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Eye on the temp gauge
  |  First Published: August 2009



With the arrival of Spring we can only hope the strong westerlies keep away and the longer and warmer days can lift the water temperature for some good fishing in the impoundments and in the rivers, which have reopened.

This early part of the season can produce some very enjoyable fishing and the chance to tangle with some prime-conditioned bass and goldens.

St Clair and Glenbawn have received good rain and are holding around 75% with the water very clear and clean but still quite cold.

The local rivers are also in really good condition after good rain and it will be great to get out there.

The bass in the Hunter, Williams and Paterson rivers are always in excellent condition and as they have completed their spawning are very active and will attack virtually any lure run past them. Crankbaits, blades, spinnerbaits and plastics will all work.

My favourite colour for any lure very early in the season is one based on gold or silver with a lot of reflective or solid pattern.

For anglers who prefer blades I have found that those around 5g and about 40mm long are ideal, especially in gold patterns. In the Ecogear VX 40 try colour 405 and in the TT Switchblade choose gold noggin or copperhead.

There is a vast range out in the tackle shops so I am sure you will get something very similar if these are not available.

Don’t be afraid to troll at this time of year, it can be the best way to locate the fish, which might still be down around the lower reaches or moved back up even 10km.

Some good trolling lures come from the Marz, Secret Creek, Trollcraft and Jackall.

Lake St Clair fished very well over August but the water is still down around 15°, which keeps the bass and goldens a bit reluctant to bite.

This month the water should warm significantly, making them a lot more active.

Once the water starts to warm up, the St Clair shrimp and baitfish really start to appear in large numbers in close around the banks.

With very clear water and not a lot of weed in close, there can be some really good fishing off the banks.

Surface lures work in low light situations but the best fun can be had using wakebaits or very shallow-running lures.

I like the Jackall 0 Footer Cherry or the Smith Pebble SR. Both can be worked very slowly across the surface, where they make a small wake and vibrate.

On the pause you can see the bass eyeball the lure and once you’ve given a slight shake of the rod tip, the lure is usually engulfed. Good colours for these have a lot of green, as I think they resemble frogs.

With St Clair at its present height there are some productive banks and timbered areas up both arms, with the water marginally warmer on the southern side.

Bass, in particular, move around the dam in Spring and can take some locating. Work the edges with lipless crankbaits and blades to help find the fish, bait and warmer water.

Bait fishing is also starting to pick up this month, especially with yabbies on with very light sinkers.

GLENBAWN CLEAR

Glenbawn is still very clear but with the water warming slowly, it has been fishing quite well with blades, ice-jigs and plastics taking fish in about 9m.

Better areas to fish in early Spring are around the middle to the back of the dam where the water begins to warm sooner.

There are many bass around the 36cm to 40cm so downsizing lures can be a very good option.

September can be a very good month for surface lures but every season is different. Sometimes the bass and goldens can still be holding in deeper water, where they are best targeted with deep crankbaits, 1/4oz to 3/8oz blades, lipless crankbaits and plastics.

Bait fishing is usually on the up with yabbies and worms fished off the banks in the main basin working well for catties.

There’s sad news for Glenbawn regulars because Sandra and Denis at the kiosk have had to sell for health reasons. I wish them well and I will definitely miss their nice burgers and a chat.

The good news is that the Glenbawn Classic will be run this year October 3 and 4. This is a catch-and-release, lure and fly only event with catering all weekend and all the usual sections for men and women, juniors and sub-juniors.

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