Beat the heat and win
  |  First Published: December 2011

The only real problem with January fishing is the heat.

Some days will be up around 40° and as much as native fish love the warmer weather, in the middle of the day most fish will shut down.

The key to summer fishing is to focus on sunrise and sunset, by far the most productive times.

The Murrumbidgee downstream of Wagga will always produce good numbers of small to medium cod through Summer. Trophy fish aren’t all that common during the hot weather but there have been lots of fish from 50cm to 80cm.

Focus your efforts on water that is shaded all day; persistent casting will be the key to hooking up.

If you are after a golden perch, head to Old Man Creek. I don’t know how this little creek constantly produces such numbers of goldens, but it does.

It’s really important that we take care of these smaller waterways. Sustainable fishing is the key to ensuring they continue to be productive, so practise catch and release and look after your catch when you remove the hooks.

Small hardbodies have been absolute standouts, with purple/black the most productive colour.

Lake Albert, in the middle of Wagga, is finally making a comeback as a fishery. The restocking efforts that have gone into this lake since it filled after the drought have been tremendous.

We are now starting to see quite a few golden perch and the odd Murray cod coming out of this great little lake. Hopefully the restocking efforts will continue and Albert will return to the superb urban fishery it once was.


Lake Eucumbene is a great Summer fishery, especially when it is at this level. Most people think that the hot weather shuts down all the trout in Eucumbene and so they focus their efforts on the surrounding streams.

But you just need to pick your times and have a solid plan of attack. A Summer day for me on Eucumbene goes along these lines:

• Start well before sunrise and lure-cast the shallow margins with floating hardbodies and plastics.

• When the suns been up for an hour or so, jump in the boat and break out the downriggers and lead-core and troll in about 6m to 8m. Alternatively, find a really steep bank and hop a plastic off the bottom.

• In the middle of the day have a good rest in some shade and try a bit of bait fishing off some steep banks.

• As the sun starts to lose its heat, jump back in the boat and troll, or cast from steeper banks and gradually move into shallower water as the day gets cooler.

• Finish the day with a casting session from the bank. The fish move back into the shallow margins as the sun goes down. There is always a good chance of hooking a monster at this time of day.

Natural or dark lures are by far the best lures for Eucumbene in Summer. At sunrise and sunset use darker lures, which seem to silhouette better in low light. A super slow retrieve is necessary.

Bait fishers should set up in a shallow bay on sunset and fish right into the night. Try a variety of baits until you find one that works; scrub worms and grubs would be my best bets at night.

For flies, beadhead nymphs, Stick Caddis and midge pupae are all producing a lot of rainbows. A fast strip has been the most consistent retrieve, but don’t be afraid to work it slowly if you aren’t getting any takes.

It may also pay to carry a few beetle patterns; throughout January we start seeing a lot of these on the water.

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