Fish biting longer
  |  First Published: February 2010

The dams and rivers will continue to fish very well this month and the Autumn weather should become a lot more pleasant and, hopefully, predictable.

The fishing is usually more productive and enjoyable and with the milder weather the fish stay on the bite longer.

The rivers have been fishing really well with some nice bream and flathead down around the junction and bass and mullet in the upper reaches.

This month should provide the last of the surface bites so it is worth using topwater lures early and late in the day, especially around the middle of the month.

Lures that resemble natural food are a definite advantage in the rivers and this is where those from the upper end of the market can excel.

I have been using lures like the Megabass Siglett, Nories Mushimura and the Smith Bisen. I attach them to my line with around 1m of 6lb to 8lb mono, which is more buoyant than fluorocarbon and does not take any action out of the lure.

The rivers can be a little dirty from time to time so small spinnerbaits around 1/4oz with single Colorado blades are another option as the day progresses, along with lipless crankbaits around 50mm. Good colours this month are purple or dark green with some black.

The Williams River should fish well in the lower reaches and if the skiers disappear you might be able to target some of the banks and cover down around Seaham.

Above Clarencetown there are still plenty of small bass that can be a lot of fun to catch from a canoe or kayak. This is not tidal so the bass don’t move around much and are always very tight into cover.

They are best targeted with lures and small spinnerbaits and the jackal TN50 is a necessity in your tackle box.

Up at the Barrington Tops there have been some nice trout caught and they should continue this month as long as we do not get too much rain.


The dams have been dropping slowly over recent months but hopefully much of the hot weather is now behind us.

Lake St Clair always produces good numbers of fish this month as the water cools and the oxygen level starts to rise.

There are some good sections of bank with adjacent weed, especially up both arms, where some nice fish are taken early in the day and at last light on the surface.

There is reasonable weed growing in the 7m deep sections and I like to move back off the banks after using surface lures to these points.

The fish can be targeted there with deep crankbaits, slow-rolled spinnerbaits or in shallower weed, neutrally buoyant stickbaits such as the Jackal Squirrel. If the lure doesn’t suspend deep enough you can use a heavier fluoro leader but I prefer a little stick-on weight under the body.

This month when the water gets down around the 24° the bass, goldens and silvers get very active and like to get down around 10m once the sun gets up, where they can be targeted by trolling deep lures or simply jigging with 1/2 oz jigs and plastics, lipless crankbaits, 1/2oz blades or 1/2oz to 5/8 oz spinnerbaits.

The new Bassman compact spinnerbait in purple/black with one of the blades removed is good for this.

My Lowrance StructureScan and HDS 8 have found so many new sections in St Clair and Glenbawn where I can now see bass holding very close to holes or drops along the bank. In the past, if you ran your boat over these they would disappear.

This new technology can find fish suspended mid-water, among trees or out in the open and I can save time locating fish. With the frequency set on high definition (800hz) I can scan a section of bank almost 50m away and also down to 30m with the boat running along at 20kmh without disturbing the fish I target.

Worms or yabbies are worth a try, especially around the camping area and in the timber up the Fallbrook and Carrowbrook arms.

Anyone intending on staying overnight at Lake St Clair should be aware that it is now essential to book with Marie on 6577 3370 or Singleton Council on 6578 7290. If you do not follow this procedure, you will definitely not be permitted to enter.


This is the prime month to target the giant Glenbawn goldens and the large schools of silver perch around the timber in 10m. Yabbies and worms work with the silvers, which in more recent times are even taking small hard minnows and even lipless crankbaits.

Suitable timber to tie up to when bait fishing has fine green weed growing off branches under the water line. There are plenty of good areas to try, especially up near the Soil Con shed or around The Narrows.

Although the numbers of goldens in recent years appear to have declined, they have come back in the past three months. Trollers cannot go past a purple lure with a big, slow wobble and a rattle.

Those targeting bass will do it a little harder as the schools can be anywhere over the entire dam, depending on the incoming and outgoing water, it temperature and clarity.

There is a huge area of water to search but sometimes you have to go on instinct and general conversation. In the past there have been good schools in the main basin and other years around the mid section and a couple of years ago up near the dogleg.

With the water around 24° the fish will be in the top 10m and are best targeted with surface lures in low light periods and then reaction baits, or on slow days a 3” grub worked slowly on a 1/4oz head.

Sometimes these schools are suspending in the deeper sections, up to 30m, where the only tactic is a vertical presentation, such as an ice jig, blade or plastic.

A good sounder should show dark clouds of microscopic bait with the bass not too far away.

Another option to locate deeper fish is to troll lures that run down to around 10m. At this depth as the only colour that the bass will see is virtually black.

I have just repowered my Hornet with a 2010 E-Tec 90 from BRP and fitted by Barclay’s Marine at Forster. I had the old E-Tec for five years with absolutely no problems, clocked up 350 hours and the only maintenance was one set of spark plugs and annual gearbox oil changes. The new one carries a 5-year warranty and goes like a rocket.

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