Dam action heats up
  |  First Published: October 2005

This month the fishing should start to pick up but because the season seems to be later than usual, by about three weeks, it will not hit its straps until the middle of the month when the water temperature starts to hit 17° or 18° and the weather patterns become a lot more enjoyable.

Lake St Clair is only just starting to fire up and the good weed banks have been slow to form because of low rainfall.

The bass will be out feeding on the banks in the low light morning and evening and then drop back to the deeper gutters and along the river bed.

Try to locate some of the sections where the water temperature is approaching 18°, which usually allows the first shrimp to appear. The water is very clear but the bass, along with the goldens and silvers, will become very active.

It’s time for the reaction baits such as spinnerbaits, crankbaits and lipless crankbaits. I like to use 1/2oz spinnerbaits with silver willow blades and translucent skirts.

Those wishing to troll or cast cannot go past Ferralcatts, AC Minnows and some of the new Deception colours.

Last Spring I was trying some silent Jackalls in the 60 series which accounted for some really good bass, while the rattling ones caught some giant goldens.

Bait-soakers can’t go past fishing the banks with a worm for catties, bass, silvers and goldens, with the banks adjacent to the camping area being very productive.


Glenbawn Dam has risen a little and seems to be holding but could still do with more rain. This dam really fishes well when the water temperature reaches 17° to 18° because that is when the smelt appear, making for excellent spinnerbait and crankbait fishing around cover and structure.

Spinnerbaits from 3/8oz to 1/2oz in darker colours like purple and dark green are a good starting point.

Any lure in green or yellow that trolls down around four to five metres is worth towing around.

Bait fishing is also very productive this month with the timber in the middle reaches in about 10 metres being good for bass, goldens and silvers. The banks in the lower end are better for the catties on yabbies.

Glenbawn faces a lot of fishing pressure during Spring so it would be advisable to get out there early and try to return as many fish as possible.


The bass have started to show up in reasonable numbers down around Maitland with the occasional 40cm fish showing up.

This season in the Hunter system local hatchery workers had no real problems acquiring their five pairs of bass for breeding. Sometimes it can be very hard to get equal numbers, with the predominant resident fish in this system usually females.

This is a good month for some giant flathead down around Raymond Terrace. They will take plastics worked along the sandy flats and points and also small crankbaits with the local Marz range offering some top colours and patterns.

Last season I also had some really good catches on the Jackall TN50 and 60 lipless crankbaits, especially the silent version in bone colour. I am sure Maurie Marsden will knock you up some of his Marz lures in this colour, which seems to work well in the dirty water.

For those chasing bass further up the system, the above lures work well, as do 1/4oz to 3/8oz spinnerbaits with copper or gold blades and green/pearl skirts. Berkley 3” Bass Minnows in virtually any colour worked along the weed edges should work for bigger bass.

In the Williams River there should be good action with crankbaits, Slider-rigged Beetle Spins and spinnerbaits.

The trout season up at the Barrington Tops opens this month. It should be OK as there were some substantial snowfalls during Winter.


At the end of this month I will be helping NSW Fisheries with some of their stocking from their Taylors Beach hatchery into local areas. They hope to produce around 300,000 fingerlings this season.

The proposed draft bass stockings are: Glenbawn 70,000, St Clair 25,000, Lake Liddell 10,000, Lostock 7500, Telarah Lagoon 1000 and Warrabrook Wetlands 3000. These releases are also supplemented by dollar-for-dollar contributions raised by clubs. ABT has generously donated around $1300 during 05.

If any clubs want to supplement these stockings, drop me a line because we can do this stocking in October.

The projected draft stockings of silver perch are: Glenbawn 70,000 and St Clair 50,000.


There will be a great weekend at Glenbawn on November 5 and 6 with a Camping, Fishing, Boating and Leisure Expo. Any businesses that want to be part of it should call the Glenbawn State Park on 02 6543 7193.

On November 26 and 27 there will be a Reel Women comp at Glenbawn. Reel Women events are usually held in Darwin but I have been enticed to help organise this one along with Steve Starling, Leanne Payne and Emma Cartwright from Darwin.

Women interested in taking part should visit www.reelwomen.com.au or email me for further information.

This month we have also organised the bass rounds of the AFC TV series at Glenbawn and St Clair.

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