In Lake St Clair the water is just starting to get to a reasonable temperature. With a fairly constant level there are some good weed beds forming, making for good bait-attracting areas for the bass, goldens, with silvers and catties.
This month the fish tend to move around the entire perimeter so it may require a lot of sounder use to locate the fish. Sometimes trolling can be the better option until the fish are located.
Because the water is very clear, use bright lures such as greens/yellows or even fluoro patterns to begin with for crankbaits and spinnerbaits around the banks.
As the day progresses, move out into the deeper sections where darker colours like purple and black work well.
You will need lures with a really tight action that get down to around five metres. Spinnerbaits around 1/2oz with silver willow blades and some of the new skirt colours from Secret Creek work well.
I have had a lot of success with the new Radar 10 from Luhr-Jensen in purple /tiger and brown /mud crawfish colours. The Jackall TN60 and TN 70 are also good for trolling or casting with some of the new colours like dragon or ghost/purple tiger worth trying.
If the fish are holding very close to the bottom then the Jackall Mask Vibe 60/70 in AYU pattern is worth trying.
This month is a reaction bite time so by working any of the above baits fast through the water column will give good results.
Bait fishing is always productive this month with worms and shrimp the best choices. Some of the better spots are along the banks on the eastern foreshore.
I will be giving NSW DPI Fisheries a hand this month to do the stocking of bass into St Clair and the Singleton Fly Fishing Club will put their stock in as well, under the dollar-for-dollar scheme.
At Glenbawn there has been a lot of pressure on the fishery from some of the recent big competitions but it still continues to produce excellent catches.
Fortunately there has been recent rain and along with the snowmelt from the Tops this dam is holding up very well. Some good weed should form and as the water temperature rises the fishing will be even better.
Where this weed is forming the bass and goldens will not be far away as the schools of smelt will form near this cover.
Around the more heavily timbered areas in the lower section good numbers of silvers are present. They can be caught on worms and the occasional soft plastic.
Around the eastern foreshore the catfish are also taking a liking to worms, especially after dark.
Up towards the back of the dam, the bass and goldens can be caught trolling along the old river bed or by working lures around the timber or along the banks, especially early and late in the day.
Ferralcatts and AC Deep Invaders in brighter greens and yellows are worth trying and Jackalls are a must.
Spinnerbaits work well this month, especially 1/2oz models with silver willow blades. Green pearl is a good colour for casting and if you wish to troll a spinnerbait, go up to 5/8oz or 3/4oz and use a large single willow blade.
The Paterson, Williams and Hunter rivers are really fishing well as the days become longer and warmer and insect activity rises.
There have been good catches of bass and in the lower reaches flathead and bream and the occasional jewfish.
The Hunter and Paterson lower reaches fish best around the top and bottom of the tide, especially on the moon quarters, when the water is a lot clearer. Dawn and dusk are the best times.
Surface lures, especially Heddon Teeny Torpedoes, should be worked under the cover and along the weed early and late in the day. Then try 1/4oz spinnerbaits, 40mm to 50mm crankbaits or1/4oz Beetle Spins with 2” or 3” grubs.
All of the above lures will work exceptionally well with any combination of bright green or yellow in them.
On the Williams River the bass have been very active on similar lures but try crankbaits with more fluorescent colours. I think it is because this system has very clear water.
Up at the Barrington Tops the trout season has just opened and with the recent rain there should be some good catches.Reads: 1055