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A spectacular start
  |  First Published: February 2013



What a spectacular start to the year, with Murray cod over the magical metre mark common in the local waterways.

Many experienced local native fishos can’t believe the number of trophy cod and have rated this season as one of the best big-fish seasons ever.

While it’s not overly rare to catch big fish through the hotter months, most are usually fooled during the Winter.

The Murrumbidgee River has produced a few of these big fish but the pick spots have been Blowering and Burrinjuck dams.

Trolling and casting have been equally effective in these impoundments, just pick a likely-looking bank with plenty of structure and cover the water extensively. A number of the big fish have been taken on the third or fourth pass.

Big, ‘cod strong’ lures are essential, with Mudguts Spinnerbaits and 120mm AC Invaders two of the most reliable.

Local rivers have been producing big numbers of fish but just can’t match the impoundment fish for size.

I recently spent a few days on the river downstream of Wagga with a mate and we averaged 15 fish a day on lures, with a number of those over the legal 60cm.

We presented our lures close to structure and were rewarded for our persistence.

We ran into quite a few bait fishers who were having a ball. Catching five fish off the one snag was common but most fish were undersize. Cheese and yabbies have been the standout baits.

EUCUMBENE

Warm-weather trout fishing can be tough at times and this has been the case for those who aren’t fishing to the conditions at Eucumbene.

There are plenty of fish to be caught if you fish smart and focus on particular methods at particular times of the day.

Plenty of insect hatches on the streams attracted many fly fishers. Adams Parachute, bead head nymphs and Wulffs have been the best patterns.

Mornings and evenings will be prime time for most methods. It’s important to make the effort to get on the water before sunrise; this can make or break your day.

Once the sun is up, catch rates will diminish very quickly and it can make for a long day on the water.

As the sun starts to drop and the air begins to cool, the trout move back to shallow water to hunt for food. Aim to be on the water by 5pm and fish until after dark.

I usually fish land-based of an evening to avoid being out in the boat after dark, as Eucumbene can be a very unpredictable waterway and it’s much better to be safe than sorry.

All forms of fishing have been pretty equal throughout January, with the long wand probably just in front of bait and lures. Night fly anglers have been doing extremely well with any mudeye pattern.

Trolling vibes and winged lures in natural patterns has been effective, while casting plastics has been the best land-based lure method.

Mudeyes are without a doubt the top bait. Rigging a Mudeye successfully can be tricky. If you’re in doubt, call in to one of the Snowy Mountains tackle stores like the Alpine Angler or the Adaminaby Angler and the staff will show you the correct method.

PowerBait and grubs have also been reasonably effective and will provide enough satisfaction if you can’t get mudeyes.

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