This time last year we were building the ark and the rain was unbelievable. I think my son played six cricket games for the season, maybe fewer.
Fishing for Murray cod in the early part of last season was nearly a wipe-out as it kept bucketing down. This year is shaping up to be different so we should be into some real action.
After last year’s high flows the Macquarie and Lachlan rivers have changed quite a bit, especially in the upper reaches. New logjams, scoured-out holes and undercut banks have been created.
New fish will have moved up and down the system. Some sections last year had increased golden perch activity; I caught some in sections of the Macquarie where I had not encountered them before.
Floods are a normal healthy cycle for a river and this season we will see the benefits of that.
Don’t wait around for those really hot days to get out the surface lures – put some in your box right from the get-go. Surface lures are short-opportunity lures; you may get only a 10-15-minute window when the fish are really tuned into the surface.
Especially early in the season, it can be the most productive part of the session and if you have left the topwaters at home you miss out.
Smaller fish are very keen at this time of year, quite often hitting lures twice or three times in the one retrieve. It is very hard not to rear back on the rod each time they hit but just hold the rod tip down and keep winding.
Bigger bass-style surface lures are great now; 65mm-75mm is about right. As the season wears on you can up the ante and by March-April I will be throwing things the size of a house brick.
Pound for pound, bass would have to be right up there in the pulling stakes.
A month or so back I hooked my first one for Spring. Until then I had been going hard on the golden perch at Windamere.
It was like I’d just stepped out of the ring with Joe Bugner after 10 and was getting straight back in for round 1 with Sonny Bill. Then up popped a 35cm bass – they just hammer.
I won that round, my mate Maso won the next but as I said to him, I am not sure we will be able to keep that pace up, especially when the big boys come out to play.
I finally have my new Crestliner and I am as happy with the steady stream of fish coming over the gunwales. I have yet to really use all the technology on board and for the present it’s just great to be floating again.Reads: 509