Topwater tension builds
  |  First Published: November 2011

For bass and trout fishers, warm, humid afternoons in November are always something to look forward to.

They usually start with cloud formations to the west or north and as the heat and humidity build, anticipation among anglers reaches fever pitch.

Text messages between mates become intense as the afternoon wears on: ‘What’s on this arvo?’, ‘Bass are on at Lyell’, ‘Let’s go!’, or ‘Big hatch of termites this arvo for sure, let’s hit the Fish River’.

The lawns can wait, the washing can come in tomorrow, just get out there…

There is something about a take from the surface; it doesn’t matter if it’s a tiny sip as a trout rises to take a well-presented dun, or the smash and crash of a bass as it engulfs your surface lure halfway back to the boat.

It’s a visual connection of sorts between your world and the fish’s.

Keep in mind that redfin are quite partial to a surface lure from here on in, too.

I am yet to have success, but I know a few anglers that have.

Mate Rodger Miles from down south absolutely brained the redfin at Lake Eppalock last year; I cannot see why Burrendong, Ben Chifley, and Carcoar would be any different.

Stickbaits used with a walk-the-dog action worked a treat; most of the action took place during the middle part of the day as well.

Rodger said any rippling on the surface from small fish was a good indication that the conditions were right. A slight chop on the water helped with turning followers into takers.

Keep me posted via email if you have any success; I would be keen hear some feedback on this one.


Lake Windamere, of course, is golden perch central at the moment, but I will let you in on the worst-kept secret west of the Great Divide.

Burrendong Dam, between Orange and Wellington, would be considered by many to be not far behind.

The only difference is that in Burrendong there is a lot more water mixed in with the fish but find the right location and it’s game on.

If it’s a real trophy golden that you are after, Burrendong has the edge. That’s a big call, I know, Windamere may have a lot of fish that reach 60cm to 65cm, but Burrendong has the potential for much larger fish.

The reason? Redfin pin fry.

These tasty morsels offer a much better return for effort and allow the fish to put on bulk quickly.

But again we come back to the size of the two impoundments and stocking rates.

These big golden perch do get caught in Burrendong from time to time; it’s just that there is so much water mixed in.

Quality electronics will be the key. Big golden perch throw a very different arch on a quality sounder compared with anything else, you only have to look at the body shape to see that.

Once you see it, it’s very recognisable. The mark is nearly as thick as it is long.

As with any form of trophy hunting, persistence and patience hold the key – be willing to go without!

I hope I have inspired someone.

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