The fishing so far this year in the greater Batlow area has been fantastic.
Burrinjuck Dam has been fishing superbly for golden perch, Murray cod and redfin.
The upper Murray River has also been fishing really well, as has the Murrumbidgee River, whose anabranches have also been producing consistent Murray cod, trout cod and golden perch.
On top of all this sensational native action, all the trout streams and rivers are fishing as well as anyone can remember.
Blowering Dam has been sitting at full or near-full capacity for several months, giving resident fish the time they need to adapt to their new surroundings.
These fish are now keen to feed once the sun goes down and they have even been letting their guard down during the day occasionally.
Good numbers of redfin have been caught in recent months and these tasty little morsels will only get better as the weather cools.
Although most fish have been caught on the troll or by casting around standing timber or the weedy margins, a vast majority of the redfin will start to move into deeper water to form massive pre-spawn schools.
This is an exciting time for those who love jigging for heaps of fish, especially big ones.
If you find schools holding in deep water they are best targeted with ice jigs, Mask Vibes, metal blades, soft plastics, Vibrato jigs or the new Sébile extra heavy model Flatt Shads.
If schools are still holding fairly shallow then slowly trolling lipless crank baits and small hardbodies until you find a school is the best way of getting a feed.
Once a school is located, cast into that area with lipless crankbaits or small spinners.
The NSW Government has now declared Redfin a Class 1 noxious fish species. Under the new interpretation of the law NSW Fisheries officers encourage anglers to take redfin home with them and make use of them but if they don’t wish to eat them, give them to the cats or use them as fertiliser, then they must be disposed of appropriately and are not to be returned to the water.
That said, because these fish taste as good as anything that swims, they won’t be twisting too many people’s arms with these changes as most people already take their redfin home.
Golden perch will also be worth targeting in the shallows this month. They love to bask in the warmer water and lie in thick pockets of grass or weed waiting to ambush anything that swims or crawls by.
I like to target these fish with small spinnerbaits like the new Outlaw Spinnerbaits WD Low Profiles. These lures ride through the weed better then most and because they’re compact they don’t scare the goldens like a lot of the larger double-bladed ones can.
Slowly rolling small lipless crankbaits or small suspending hardbodies around the shallow lake margins, particularly late in the day, is another great way of hooking into a few big goldens.
The Tumut River has been fishing superbly all season.
Fishos throwing dry and wet flies and nymphs have been having a ball in the low flows.
When the river has been too high for fly fishos the lure chuckers come out in force and have been doing really well. Best lures have been the larger Rooster Tails, soft plastics and shallow-running hardbodies.
Bait anglers have been doing well with PowerBait, worms or grubs on the bottom and active bait fishos have been hooking into some nice trout by drifting large grasshoppers on the surface. This form is as good as bait fishing gets.
There has been a change to the published venues for the Australian Yellowbelly Championships and instead of the southern round being at Blowering Dam, it will stay at Burrinjuck. Organisers are hoping that there will be a bit more support for this year’s southern round and if it is well received there are plans for a southern series of three to four events.
There will still be a northern series and the grand final will be at Burrendong or Windamere. A centrally located grand final means there is only one big drive each year for everyone. If you would like to see more and bigger tournaments then support this year’s Burrinjuck round.
The first round of the AYC was run in late January at Lake Keepit with 60 teams testing their luck.
The fishing was tough for some with only 70 legal golden perch weighed in. My other half, Sharon, and I managed to find a large school of fish and landed just enough fish to take out the title and the biggest yellowbelly for the competition.
The event ran like clockwork and organisers also did a lot of filming to make some clips for the AYC website. Some of the footage was taken from a helicopter and should make for some entertaining viewing.
For more info visit www.australianyellowbelly.com.au. Take a look around, register a team and become part of it all.Reads: 1420