For those in the know, Lake MacDonald can produce the goods. However, it is a somewhat difficult waterway and has been for a few years.
In 2000, big rains thoroughly flushed the lake, and a massive amount of water went over the spillway, down Six Mile Creek and eventually into the Mary River. It would seem that a large quantity of fish went down the same track and the fishing is yet to get back to the extremely high standards of the late eighties.
Because of this, more know-how is required these days. Trollers can still catch good quality fish and no one can deny that there is a level of skill required to produce the goods in this way.
It seems though, that the best quality bass caught in Lake MacDonald are brought undone by those using cast and retrieve tactics. Spinnerbaits and bibless rattlers are all the rage at the moment and they are doing the job. Slowly retrieving spinnerbaits from near the bottom amongst the stands of cabomba is catching quality fish as we head into winter. Harry’s Jackals are pulling bass from areas that are very hard to fish with any other lure. Saratoga are also occasionally caught on these effective but expensive lures.
At the time of writing there has still been no sign of the fish schooling up, but it will almost certainly happen. Some winters see massive, dense schools in the main body of the dam that are very easy troll targets. Extra deep lures get the job done when the fish are congregating, hopeful of the chance at a bit of hanky panky that never eventuates!
Bait anglers catch their fair share of fish in MacDonald too. The jetty near the dam wall is as good a place as any to drown a worm or shrimp, and those in a boat often do well bait fishing along the creek bed. If you are without a sounder, the dam wall naturally enough sits on the old creek bed, as does the bubble trail, which is roughly in the middle of the main basin.Reads: 811