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Time for one last shot
  |  First Published: June 2011



June 13 spells the end to the trout season and you’d have to be silly not to get a last shot at them before the closure.

The trout fishing in all the creeks and rivers in the greater Batlow area has been spectacular all season with insane numbers of fish in great condition.

The majority of the trout in the Tumut River have averaged just over 450g this season, which is around twice the average of the past couple of years.

Because they are so thick, fat and healthy, most of these trout could easily be mistaken for lake fish.

Catching these big healthy fish in the fast water that the Tumut River is famous for is about as challenging as it gets particularly, on light line.

This year is the first year that I’ve had to go home early because my arms got sore from fighting so many big trout. This happened to my other half Sharon and me twice this year and illustrates just how good the fishing has been.

I have caught most of my fish indicator-nymphing this season except around sunset, when I have been getting the risers with small dry flies. Cricket-score catches have been the norm while fly fishing in the low river flow this season but bait and lure anglers have also been getting plenty as well.

Up-and-across stream spinning has accounted for plenty of fish this season with flashy spinners like Rooster Tails, Celtas and Sébile tail spinners working best when the river first drops.

Then once the water clears and the fish feel a bit of angling pressure, it is best to go to more natural lure selections like soft plastics or a small hardbody such as the Rapala F3, CD3, CD5 and F5, IMA Sukari or Sébile Crankster.

Bait anglers have been getting their fair share of trout with wood and bardi grubs the pick of the baits, but I expect plenty of trout will be caught on PowerBait over the final weeks of the season.

The trout fishing has been so good that I have struggled to drag myself away from the creeks and rivers and have hardly fished a lake recently.

BLOWERING REDFIN

Once the trout season closes I will happily hit the massive redfin schools of Blowering Dam.

The redfin at Blowering have been great for the last few months with plague numbers of small to medium fish in the shallows but this month we will see large numbers of big fish in deep water.

This is the only time of the year I really target redfin. The large fish are much more prevalent and with trout season over, options for good numbers of fish are limited.

And redfin are the only freshwater fish that I eat so you can see why chase redfin over Winter.

Vertical jigging is the best way to catch insane numbers of fish. The schools do not move around much at this time of year and once a school is located it is common to catch close to 100 fish or even more at times.

I generally continue to exploit a school until the bites drop right off, then I go find a fresh school and continue the fun.

Jigging with bait such as small yabbies, prawns or worms will account for plenty of fish but the time it takes to rebait and drop back down can lower your catch rate compared with someone using the right lure.

Fished vertically, soft plastics, lipless crankbaits (rattling, silent and rubber models), tail spinners, spoons, Sébile Vibratos and ice jigs to name all catch redfin but the ice jigs and the vibratos are my favourites.

There is no need for fancy retrieves with these lures, simply drop them all the way to the bottom, take up the slack line and start jigging. The most important thing is to stay in contact with your lure on the drop because more than 90% of the hits will come as the lure falls back to the bottom.

If you feel a little tap as the lure is sinking, strike like there is no tomorrow – redfin are notorious for spitting lures quickly. Stay in contact with your lure and strike hard to ensure you fill your keeper bag.

BLOWERING COD

Most people now know that big Murray cod seem to pop up on people’s lines most often at this time of year and more people are braving the cold in hope of a trophy fish before the cod season ends on September 1.

Fishing for big Murray cod in the cold can be very slow and challenging but those who put the hard yards can be rewarded. Long trolling runs after dark seem to account for most of the bigger fish but each year more are being caught by knowledgeable fishos casting big lures.

Although braving the freezing nights is the best way of targeting the big cod, it is possible to hook smaller ones during the day.

Occasionally the big models also let their guard down during daylight hours at this time of year, usually on really overcast days.

All in all things, are shaping for a great winter of fishing in the area so rug up and go get ’em.

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