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Surface action at Clarrie Hall
  |  First Published: December 2003



IT’S SURFACE fishing time at the dam with the top reaches providing the best areas to fish. There’s plenty of access along the shoreline at the Cram’s Farm end of the dam so a boat isn’t necessary if you want to fish this great location.

The lily pad growth is obvious but not dense enough yet to stop lure and fly anglers. Most of the water is only a couple of metres deep around these access areas so keep that in mind when you’re selecting a lure. A small hard-bodied shallow diving lure, small spinnerbait, or (if you’re fishing among the weed) a weedless rigged soft plastic with a little lead attached to the hook will get it down into an area where fish might be found. Little poppers and fizzers are the best hard-bodied lures early and late in the day and will lure any fish that are close to the surface. Any sign of small mosquito fish being harassed in the shallows is a great indication that there are bass on the prowl.

The deeper points should return to some normality this month with the fish sitting in the 4-6m margin or comfort zone. A deep presentation with a fly or a soft plastic on a 1/4oz head is the best way to target these deeper fish. There’s an abundance of points around the dam, with the best of the locations providing weed cover, fallen timber or shade-covered banks. This dam is a lure caster’s dream when the fish are obliging.

The surrounding rivers and creeks have proven to be excellent for bass over the past few months. If you have a small kayak or canoe, areas like the upper Tweed, the Rouse at Murwillumbah and the smaller creeks along the coastal fringe have seen some great fish caught in recent times. Small spinnerbaits and soft plastics have been the best lures, and the best times have been early in the morning and late in the afternoon. These smaller creeks, although offering some quality fish, have only small populations so it’s best to catch and release in these areas.

This can be one of the great months to fish the dam – there’s plenty of insect life around and the bass respond to warmer water, certainly in the evening and early mornings. If you haven’t yet tried Clarrie Hall or the creeks and streams in the local and surrounding areas, this month is a good one to give it a go.

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