With the cooler weather starting to kick in- many native fish will start to disperse out into the banks of our impoundments as a means to feed up prior to the winter shut down, and also to hunt the warmer waters. It can provide some fantastic fishing- as many fish will lurk in extremely shallow water.
While a lot of new techniques have come to light in the previous decade or so, there is little doubt in my mind that pulling fish out of structure laden banks is the most exhilarating way to spend a day on the water; making now a prime time to get out on the water.
Being structure orientated, fish such as bass and yellowbelly will still want to have some nearby cover to utilise during the brighter hours of the day- so try to focus on banks that provide good cover, such as trees, rocks and weed beds. I find large granite boulder gardens a key structure type as they retain heat better than timber or weed- so the fish will snuggle up to try and recharge their exothermic batteries.
The cooler the water, the slower the required retrieve- remember, fish are cold blooded and have a greatly reduced metabolism over the colder months- Lipless crankbaits can be a great option as they can be fish ultra-slow without floating to the surface. Those that vibrate at slower speeds are always going to perform better, my key vibration lure is the Atomic Hardz Vib. They also accommodate a retrieve that allows you to search more of the water column- so if you’re retrieving back from the bank and the lure passes a tree, rock or post etc., you can pause the lure and it will flutter down the entire water column and potentially draw bites from resident fish. Once again, the Hardz Vib is only 10.4grams so they have an enticingly slow flutter on the drop.
Alternatively, for those a bit more adept to lure fishing- fishing jerk baits can be rewarding if you can match the depth of the lure to the depth holding fish. This is often better working parallel to a bank where a more constant depth during the retrieve can be maintained.
In low light periods, I like to focus on UV enhanced colours- just to make up for the lack of visibility; colours like Rock Crab, Black Beauty and Muddy Prawn are ideal. During better lit periods throughout the day translucent, natural baitfish colours such as Tristo’s Eagle and Ghost Green Shad can be highly effective and will still be easy for fish to key in on due to the shallower water depths that does not necessitate darker colours.
Remember, if you’re on the water during the cooler months and struggling to get bites, the best advice is to simply slow your retrieve!