A most rewarding month
  |  First Published: April 2009

This can be the month that is most rewarding, especially for bass fishing, before the onset of Winter. It also is the last month with an R in it for the season,

In the rivers down around the lower Hunter, the bass become very active as they begin to feed up and move into spawning mood. They then travel down to the lower reaches for the correct salinity suitable for spawning.

If the rivers remain quite clear, as they have been, they will nail shallow-running lures of around 50mm worked around the banks. Dark, solid colours are the best option.

Small spinnerbaits are also worth a try, especially those with copper Colorado blades and purple skirts. There are plenty of good lures to use including the Trollcraft purple Flutter Bug or Shrimp, Jackal Chubby in shrimp pattern and the local Marz range.

The Williams River also fires up exceptionally well this month with fewer water skiers easing the stress. Use the above lures. Because this is non-tidal , plastics and Beetle Spins work well, especially the new HollowBelly from Berkley, in conjunction with some scent.


Lake St Clair really fires up this month as the water temperature falls below 22° and the oxygen levels begin to rise.

During mid-Autumn the oxygen levels drop in the very bottom of the water column so bass and goldens move up to the thermocline and above. Deep jigging is not required as the schools are now in less than 10m, where they can be targeted a lot more easily with various techniques. But you’ll still need a good sounder.

Because the fish are very active they can travel around considerable distances each day in the dam, being on one point one day and later moving out into open water.

However, if I have seen fish on my sounder at 7m in, say, 12m of water, I’ll then fish the banks where the water is around 7m deep. This may well be the comfort depth for the fish.

Finding this can mean covering a lot of water but trolling can be a good option to take up some time.

If there has been high wind I like to concentrate up the Fallbrook and Carrowbrook reaches but if it has been quite calm then the Broadwater area is a very good option.

The bass and goldens are best targeted with reaction baits. In open water I like the Jackall Mask in gold/ fleck because it is quite heavy, you can cast it a long way and retrieve it quite fast at the correct depth. Compact 1/2oz spinnerbaits with purple skirts are also good, as are 1/2oz Evergreen Little Max blades, as they can be cast easily and retrieved at the correct depth.

Around the banks I like spinnerbaits, gold lipless crankbaits and 50mm and 60mm deep running lures.

Trolling is very productive with lures diving to 7m and spinnerbaits.

Live shrimp and yabbies also hit a high this month. There is very little weed around the banks so it is a very east option on these sunny days and there are some giant catties and silver perch to be caught.


Lake Glenbawn is fishing really well and the water is just starting to cool, with the days around Easter perfect for some great fishing.

The dam doesn’t have a lot of good weed around the banks so the bass, in particular, are moving around in search for food, especially smelt, which is usually in the more open water.

My Lowrance Broadband sounder is absolutely tops for locating this bait and can quite easily display the thermocline, especially important because this is the depth the fish will be holding.

This month the bass seem to appear in the main basin while the goldens tend to like the bays around the mid-section and in timber in around 10m to 15m.

If the fish are in this open water, trolling or working lipless crankbaits and plastics at the required depth can be the best options. Plastic minnow patterns are worth a try on 1/2oz to 5/8oz jigs. Lipless crankbaits also work well.

For trollers there are also plenty of options like the Jackall Chubby and the very reliable Stuckey in purple.

Yabbies are the prime bait around the timber in around 10m and around the banks in the main basin and dam wall areas.

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