This can be one of the most enjoyable times to be out on the dams. The mornings are usually foggy, followed by nice, warm days – unless the westerly kicks in and ruins things, which can occur about midday.
There are usually not too many other boats out on the water and although the fishing can be quite tough, the fish are usually in prime condition.
A benefit of fishing at this time of year is that they tend to bite the best during office hours, from around 10am to 3.30pm, when the water temperature, air temperature and barometer are at their highest.
The water will be down around 12° and so the metabolism of the bass, goldens and silvers is going to be very slow, making the fish reluctant to feed and if they do, it’s for brief periods.
It is best to use a slow presentation which puts the lure or bait in the strike zone longer. Use lures one with plenty of vibration and action.
The other option is to go for a big presentation and plenty of scent.
I have also found that around timber, as the lure bounces off the cover quite often it will entice a bite with the sudden change of direction.
Another reason for fishing close to timber in cold water is that the trees seem to generate warmth in their bases, which promotes weed growth and attracts bait.
Lipless crankbaits are ideal for this type of fishing because they can be worked very slowly, have a tight action and plenty of vibration. I like the 70mm TN Jackall and Mask.
There are plenty of rattling crankbaits that are also excellent for this tactic, especially the ones that are neutrally buoyant. You can easily make standard crankbaits suspend with the use of Sticky Weight, Suspender Dots or even heavier trebles.
Locating the fish this month can usually take time because they are on the move, albeit slowly, until they reach suitable oxygen levels, water temperatures, water clarity and food.
A sounder that shows water temperature should help find these conditions, which usually are around the backs of bays in 2m to 4m, sheltered from the cold westerlies.
Once you have found fish on your sounder at a certain depth, it is normal to find fish around that depth in most parts of the dam.
There will be some reasonably good fishing at Lake St Clair, which is now holding some good water in the bays and around the Broadwater. Quite a large number of bass around 35cm seem to be holding in around 3m to 4m. They can be cast or trolled.
Up the Carrowbrook Arm there are always some nice goldens which can be targeted with large live yabbies around the timber or with lures and plastics worked around the banks and bays.
I like to walk the banks up the Carrowbrook using flies or lures.
The Fallbrook Arm can be protected from the cold winds to some degree, with goldens around the timber on lures and bait along with bass and the occasional silver.
Catties are always a good option on bait, especially with worms from the banks around the camping area and bays in the main basin.
At Glenbawn the water is at its coldest this month and the winds stir up the dam. The better fishing is in the back sections.
Worms are a good option for the baitfishers from the banks, while yabbies work around the timber in 10m.
Trolling is probably the best option to find the depth the fish are holding at, then work that area with lures and spinnerbaits. Slow-rolling plastics on Beetle Spins around the backs of the bays up around Pelican Point and up to the Panhandle is a very good option.
This dam has been rising over recent months so there is certainly plenty of new ground for the fish. Devote plenty of time to fish this new territory.
Glenbawn can be nice to fish at this time of year but do not expect to catch big numbers. But the ones you do catch should be in very good condition after good rain and runoff from the Barrington Tops.
It is very important to keep an eye out on the weather here, too.
At Glenbawn there is a new ramp up the back of Curra Keith Bay, which when the winds hit can be used to retrieve your boat in the shelter.Reads: 1079