Cool sparks activity
  |  First Published: April 2011

The first light frosts of April are upon us and as the month draws on, overnight temperatures will drop considerably.

This cools the water and is a trigger for our large native fish to feed.

Murray cod that have spent the Summer living in a pantry full of food suddenly find tucker a little scarce and are forced to look farther afield.

This is great for anglers fishing the likes of Wyangala, Burrendong, and Ben Chifley dams.

The relative abundance of smaller Summer prey items starts to decline, leaving larger value-for-effort type food.

There is a lesson in this for anglers: Go up a couple of notches in lure size.

Going bigger doesn’t mean going deeper, either. To be honest, there is a void out there in the Australian lure market for large (over 100mm to 150mm) lures that don’t dive too deep.

The old Flatfish style of lure is one that comes to mind; a StumpJumper with a shallow bib is another.

The Americans use a lot of what they call swimbait lures, using lures and techniques born out of the West Coast largemouth bass fishery.

These clear, cool waters hold a mix of largemouth bass and trout. It turned out the bass like trout on the menu and hence the swimbait lure was born.

Of course there have been offshoots of these lures and techniques that have spread across America and Japan.

A few savvy anglers chasing cod have felt the ripples of this trend here. Once you have been crunched by a big fish in shallow water on a swimbait it’s hard to back!


Trout enjoy the cooling waters as well – for different reasons, though. For them it’s more like their ancestral home in the cold waters of the Northern Hemisphere.

Walking and searching for trout on a cold, calm frosty morning with the sun on your back is a great feeling.

Oberon Dam has some good polaroiding water, as does Thompsons Creek Dam, near Wallerawang.

Keep well back from the water’s edge and slightly elevated if possible. Walk slowly with your lure or fly at the ready.

Try to keep the sun behind you. Stop and pause at any spots that allow you to see into the water for extended distances.

Drop to one knee slowly when you spot a fish and make a cast well ahead of its projected path.

It’s amazing to watch the positive reaction of a fish to your presentation; not so amazing when all that’s left is a cloud of silt where there was once a fish.

Waterways such as the Fish River and its tributaries are also places where you can stalk and catch rainbow and brown trout.

Shadows on the water can make it difficult to see sometimes but if you’re stealthy you will see the fish.

Fly fishing is the ultimate finesse presentation when done correctly.

If you read this before the election, please keep in mind your outdoor recreation activities when voting, we can no longer have the ‘she’ll be right’ attitude.

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