Stuart’s Lake St Clair Bass Fishing Tips

  • Lake St Clair is a medium sized storage in the Hunter region that has a range of habitat from timbered areas to rocky banks, but in bass fishing circles is best known for its weedbed edges.
  • Springtime fishing in Lake St Clair is often about insect hatches with everything from flying ants to cicadas finding their way onto the water surface. Bass feed not only on the insects but also on the baitfish that feed on the insects.
  • As the water slowly warms up in early spring the bass usually push up into the arms of the dam in large numbers, returning back down to the main basis as the weather (and water) gets too warm for them later in the year.
  • Finding banks with wind blowing on them is usually productive, but on glassed out days look for areas that are shaded early in the day by hills and you’ll often get an extended topwater bite that extends further into the morning.
  • Usually as the day progresses the fish move into deeper water and can be targeted on lipless cranks, spinnerbaits and soft vibes.
  • During spring the water level is rising faster than the weedbeds can migrate upslope, so there’s usually an expanse of water between the weedbeds and the shoreline that often fishes well on topwater early in the day.
  • If there’s no sign of surface activity it can be worth tossing soft plastics over the weedbeds and slow rolling them all the way down the front of the bed to a depth of 20 ft.
  • If the water is cool (16-17 degrees) Stuart likes to fish quieter, more subtle lures like soft plastics or blades. As the water warms up to 18-22 degrees he’ll switch to noisier lures like lipless crankbaits, chatterbaits and spinnerbaits.
  • Bad weather seems to fish best during September. If it’s windy, rainy and generally unpleasant the fishing can often be really good. Especially look for mudlines between the weed beds and the shoreline. Bass usually work along the edge of the clean and dirty water, using the dirty water as cover to ambush bait.
  • Land-based fishing is difficult due to access issues, but it’s worth putting in some casts around the shoreline at the camp ground, especially after dark.
  • Launching a kayak on Lake St Clair can be a fun and productive way to fish, but be aware of the conditions and your personal limits. Large wind chop can develop on lakes and can make fishing dangerous. Head for the back arms of the lake and find either windy banks of weed edges you can drift along.
  • It’s not a bad strategy to start with quieter, more subtle actioned lures so as not to spook the fish initially, then work up to progressively noisier options if the subtle lures don’t produce.
  • If the fishing is tough make sure you stick around all the way through to dusk and fish a bank that has had wind on it all day. The wind will often fade around dusk and the bass will often come in to feed in warm water that’s chockers with food items

Stuart’s Lake St Clair Bass Tackle

  • A 1-3 kg spin rod with 2000 size reel loaded with 4-10lb Power Pro braid and 8lb leader is perfect for throwing lighter lures like soft plastics.
  • 2-5 kg spin gear with a 2500 size reel, 10lb braid and a 12 lb leader is a good option for casting hard bodies, topwater lures and the like.
  • 8-14 lb baitcast gear with 15 lb braid and a 15-20lb leader is perfect for casting heavier lures such as spinnerbaits and buzzbaits.

Stuart’s Best Bass Fishing Lures For St Clair

  • The 3” Megabite Shad in dark colours, rigged on a 1/8 oz jig head is a versatile and effective bass lure on this storage. If the water is warmer (18 degrees +) a beetlespin can be added to create more flash and vibration. This can also work well in water depths of up to 30 ft, but may need to be used with a 1/4oz jig head for this. Cast the lure along the lake side of a weedbed and slow roll it back, keeping in touch with the weed. Eventually move up and make casts over the weed to fish the water between the weedbed and shore effectively. Sometimes switching to pauses or shimmies can make a big difference to results.
  • The Pontoon 21 Loco Perrito 65mm is a great topwater lure. Stuart recommends switching to a mono leader, because it’s important to pause the retrieve for 10-20 seconds and fluorocarbon leader will tend to drag the lure down a little. This lure casts a very long way, which is very important when topwater fishing for bass in Lake St Clair. Work it with a series of twitches followed by pauses of 10-20 seconds for every 1 to 3 m of the retrieve.
  • A 3/8 oz spinnerbait with a Colorado/Willow blade combo or a single Colorado, rigged with a soft plastic tail and a stinger hook will do the trick in many St Clair fishing situations. The Damiki Armour Shad is a great paddletail plastic for this application, matching lure colour to skirt colour. Stuart adds a Gamakatsu or Damiki stringer hook to the spinnerbait and tries to set it at the end of the skirt to pin short bites. These can be slow rolled over slowly tapering weed and then either allowed to sink over the edge on a tight line or free spooled to the bottom in front of the weed. It will often be taken on the drop, but if not can be slow rolled back to the boat.
  • 50-60mm lipless crankbaits are perennial winners on bass lakes and can be fished on the heavier spin rod for long casts. Allowing the lure to contact the weed and then snapping it out will often get the strike.

stuart kenny

Stuart Kenny

“The Hunt For Bronze” Fishing Vlog

Stuart has fished all over Australia and is passionate about lure fishing as a sport. So much so, he’s been blogging, and more recently vlogging to share what he’s learned with others who are keen to enjoy experience the best fishing they can get!

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