THE LAST-MINUTE transfer because of the drought of the ABT Toonumbar Dam electric event to Clarrie Hall was a great boon to the Tweed area. I know many great bass anglers in the region who have longed to fish this dam competitively.
More like a big river, Clarrie Hall offers tighter fishing than that found elsewhere on impoundments. At 100% and flowing over the wall, it shows clearly that the valley lies in a rain belt very different from that of Hinze at 48% and Toonumbar at 28%.
Many bass anglers will be amazed that the fish may well be on the surface throughout the day. Many of the area’s finest anglers have reported the same over recent weeks, so I wouldn’t fish the dam without a surface lure rigged and ready.
With the final fill of water the fish might move into better-than-average size schools this month. On the deeper banks of the bays, towards the bottom end of the dam, the bass will gather for their ‘spawning’ run to the salt.
I have always fished the dam like a big, deep river, and it has all the aspects of such – timbered areas, shallow banks and points to die for. Fishing surface lures, shallow- and medium-diving crankbaits, soft plastics in six metres or slow-rolling spinnerbaits off the banks will all work on their day.
This month will see little difference, other than the weather easing and the fishing becoming more interesting. It truly is a remarkable and beautiful waterway. If you get a chance, give it a fish – you won’t be disappointed.