Mixed bags a certainty
  |  First Published: April 2013

This is one of the rare times of the year when you can go out with the confidence of catching a good mixed bag.

The water is still warm enough for the natives to be very active but it will soon start to cool rapidly, firing up the redfin and trout as well.

It is a great month for jigging redfin, which begin to form massive schools and move out into open, deep water making, it very easy to go and catch a feed.

Schools can be located easily with a good sounder and once found, it’s time to start jigging with small yabbies or worms on paternoster rigs or with ice jigs, blades, heavily weighted soft plastics, soft vibes or lipless crankbaits.

Murray cod are also frequently caught this month. They are best targeted with large deep-diving lures or spinnerbaits, the bigger the better. Lures such as the 150mm AC Invaders are perfect but any lure over 100mm will put you in with a chance.

Best places to troll are on the old river bed up the top end of the dam, heavily tree-lined banks and bays. Any rocky point would be worth running over once or twice.

Golden perch can also be caught in the same areas. Downsize your lures if you really want to target them. Best lures include Trollcraft Double Downers, AC Slim Invaders, size 2 and 3 StumpJumpers, Ballista Dyno 60 and Dyno 75 and most lipless crankbaits.

Trolling paddletail soft plastics is another great way of targeting the goldens. I clued onto their golden perch-catching ability at Glenbawn Dam, where we were targeting bass but found we were catching just as many goldens.

I have used them regularly since and have found them to be standouts when nothing else is working.

The other great thing about the plastics is that you can troll them at whatever depth you think the fish are holding. Simply use a heavier jig head if more depth is required and vice-versa if your plastics are tracking too deep.

All of the above lures work well on the cast, too.


Fingers crossed, by now the Tumut River should be in low flow, making for some spectacular fishing.

When it is low, almost the entire river is accessible on foot, making it easy to fish and to walk to another spot if your favourite hole or section is unsuitable.

Lure selection in the low flow is easy: some spinners, small hardbodies and some soft plastics.

Fly-fishers who like to try dries will have to fish the first hour of daylight or the last for best results. To catch fish all day long it is hard to beat a small bead-head nymph suspended 30cm-1m below an indicator or highly visible dry fly.

The Murrumbidgee River should also be relatively low this month, which will make all the canoe and kayak enthusiasts very happy.

Whilst the river is low it is very hard to fish by boat. You can fish only small stretches, normally only a few hundred metres or so, before you come across an impassable rock bar or fast rapid.

From a canoe, you can successfully fish long stretches of river with relative ease with a few simple portages.

Casting lures is really the only way to go for regular success during the low flow and it’s hard to beat a good old spinnerbaits. But on tough days it is also worth casting shallow-running hardbodies, lipless crankbaits, chatterbaits or big paddletail soft plastics to give the fish something different.

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