Temperatures this month in most waterways in the district will be close to single digits, which is fine if you’re a redfin or a trout – they love it.
Brown trout should still be in a spawning frame of mind, with quite a few up the rivers and out of bounds, but Mother Nature spreads the odds across quite a few months so some fish will still be in the local lakes.
I would be concentrating my efforts in the upper reaches of Lake Lyell for best results. Minnow up to 75mm or even larger can get quite an aggressive response.
Sometimes you see these brown trout chasing other fish up high in the water column; this is the perfect scenario to present such a large offering.
Deeper offerings should not be overlooked, either. Sometimes pre-spawn brown and rainbow trout hang on drop-offs at the first major break line close to a major inlet.
Getting these fish to bite can be a little tough. Sometimes bigger streamer flies presented on a full-sink fly line can do the trick.
Rainbow trout generally start to spawn a little later in the month, although a lot depends on the weather.
Thompsons Creek Dam may be a good option for some big rainbows this month. With higher water levels covering some of those shallow gravel points we may see a return to false spawning events like we saw a few years ago.
Lightly weighted Glo Bug flies fished dead-drift among the melee was one option, although it was frustrating fishing at times.
Lake Wallace (Wang Dam), as inconsistent as it is, may also be worth some attention this month.
The good thing about Wallace is the options it has close to the car, which is an absolute godsend when the wind is howling and it’s 5° or 6° outside.
Dough-style baits such as PowerBait are the standard Winter bait fare at Lake Wallace. Cast, set up the rod in a holder, add set of strike alarm bells, back in the car, warm mug of coffe, the footy on the radio – nice….
Redfin are another cold water species that does quite well in the district.
Lakes such as Carcoar near Blayney and Ben Chiefly near Bathurst can offer some good fishing over the Winter.
A boat will open up so much more water at both these locations but I have never found the need to venture far from the main basin at these dams over Winter.
I keep saying it, but a quality colour depth sounder with a high pixel count is invaluable when chasing redfin. They are schooling fish and show up quite well on a good sounder.
There are a lot of places in both dams were the fish will not be, and having a sounder allows you to maximise your time over and around fish.
Working the schools over with ice jigs is one method that has proved successful over the years.
I like to hold the boat in position for this style of fishing. Vary your drop length and speed; a more subtle lift and drop can be deadly at times, although letting the ice jig settle on the bottom and then ripping it up vigorously can also work a treat.
Getting fish to stay hooked is an art form with redfin, especially the big ones. They are notorious for throwing hooks.
A slow-action rod helps, one that bends right through the curve, as does taking it very easy as you bring them up. Netting the fish well below the surface is also another tip.
Drifting slowly (use a drift drogue) is a good way to target loose groups of redfin over flats; sometimes these fish will be the bigger ones.
I tend to use spoons for this style of fishing. The big, heavy, broad, teardrop-shaped ones are the go. They’re a bit old school but work a treat.
The fluttering action of the spoon as it falls is the trigger; sometimes you won’t even feel the hit, the fish will just be there on the next jig up.
It’s not a numbers game at this time of year; four or five good quality fish mixed in with a few smaller ones is a good day most times.Reads: 941