Frog stymies Tops stocking
  |  First Published: September 2009

With the warmer conditions appearing about a month early, the fishing really picked up well although more recent unstable weather patterns and strong winds have had an effect.

The trout season opens this month and is looking very promising after the Barrington Tops received some really good rain over Winter.

The streams in this area are stocked with trout fingerlings acquired from Fisheries and distributed by the hard-working members of the Barrington Gloucester Fishing Club.

However, the club has hit a snag this year after being advised by Fisheries that a protected frog species has been located on the Gummi so part of the water that is usually stocked will not be available.

The rivers down around the lower Hunter have been producing some nice bass since they reopened in September but not in any great numbers. This should change when the water gets up to 17° or 18°.

In the lower reaches you can expect nice bass to take 50mm divers and lipless crankbaits during the day and surface lures, fizzers and poppers into the dark.

As the fish move upstream spinnerbaits and blades will give good results.

I like 1/4oz compact spinnerbaits with green/pearl skirts and a single Colorado blade. I have found blades around 40mm long and about 4g in a holographic pattern to work very well in the clearer water.

Lake St Clair has been fishing reasonably well and should continue so this month as the water temperature climbs and weed grows. It’s very sparse at present after the dam continued to rise over Spring.

‘The water has not been gin-clear due to algae and the strong winds but should clear up. The bass are in nowhere near the same condition as their mates in Glenbawn, where fish of comparable length weigh 30% more.

Because there is no decent weed adjacent to the banks the fish move out into the 6m to 8m as the sun comes up.

Bass in the early light will attack surface lures but later prefer suspending lures and lightly weighted plastics.

I have had some excellent results on the Jackall Squirrel, C'ultiva Rip’N Minnow and Jackall Chubby. In plastics I like the 3” Berkley Hollow Body Split Tail on a 1/8oz jig in hitch or Tennessee shad colours.

The bass and goldens in deeper water are best targeted with lipless crankbaits, 40mm to 50mm blades, ice jigs or 1/4oz jigs with plastics mainly in smoke/yellow core or baby bass.

Trolling can be a good option as the fish can be quite scattered while they are searching for baitfish and shrimp. The lure needs to run down around that depth and have plenty of action and noise.

There are plenty to choose from in the Viking, Trollcraft, AC and Oargee ranges. In Spring I like brighter and tiger stripe patterns with a lot of green and yellow.

Bait-soakers have been doing well with some nice catches of catties, bass and silvers on worms and the odd golden on shrimp.


Glenbawn Dam is starting to become itself again and recent bass are in excellent condition and in good numbers.

The dam has continued to rise slowly into Spring with good inflows from the Barrington Tops as the snow melts. Although the water temperature is still not up to where it normally sits in October, it certainly has not affected the fishing.

There are some nice fish coming from the banks but the dominant bite has been out in the deeper water around a lot of baitfish and weed growth, especially recently from Yellow Buoy Bay right up to the Panhandle.

Trolling is also a good option here to track down fish searching for food. Tow a lure that runs down around 6m to 7m and has a lot of action. Bass here, particularly in Spring, love purple lures.

This is also a good time to very slowly troll spinnerbaits and lipless crankbaits, especially adjacent to very steep banks and walls. To get them down deep you can use trolling sinkers.

The deeper bass, usually in schools, are best targeted with deep 3” plastic grubs on 1/4oz to 3/8oz jigs or ice jigs and blades. I have found blades give a better hook-up ratio than ice jigs and like 40mm to 48mm one of about 6g.

Good bass and goldens coming from most parts of the dam on bait on live shrimp and catties, silvers and goldens love worms.

This dam faces a lot of tournament pressure in October so it is advisable to get out at sunrise and make the most of those brilliant mornings.

At the end of this month I will be helping Fisheries managers distribute bass fingerlings into our local impoundments . There will be further stockings of bass to come from the dollar-for-dollar scheme. Draft figures are Lostock, 10,000 bass; St Clair 50,000 bass, 20,000 golden perch, 20,000 silver perch; Glenbawn 70,000 bass , 20,000 goldens, 20,000 silvers.

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