fish so get out there early and reap the rewards.
In the rivers around Morpeth the bass will have finished spawning. They had not completely finished in early August, according to the boys from DPI Fisheries who were out in the systems getting their brood stock for the ponds at Taylors Beach. The bass will then start to head back upstream to their Summer haunts.
The fish will be very active and will attack crankbaits and spinnerbaits. Some good colours for both are chartreuse, black and pink and black and fluoro green.
Any of the 40 to 50 mm lures that run down to around two metres on the cast will do the trick, while 1/40z to 3/8oz spinnerbaits in the same colours would be good starting points.
In the Williams River the bass are also very active with the same lures worthwhile, along with Beetle Spins with small plastics in baby bass or pearl also worth trying along the edges of the weedy banks and the reeds.
Up at Lake St Clair, the dam has been holding up pretty well but could still do with some more rain in its catchment. This dam is really a good fishery when it is rising.
The water is very clear and it should not be to long before we see it rise to around 17°, which would get the shrimp out of the banks and active around the weed beds.
This is when the reaction-type lures and spinnerbaits work best as the schools of bass and goldens break up and move into the warmer, shallower sections around the perimeter.
During Spring there are always some good fish taken by walking the banks casting surface lures, spinnerbaits or flies along the tops of the weed submerged in about half a metre of water. Try some of the fluoro colours and patterns, although a really good colour for spinnerbaits is black with a green tail.
Some of the new colours in the Jackall lipless crankbaits have been working really well, with the new shrimp colour producing some good bass and goldens.
There are also some good catties and silver perch around the timber in the Carrowbrook Arm, with worms giving the best results.
At Glenbawn the water temperature will be a little slower to rise as it usually gets feed from the snowmelt at the Barrington tops, but as soon as it starts to climb towards 18° the smelt start to appear and the weed beds begin to grow.
This month the bass and goldens seem to concentrate around the back of the dam because it is usually rising and covering some new ground where the fish can feed in close to the banks and the water is slightly warmer.
I prefer to work along these banks casting spinnerbaits or crankbaits but casting 3” pearl soft plastic shads or minnows on 3/8oz jigs is also very rewarding.
Those who troll should be working along the longer points that are covered in soft soil about four metres down with lures that run just off the bottom and occasionally hit bottom. The bass and goldens think that the digging lures are some of the yabbies that are now in this dam.
For the bait angler, yabbies and worms dropped around timber up the back of the dam should work.
Those 50cm-plus bass which get caught in our dams are usually around 10 years old so and with the small stocking numbers now and increase numbers of anglers seeking trophy fish, it will not be long before bass of this size disappear.
So if you are lucky to catch one of these trophy fish, return it to the water as quickly as possible with the least amount of handling to limit the stress and damage.
Remember, catching is one thing but killing is another.
I would also like those people who have emailed me recently with their phone numbers and email addresses to please do so again – I had a bad virus on my computer and had to delete a lot of emails.
This bass took a 3” Atomic Shad in rising water over a soft Glenbawn bank last Spring.
Is it always this easy? Young Alex’s first bass on his first trip on the Paterson swam up and ate a Slider in baby bass colour.
Lithgow-Oberon reporter Glen Stewart used an AC Deep Invader in shrimp pattern with success last September on Lake St Clair.Reads: 553