THE PATERSON, Hunter and Williams Rivers are really starting to fire now as warmer days and increased insect activity make for some very good fishing.
The best time to target these fish is in the couple of hours after sun-up and before sunset, with a falling tide the best. Surface lures and small minnow-style lures in green, yellow and brown combinations worked around the bases of the willows and around the weed parallel to the bank should have you hooking into some bass around 40cm. Smaller spinnerbaits, of around 1/4oz or 3/8oz, and Beetle Spins are also very productive. The darker colours are best. Some new colours from AusSpin and Bassman also very good, with purple/glow very appealing.
On the Barrington Tops the trout are still very small because there has not been much rain and a limited amount of food.
At Lake St Clair the water temperature has only just started to reach a reasonable figure. The level has been low for such a long time so the weed has not been able to grow as much as in previous years. Because of this lack of weed growth, the bass and the golden perch will be moving around the dam, especially the perimeter, looking for food. Trolling would be the best method to find these fish, with the Carrow Brook Arm producing the better results.
Lures to start with are brown/yellow around the shallow sections that run down to five metres and, as the day advances, go to a deeper lure that runs down to about six metres and fish the deeper old river bed section. Around the timber, the bait fishing has been good with bass and goldens taking shrimp and yabbies. Around the banks there have been some good catfish caught on worms.
At Lake Glenbawn there has been a lot of pressure on the fish lately as there have been a lot of competitions but it will still be able to produce some good results. As with the other dams, it is taking a long while for Glenbawn water to get up to 18°, the trigger for the baitfish to appear. As the water is still cool, the fish will be scattered around the whole dam so it will require a fair amount of time sounding around.
The better option is trolling to find these fish. Begin at the lower section of the dam, especially around the points and the more heavily-timbered portion using lures that run down to around six metres. Good lures to try are AC minnows and Stuckeys in natural colours. Concentrate in the depths around nine metres.
The middle section of the dam around Yellow Buoy Bay produces some good catches on spinnerbaits and hard-bodied lures worked around the bays and points. The late afternoons are good for surface lures, especially jitterbugs. Spinnerbait patterns worth a try are 3/8oz or 1/2oz double willows with dark skirts.
Hard-body lures need to run around three metres and try any of them in purple combinations. Lipless crankbaits and jerkbaits will also give some good results. The back of the dam will continue to produce some good results by bait-fishing with yabbies around the timber or by trolling along the old river bed. Soft plastics worked around the shore on the longer points will produce, with the shad in purple/black on 3/8oz jigs or Carolina-rigged presentations.
Craig Watson from NSW Fisheries has sent me the latest projected stockings. Glenbawn is to receive 40,000 goldens (it received 14,000 this year). It is to receive 70,000 bass (47,500 this year) along with57,000 silver perch. Lake St Clair is to receive 10,000 bass and received 12,500 this year.
Lake Liddell and Lostock Dam are to receive 10,000 bass and actually received 12,700 and 6342 respectively.Reads: 801