Quality over quantity
  |  First Published: July 2012

The local rivers are staring to slow down a little for native fish and while a lack of bites can be frustrating, it’s the quality that makes up for it when they do bite.

Those who have been prepared to put in the long hours between bites are catching big fish. If you work on the idea of one to three fish per day, you won’t be disappointed.

Tolling and casting have been working; your best bet is to make repeated presentations to the one area. This can be done in the form of repeated trolling runs along the same bank or choosing a piece of structure and casting repeatedly to it.

Aim to make 5-15 trolling runs and 50-100 casts, depending on how complex the structure is.

Mudguts spinnerbaits in any dark colour are working. My preferred blade at the moment is the copper willow leaf. This isn’t normally a popular blade among Murray cod fishers but they have really started to produce for me lately.

The purple 120mm AC invader has been a standout, with plenty of cod over 70cm falling victim to it.


Now that the stream trout season has closed and the cold weather has set in, the fishing crowds have disappeared but the snow bunnies are keeping local businesses busy.

I really enjoy winter fishing at Eucumbene and while it can be cold and miserable the fish don’t seem to mind.

By dressing appropriately you can still be comfortable. Dress in layers and do yourself a favour and grab some quality alpine-style clothing, you’ll notice the difference.

Fly-fishers are having the most success during the hour before and after sunset. Nymphs in olive or brown have worked well along with Woolly Worms and Woolly Buggers.

There will be some decent polaroiding opportunities when we get calm and clear days.

Trolling has been very consistent down around Anglers Reach with plenty of rainbows succumbing to lures in brighter aggression colours. Pink, orange and red in hardbodies and winged lures have been producing the good results, while the Rapala 7cm jointed minnow has also been red-hot lately.

If you happen to strike a calm, clear day you will need to get your lure down a lot deeper. A lead-core line or a downrigger will make this easier but I also have had success trolling the AC Slim Invader with the deep bib.

The other option is to cast the deeper banks around Anglers Reach with soft plastics. There is a misconception that trout only respond to a faster retrieve but this is not true; a very slow roll or a lift-and-fall retrieve will bring the best results.

Darker hardbodies are the most effective.

Bait fishos have been having a ball with plenty of groups catching cricket scores of rainbows on almost all the PowerBait colours.

Bait is a great way to catch fish through Winter. It’s a great opportunity to sit around the fire and tell some good stories while you wait for the bells to ring.

We will start to see a few browns returning from their spawning runs soon and an unweighted juicy scrub worm or bardi grub will be irresistible to these hungry fish.


If you happen to be visit Eucumbene at some point this month, it’s worth taking the time to have a look at the Eucumbene River and you will most probably be blown away by the number of fish you spot.

While it is closed season and you cannot fish for these spawners, it’s always a wonderful sight. For those of you who do have trouble polaroiding fish during the season, this is a great way to learn what to look for when sight fishing rivers.

Just remember to give these fish plenty of respect and do not disturb them, they are in the process on ensuring this magical fishery remains this way.

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