Prime time for many fish
  |  First Published: November 2012

With so many places and so many species fishing at their best this month, it is very hard to work out which ones to write about.

Golden perch will be major targets this month at Blowering, Burrinjuck and Lake Hume. With the Murray cod season still closed for another month, native fish lovers will be hammering the goldens to get their fix.

I will make my annual pilgrimage down to Lake Hume for the Lake Hume Classic on November 10 and 11. This tournament is a very well-run, family-orientated event with stacks of prizes to give away. The Hume Classic is my favourite fishing comp.

The golden perch at Blowering and Burrinjuck dam should be quite easy to target this month and most techniques should succeed.

Early in the day, fish fairly deep and as the day warms up begin to fish shallower and the fish will eventually come to you. Golden perch will be very active this month, swimming around in schools looking for an easy feed and the need to move is not as important as in mid-Summer.

A small to medium yabby on a paternoster rig or a big unweighted or lightly weighted juicy worm or grub is a good way of catching plenty of golden perch, especially after dark.

Fly casters will do well working the backs of weedy bays or banks strewn with rubble or timber with patterns like a Mrs Simpson, Woolly Bugger, Hamill’s Killer or a small Deceiver. And there is always the chance of hooking a trout.

Good polarised sunglasses will help you pick out the pockets of weed where the majority of golden perch will be lying in ambush.

Trolling can be productive this month. Best lures are lipless crankbaits like Mazzy Vibes, Rapala Rippin’ Raps and Jackalls TN50s and TN60s, or 50mm-70mm hardbodies from Viking, AC or Balista. Also try small spinnerbaits like the Outlaw WD Low Profile, which I designed specifically for golden perch.

Casting the above lures can be even more productive once a school is located by trolling or using your sounder. Simply pull up and hammer the area with your chosen lure.

At this time of year goldens can be in quite large schools and casting in the area where you just hooked or sounded a fish can be very rewarding.


The lakes always fish well for trout now. Jounama, Tantangara, Talbingo, Eucumbene and Three Mile dams are all worth a shot this month but the majority of trout lovers will be hitting the creeks and rivers now that the stream season is back into full swing.

The Tumut River will see its fair share of anglers this month and with good reason. Generally discharges from Blowering Dam in November are quite low so a low and slow river makes for some amazing and quite easy fishing.

If the river is low, lure fishing is easy. Simply jump in and slowly work your way upstream casting a Rapala CD3s or CD5s, IMA Sukari, Asari Matsuta, Roostertail or Gillies Feathertail.

Colour selection is critical because the river is almost always crystal clear and most of the time any bright, unnatural-looking lure will just scare fish and limit your chances, especially of those bigger, smarter trout.

By sticking to natural colours you scare fewer fish and catch more. It is hard to beat a rainbow trout lure pattern, closely followed by a brown trout colour.

Fly-fishing is generally very good. The odd fish is already starting to take a dry fly and all fish will respond to wets, especially nymphs.

I like to cover both bases by using a dry as my indicator with a 30cm-1.2m dropper off the dry with a bead-head nymph attached.

This helps me to work out what the fish want and after I see what the first few fish for the day are taking, I may change my set up. If most fish are rising for the dry I will get rid of the nymph. If the fish are taking the nymph I replace the dry with a floating stick-on indicator and add another nymph so the fish then have two flies to choose from.

I have just finished filming a DVD that goes into great detail about this style of fly-fishing so be sure to grab a copy if you’d like to learn the finer details.

Drifting bait also works well in the low flow. The key word here is drifting; if your bait is not drifting you will catch far fewer so be sure to actively fish your bait for best results.

Many types of bait will catch trout at this time of the year, like worms, PowerBait, yabbies and prawn tails, but it is very hard to beat a juicy wood grub. The hard work involved in gathering these grubs sure makes it worthwhile when you’re hooking fish after fish.

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