Spring has finally arrived after what was a very cold Winter in the Snowy Mountains.
Winter came early and the trout spawned a little earlier, also possibly due to the extra water coming down the rivers with the good Autumn rain and by late August, most of the rainbows were back in the lake feeding around the edges and making for some interesting fishing.
Winter fishing this year was the best I can remember and if you check out my Facebook page you will see photos of some of the big fish caught, including some big brook trout that just love the colder water.
Of course Lake Jindabyne’s level remained quite high, around 87% (about 7% higher than 2011) and as the snow starts to melt this month we can expect the lake to rise again. Maybe it might hit 100% again before there is another environmental release down the lower Snowy River, maybe some time in October.
Water releases are good for the lower Snowy and good for the trout fishing. If steady releases can continue while water levels in the dams are good, we should see a big improvement in the fishing down the Snowy and recent releases of trout fingerlings downstream will also help the fishing.
You might recall access to the Waste Point boat ramp area was closed last season due to the high water and it wasn’t until late July that the road was reopened. By the time you read this access might again be cut.
If the lake rises above about 87% the road will continue to be cut off, putting more pressure on the Snowline Boat Ramp near town.
Only trouble there is that the run up the lake by small boat might be OK but always be aware that the weather changes quickly and you have to get back again. Check the current weather reports before heading out that far.
Remember also our rivers and streams remain closed until the Saturday of the October long weekend.
Make certain you always carry a current fishing licence, quite a few anglers have been fined for leaving their licence at home.
Due to the higher water, slow the boat down and hit the shallows where the trout will be close in to the banks while the water rises.
The sheltered bays are holding some good brown trout among the weed and Hatchery and Hayshed bays have a lot of rainbows in the shallows early and late in the day.
The hour around daylight has been best and the weather hasn’t been that cold, so it’s been great watching the sun rise while you land a trout.
Use darker coloured lures early in the day and as the sun rises, try yellow wing Tasmanian Devils. Y48 and Y96 have been best.
Jointed Rapalas in rainbow or brown trout patterns have been best when trolling through the shallows. They have stronger action at slower speeds. The Spotted Dog Rapala has also been a huge success and the new Pinkie is also still worth a try this month.
Soft plastics, even the Gulp 1” crickets, trolled behind Ford Fenders are also well worth a try.
I prefer to fish the township end of the lake in September as the water coming out of the rivers is very cold and the fish can be a little less active.
Other areas that have been fishing very well are Sids Bay and around Rainbow Beach area.
Lake bait fishing has been good and artificial baits once have been catching most of the fish.
These baits float, so leave about 2’ of trace between the artificial and a big scrub worm sitting on the bottom. This twin rig has been producing better catch rates as the scented artificial often helps attract the trout, even if they do take the worm.
It is always best to put some line floatant like Mucilin on your line to reduce the drag when the fish take the bait.
Always fish with the reel bail arm open to allow the trout to run with the bait. Strike only when you think the fish has had time to swallow the bait.
Best areas have been the boat ramp, Wollondibby Inlet in the deeper water, Curiosity Rocks Bay, The Haven and Rushes Bay over at East Jindabyne.
If spinning, remember the fish are cruising close around the edges and on a sunny day are very spooky, so it’s better to fish the deeper water unless you know how to cast small floating minnow lures without scaring the fish.
Spin close around rocky outcrops for best results later on in the day in the day and use smaller lures.
Celtas, Vibrax spinners and Gillies spinners are worth a try around the shallow bays after dark. Don’t stay in one place too long and put in only a couple of casts in each area.
On the days when there is a little wind, Tasmanian Devils work well. Try the No 48 brown bomber, pink sparkler S12 and don’t forget the new Willy’s Special, a yellow wing lure I developed with Wigstons Lures a few years ago.
This new lure is going to be amazing on the lake this Spring and Summer.Reads: 1100