The middle of Summer can be very rewarding at Blowering Dam, where it is possible to catch at least three species in a day.
Although most anglers’ catches will be composed of redfin, it is also possible to catch good numbers of Murray cod, golden perch and the ever more plentiful carp.
Bait fishing around submerged snags, weed, rocky points or drop-offs is a very good way of getting a feed of redfin.
Best baits are small yabbies or garden worms on a two-hook paternoster rig, giving you a chance of catching two fish at the same time. It also takes a lot longer for the ‘rats’ to find the second hook, allowing bigger fish a chance to take a bait.
Casting and trolling also produce redfin.
When they are really on it doesn’t matter much which type of lure you use or what colour, they hit pretty much anything that moves. I’ve even caught them on bare jig heads and bare hooks but they do have days when it can be hard to tempt them.
Then it pays to regularly change colours and actions of your lures until you find one that works, then stick with it.
Some of my favourite redfin lures include blades, especially the Ecogear ZX, and lipless crankbaits like the Jackall, Balista, Gillies and Mazzy Vibe.
Soft plastics with a natural paddletail action work well when these fish are fussy and when the water is crystal clear it is hard to go past Ecogear Grass minnows and Power Shads in natural colours.
If rain discolours the water or there has been a lot of wind or boat activity against a bank, brightly coloured Rooster Tails will get hot redfin action.
The odd trout is still being caught even though the weather has really warmed up. The ones that I’ve seen have mostly been caught on worms and even on big juicy grubs destined for Murray cod.
The natives tend to be pretty happy to hit a bait or lure, especially the cod, which have been caught in amazing numbers and up to 130cm long.
It pays to choose your fishing times fairly carefully because most of the cod action is around sunup or just on or after dark. The only exception is if there is a heap of storm activity that can keep the fish firing all day.
The ’Bidgee has had plenty of water being flushed down it to suit irrigator and electricity demands, making a lot of river accessible to fairly large boats.
Anglers have been blessed with a great start to the cod season with lots being landed. Canoeists and kayakers are unhappy because the river is flowing too fast for them to get out there safely.
Bait has been very successful in the deeper holes. It can still be a very exciting form of fishing, especially in the ’Bidgee. You never know what is going to eat your bait, whether it be a cod, golden perch, redfin, silver perch, another blasted carp or one of the hard fighting and increasingly common but still protected trout cod.
Shrimp, if you can find them, are easily the best bait but juicy grubs, preferably bardis, are the gun bait for cod.
Big scrub worms will put you in with a great chance at any one of the above species but if the carp are taking your worms too often, try medium-sized yabbies for more natives.
Casting lures can be a bit difficult in the higher flow; it is hard to present your lure properly. Stick to backwaters behind large logs, in back-eddies, flooded creek mouths and on the insides of bends where the water is much slower and more suitable for the natives.Reads: 857