Winter is well and truly upon us in both the Riverina and the Snowy Mountains, and for those local anglers among us things are slow, but that is to be expected.
As with almost all local discussions over winter there is a distinct lack of numbers for all those who are putting in the hours. However the stories of meter plus greenbacks that are falling victim to those diehard fishos who put the hours in during the colder months should be enough motivation for anyone.
Presentation is everything when targeting big fish. All aspects of your setup need to be perfect – from the quality of the lures right through to the precise tying of the knots.
Hardbodies that are flawless in their construction and paint jobs are something that many fishos overlook. The Australian Crafted brand of lures is the best I have come across in regards to craftsmanship and fish-catching ability. Try the 120mm and 150mm in darker colours to put you in a good position for catching trophy winter Murray cod.
Spinnerbaits need to be made from strong and durable materials. Look for cod-strong brands like the Mudguts range; they are made by local anglers who know the hurt that big fish can put on our gear. Above all forget about those second-rate eBay specials, unless you want them to fail right when you need them the most.
Leader knots are a personal thing and I have come to love the Slim-Beauty. It’s easy to tie and when done properly will retain nearly 90% of the lines breaking strain – only a few knots can claim to retain this type of strength without getting caught up in the guides on the rod. The Slim-Beauty has never failed me.
As usual the lake is fishing really well, and possibly the best it has fished all winter, which is hard to imagine considering the quality of the fishing over the past few months. Bait fishing has been producing some great results with a huge amount of rainbows being caught on Powerbait. These fish are very fit and put on a great show once hooked.
Anglers Reach, Providence, Buckenderra and Seven Gates have been the most reliable spots. When fishing Powerbait be sure to put enough on your hook to make it float, and it will usually take 10-20 minutes for the scent to spread through the water.
The long wand has worked well right throughout daylight hours and for those brave enough the first two hours after dark have also proven their worth. Wooly Buggers, Fuzzy Wuzzys and Wooly Worms have been producing good results.
Many reports have noted that there has been a lack of fish early in the morning, which isn’t uncommon throughout winter. The fish will become more active as the water warms and the day gets older. On bright sunny days look to fish rocky structure that has been soaked by the sun all day Fish will congregate in these areas due to the increase in temperature from the surrounding rocks. It’s always good insurance to run a black or brown nymph roughly 30cm behind your point fly.
Lures have been fooling a lot of pre-spawn rainbows down around Anglers Reach, with some boats reeling in over 40 in a morning session flat-line trolling. Winged lures in a variety of aggression colours are doing the trick, with orange and yellow wings getting great results.
Buckenderra and Frying Pan have also produced some outstanding results over the last month, but many of the fish have been taken very close to shore in around 2-3m of water. When you troll this shallow you need to either use an electric motor or have extremely long drop backs of 80m+. Alternatively you can set the boat up a good cast away from the bank and drift along casting plastics or shallow running hardbodies. The Squidgy Wriggler in the wasabi colour has worked well for me lately along with the black and gold T-Tails.
It’s always disappointing to hear stories of lake goers disrespecting the pristine environment that Lake Eucumbene offers. Lately there has been a number of reports relating to campers leaving huge amounts of rubbish along the lake shores. Camping is totally prohibited on the shores of Lake Eucumbene, so use one of the many caravan parks located around the lake and please make sure you take all your rubbish back out with you. Snowy Hydro do a great job in providing a huge amount of access point for us to use, and it would be a very sad day to see this access reduced or shut off all together.Reads: 707