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Big schooling bass
  |  First Published: August 2004



LAKE MACDONALD has been fishing a little more slowly than usual, which hasn’t thrilled too many anglers. Having said that, there are still plenty of good fish being taken on various tactics.

Trollers are catching their fair share of bass with the occasional yellowbelly or cod just to keep those anglers interested. Perpetual troller John Cutmore reports orange/yellow Vipers and silver chrome Borer Deep lures to be the pick of the bunch so far this winter.

Bait anglers have also been faring well, with jew (catfish), bass and silver perch succumbing to worm and shrimp baits. The jetty near the dam wall and the grassy area adjacent the jetty are worth a go.

The bass are again schooling in the deeper section of the dam. This is the case right along the old creek bed, with scattered schools of similar-sized fish right up into the upper reaches. The trick, of course, is to find a school of big fish and drop an ice jig or even a chrome spoon down into the pack and dance it around. Small, subtle movements of the lure catch more fish than erratic, wild manoeuvres with the jig bouncing around everywhere. I’m sure that deep fly would take fish at the same rate – in experienced hands, at least.

On the flats, in 10-14 feet of water, beetlespin lures dressed with a soft plastic and sprayed with garlic (or dunked in some other smelly substance) have also been catching some good fish. Working the lure back to the boat slowly and close to the bottom has been delivering some very good results.

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1) Mark Pertot with a brace of exceptional winter bass from Lake MacDonald.

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