Time to hit the top
  |  First Published: October 2009

This month we will see an increase in insect activity, making it a prime time to get out those favourite surface lures and prepare for those adrenalin-rush topwater hits.

The range of surface lures grows each year but I still have my favourites that continue to produce for me. These include the Trollcraft Bass Bug, Trollcraft Fizztail, Lake Police SK-Pop and the Lucky Craft Sammy.

The best times to use the surface lures is just on daylight and for about an hour after, and then just on sunset and a couple of hours later into the dark. I have found the period around the new moon the most productive.

urface lures will produce some nice fish in the day when it is quite windy and there are plenty of grasshoppers and crickets in the air. It is a good idea to fish the banks where the wind is blowing insect life and plant debris. The Paterson, Williams and Hunter rivers are all producing quality bass and with the longer and warmer days, will continue to do so.
s the water warms further, the bass feed heavily.

These rivers have a reasonable amount of tidal influence down around their lower reaches. I have found the best action from the top of the tide to the bottom except around the full moon, when the water can be quite discoloured.

Work surface lures tight to the cover or the bank and when the tide falls or the sun gets higher, switch to small spinnerbaits, lures and blades.

The spinnerbaits need to be around 1/4oz with a single blade and a lot of green/silver in the skirt.

like 50mm lipless crankbaits in gold or ayu; they can be worked at any depth and at any speed to entice that reaction bite. In blades,
have had a lot of good catches recently on the Strike Pro Cyber Vibe 40mm in 008 pattern. Trolling is always good this month because the bass tend to be spread right through the lower systems.
y covering a lot of territory you are sure to find some fish.

There are plenty of trolling lures available, with the local Marz always worth a try along with the Jackall Chubby.

ith these lures, always carry a couple of different patterns and depth ranges. If the water is discoloured heavily, try some fluoro colours.
t the Barrington Tops the fishing has been exceptional with the streams carrying plenty of water and some prime trout being caught on worms, flies and lures.

In Lake St Clair, the water is holding at a nice level and it has belatedly hit a temperature where the baitfish and shrimp will thrive.

Last year there was a major algae bloom but the season appears to be a little later this year so it may not recur.

There is some nice weed appearing in the deeper areas which will hold bait and offer cover for bass and goldens.

This month, especially if we receive the normal strong winds, the thermocline can go down to around 7m and the fish like to hold there. This is where the baitfish and nutrients exist – and the bass, goldens and silvers.

uring November the bass travel a lot to find these comfortable conditions so a good sounder is essential to find them.

Trolling is a very good way to locate fish, just rig with different depth ranges, colours and actions.

I have found solid-colour lures, especially in purple or black, with a tight actionbest for bass, while for goldens try lures in similar colours with a more pronounced wobble. Try lures from Viking, Stuckey and AC.

The banks are producing some nice fish early on surface lures and later on 40mm to 50mm blades, lipless rattlers and compact spinnerbaits.

If the bass are in schools in the open bays in relatively deep water, try soft plastics in baby bass or smoke yellow core colours on 1/4oz to 1/2 oz jigs, Jackall Masks or ice jigs.

The schools appear mainly around the Broadwater and the entrances to the Fallbrook and Carrowbrook arms.

Bait works well from the banks around the camping area or amid the timber up the arms. Best this month far are live shrimps for bass and goldens and worms for catties and silvers.

Glenbawn continues to fish well, considering the constant pressure it receives from the many competitions held there.
owever, one day the fish bite their heads off and the next they’re very fickle, so you have to be patient.

The water quality, level and temperature are excellent and there should be good fishing for some time.

There have been good catches of bass around the middle to the back of the dam, while the main basin has some nice silvers, goldens and catties on yabbies, worms and crickets.

Surface lures have been accounting for nice bass, especially around timber in 5m to 7m where there is some weed starting to form, such as around Yellow Buoy Bay.

The bass have been hitting blades and crankbaits around the banks and soft plastics and jigs in the deeper areas.

Trolling is handy this month, when bass appear to travel a lot in search of bait and water in their comfort zone.
ass can travel over 10km in a couple of days searching for the right conditions. For trolling, you will need a good sounder to locate the bait or fish and then you must choose the lure required to get to the fish.
egin with something around 60mm and then you can either upsize to, say, 65mm or downsize to 50mm to entice the strikes.

It is common to see large schools of smelt or gudgeons in Spring; locate these and bass and goldens will not be too far away.

I read an interesting article which stated that 90% of impoundment fish congregate in 10% of the area which provides the optimum environment, structure and food.
ou have to put yourself into that area and the main tool is a very good sounder. Last month I helped Fisheries officers distribute 50,000 bass fingerlings in Lake St Clair, 20,000 into Lostock and 70,000 into Glenbawn. They were produced after three months of hard work at Port Stephens

These stockings this month will be boosted by dollar-for-dollar stockings by ABT and the Singleton Fly fishing club.

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