Hoping the goldens stir
  |  First Published: September 2011

With the closure of the Murray Cod season from September 1, we can expect a quiet period over the next few weeks.

As the water begins to warm up we will start to see a few more golden perch showing up, but don’t expect great catches for a few more weeks yet.

At the moment those fishers who are persistent will be the most likely to see results, but even they can expect to make many casts between goldens.

Those targeting the goldens in the Murrumbidgee River and Old Man Creek will almost inevitably encounter Murray cod as by-catch. Remember that these fish are out of season and should be returned to the water ASAP and in good condition.

The best way to catch a few of the shut-down goldens in these two systems is to cast extra small spinnerbaits tight against structure. I’ve also found spinnerbaits without a soft plastic trailer will induce more golden attacks.

The floods in the Riverina last year gave the rivers a good flush and enabled our native fish to have suitable breeding conditions. The coming Spring season is set to be absolutely sensational for native fishing as a result.


With the trout season opening only a month away, many keen fishos will be itching to get up to the mountain streams and see if they can tangle with a few late spawners.

As fun as stream fishing can be, there is no real need to wait for them to open to get a few trout. Lake Eucumbene continued to deliver all Winter and will only improve over the next few months as the trout return from their spawning run with only one thing on their mind – food.

Fishing with PowerBait will account for the rainbows with ease. It does pay to take a variety of PowerBait colours because the fishes’ preferences can change each day.

The wily browns will take a little more finesse to fool. Try an unweighted grub or a scrub worm close to shore. Leave the bail arm open so the fish feels no resistance when it takes the bait.

Brown trout will cruise in close to shore so there isn’t really a need to cast your bait out any farther than 5m to 10m.

Trolling and lure casting will start to really produce this month.

Make casts well ahead of the boat or where you’re walking and thoroughly fish the area within 10m of the bank before covering the deeper water out farther.

Rapala minnows and 2” or 3” soft plastics will work well. Vary your retrieves until you find one that works on the day.

Trollers should head up past the Anglers Reach end of the lake and troll in close to the bank for a chance of getting a better-sized brown. If you don’t have an electric motor, make sure you use an extra-long drop back of 50m-plus.

Buckenderra and Frying Pan will be the spots to get the rainbows. Plenty have been trolled up in these two areas over the past few weeks and this will only improve with the snowmelt.

Flatlining yellow wing Tassie Devils, Rapalas or any small minnow lure will help you snare a few of these feisty fish.

The lake has been fly-fishing well for those who made the effort. Before and just after sunset have been the magic hours.

This good fishing will continue to improve with the coming snowmelt. The ever-reliable Woolly Bugger will work well, as will small wet fly or beadhead nymph.

September is a good time to get up to Eucumbene. The days are starting to get longer, the weather is slowly warming and the crowds are yet to arrive.


Michael Knack, of Wagga, caught this Murray cod in Old Man Creek. Even in Winter the smaller fish tend to stay active in this waterway but they’re now off-limits until December 1.


Matt Kanck trolled a yellow wing Tassie Devil from his Hobie kayak for this beautifully conditioned rainbow.


An accurately cast black and red twin spin spinnerbait was the undoing of this short but fat Murray Cod. The focus now moves to golden perch and cod like this must be released.
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