It’s an ill wind…
  |  First Published: August 2001

August is traditionally a very windy month on the Central Tablelands; as cold fronts move rapidly across the state, winds push up from the deep south.

These winds have a long-term positive effect on lakes in the district because they assist with the turnover of the different water layers.

Oxygen is infused into these lower layers as they are turned over, which creates a great springboard for fish habitat into the warmer months ahead.

Brown trout in Lake Lyell will have finished their spawning run up the rivers and most will have returned to the lake to put some condition back on.

Working the edges, especially if the water has risen, is a great way to target these fish.

Anglers casting from the bank have many advantages over boat anglers in this regard, especially if they move quietly. Boats more often than not will spook fish in shallow water.

Casting 3cm to 4cm soft plastics on lightly weighted jig heads is the way to go. Curly tails, legs, or some other types of appendages add movement to the plastic.

Bait fishing with locally dug scrub worms can also be very productive.

Don’t be too keen to throw your bait out wide into the wild blue yonder, though, your best bet is to set up the rod back from the edge and keep the tip low to the water. Two or three rod lengths out is a good distance to cast.

Keep a low profile behind your rod. The next person to stand up and spook a fish moving your way won’t be the last.


Not sure that many people will be rushing out to target a cod this month before the season closes in September but I’ll be getting a fix somewhere, depending on water conditions.

Clarity of water could be my biggest problem, especially targeting a river fish.

Burrendong and Windamere dams could be my best bet. A big, stable high-pressure system and a few days of warmer weather might just do the trick.

Trolling along and casting to north-facing rock walls between midday and 3pm should help maximise my chances. One thing for sure, it won’t be crowded.


Ben Chifley, Carcoar, and Burrendong dams will be popular with those targeting big redfin this month.

Sometimes if the bigger fish are a little hard to find out deep, look at working the edges with lipless crankbaits or small spinnerbaits. The little Beetle Spin blades on a soft plastic work a treat sometimes.

Little bays that are out of the wind and in full sun most of the day are the prime places.

Quite often healthy green weed in the back of the bay is a good indication that you’re in the right spot. It’s also a prime spot for golden perch.

The big redfin will quite often be in a loose group so if you get one, chances are another will not be too far away.

Redfin over 40cm are great to catch on light gear – headshakes and tail beats below the boat and working in a circle like a mini-tuna (nowhere near as fast, though). In my opinion they are far and away the best freshwater fish on the plate, too.

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