What a great time of year to camp and fish. The heat of Summer has faded, and the harsh cold of Winter is yet to take hold.
Sure it’s cold overnight but that’s when a good campfire and a warm swag are at their best. Ah, yes, something about those glowing red gum embers.
Cod fishing in our lakes and rivers is possibly at its best this month. Those first few frosts drop water temperatures quickly, which I am sure are a trigger for the bigger fish to put the feed bag on. Years of adaptation have taught them that tougher times are ahead.
Bigger lures really come into their own at this time of year; it’s all about value for effort.
How big is big? That depends on the size of the fish.
I don’t think there is a lure made at the moment that would be too big for a fish over the metre mark swimming around in Wyangala, Windamere, or Burrendong, so don’t hold back.
Trolling these big lures is the way to go in the impoundments. Remember to drive the lure, not the boat. Use your sounder to guide you; ploughing these lures into the bottom could be counterproductive sometimes.
Try to keep the lure a metre or so off the bottom. Knocking on wood and rock occasionally is highly recommended, though.
Remember to hold your rod well forward in the direction of travel, so you can drop the rod tip back to float lures over structure. Quite often this is when the hit will come.
Casting should be done at specific pieces of structure that you can see entering the water or, better still, where you can see it on the sounder in deeper water.
Try different casting angles. If it looks particularly good and you have no luck, come back and try it at a different time of day.
Spinnerbaits are hard to beat casting into heavy structure; don’t be afraid to let them helicopter down through the limbs and boulders to the bottom. Better to have loved and lost, I always say…
Summer was hot compared with the previous year.
Although there was enough rain to keep the streams and rivers topped up, I was concerned about a few of the smaller streams late in the Summer.
The upper Turon has received some good stockings in the past few years and it would have been a real shame to see it dry up. Thankfully, it didn’t.
Lake Lyell and Thompsons Creek Dam should well and truly be running hot by April. Some cracker brown trout were caught in both dams this time last year and I cannot see why this year would be any different.
Micro plastics where real eye-openers to me this time last year, especially in the clear water of Thompsons Creek Dam. Slow and deep not far off the bottom during the late afternoon, they were nearly a sure thing.
Summer numbers of redfin are good fun, no doubt, but they wear a bit thin after a while. The kids love them but I yearn for cooler weather and bigger fish. A redfin over 40cm gives a good account of itself on light gear and they are great table fish.
Techniques can vary at this time of year.
A quality depth sounder can be the difference between success and failure, especially when it comes to the bigger fish.
Look for the bigger arches separated from any schools; the bigger fish tend to hang in groups of threes and fours or singles.
If you are seeing them at a particular depth but scattered, trolling is possibly your best bet. If they are grouped up a bit tighter, then an ice jig or a weighted soft plastic may be the go.Reads: 1008