Natives tougher, trout easier
  |  First Published: June 2013

The cold weather has well and truly arrived and many local fishos have put their gear away for the Winter.

The lack of boats on the water has been quite noticeable when I have been out.

Chasing natives in Winter can be a frustrating affair, with few fish actively seeking food. This puts a bigger responsibility on the angler to deliver their lure as close to the fish’s face as possible. If you fail to do this, you will not catch fish; it’s as simple as that.

It’s a well-known fact that the majority of trophy fish are taken in these colder months but it requires patience and persistence.

One cod per day is a good goal and with the number of bigger fish that were taken throughout Summer and Autumn, we should see some very big fish come out of our rivers between now and the close of the season on August 31.

Catch rates for bait fishers have started to decline over the past few weeks, but there are still a few fish feeding. Again, a bait needs to be presented as close to structure as possible.


Eucumbene has been sensational. The spawn run is in the Providence Arm and up the Eucumbene River and there have been a few ‘fish of a lifetime’ taken in recent weeks.

From Buckenderra all the way to Providence, fish are being caught in good numbers on all methods. The majority are rainbows with odd brown, at a ratio of about 6:1.

All fish are fit and healthy and will test light leaders on the strike; they have been hitting like freight trains and will easily snap a cheap 6lb leader. I’d start at 8lb leader for lure and fly, with a light drag that will allow the fish to take line when it strikes.

Lures are the standout at the moment because those fish that have not spawned early are hungry and aggressive as they feed up in preparation for their run up the river.

Use bright colours and big lures; 13cm Rapalas are not too big.

The same applies with plastics; if you normally run 2.5”-3”, take it to 4” or possibly even 5”.

Any of the staple baits will be worth a go. PowerBait, grubs and scrub worms will all produce fish but the big browns will always take a scrub worm or grub over PowerBait. These big browns can be very fussy and an unweighted scrubby or grub is the best bet to fool one.

While the lake is fishing well, if you’re after a trophy you need to be on the river for a few more days until the season closes on June 10.

Spin-drifting and fly-fishing small nymphs and egg patterns will be what fools the trophy fish.

The key is finding the depth to get your offering in front of these fish. Spin-drifting will be the more effective at this.

I know I harp on about this every season close, but please be considerate of each other when fishing the river over the last days of the season.

There will be plenty of people about; a few rude ones and a few very rude ones, but for every rude and inconsiderate angler you meet 10 genuinely nice fishos.

Just be considerate of everyone and apply some commonsense and good manners to your fishing and everyone will have a brilliant time.

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