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Low temps, big fish
  |  First Published: August 2013



We are definitely right in the depth of winter at the moment, with some very cold weather settled in on the Riverina.

As with most years, the winter chill drives most anglers off the water. In some respects it’s a justified absence because the number of fish you can usually rustle up in a day in our local systems is quite low. However, the fact remains that winter produces more big fish than any other time of the year, and that is enough motivation to keep the die-hard Murray cod anglers on the water in temperatures that occasionally dip into the negatives.

If you’re going to put in some hours during these colder months you need to ensure that both your techniques and gear are in the best possible shape they could be. There is a big difference between fighting and landing a 50cm Murray cod as opposed to a 90cm specimen. Good quality equipment is essential. A solid baitcaster reel with a strong, smooth drag and loaded with a minimum 40lb braid is a good starting point. Fluorocarbon leader in 40lb-60lb bracket is a given.

Finally, you need to make sure that the lures you use are armed with the best treble hooks you can afford. The last thing you want is to lose a fish of a lifetime due to a poor tackle set-up; especially when you’re putting up with miserably cold conditions.

Casting has been the standout in the last few weeks, with both hardbodies and spinnerbaits accounting for fish. You need to very accurate with your casts and ensure they land tight up against the structure you’re fishing and the retrieve should be as slow as possible. Darker colours have been the more consistent produces, but in some cases when the river is really clear a brighter colour like an orange will do the trick.

Eucumbene

Eucumbene in the depths of winter is not as bad as one might imagine there is some great fishing to be had at the moment and provided you prepare for the cold you can easily cope with just about anything the Snowies can throw at you. This starts with quality alpine clothing, I have harped on about this every winter, but the difference it makes is well worth the cost.

One thing that we all need to keep in mind is that camping on the lake’s shore is illegal, and it’s something that Snowy Hydro and the local council are paying very close attention to. If anglers continue to flout the rules of the access points, we may well see the closure of these areas to the general public.

The fishing on the lake has been quite good, with baitfishing and trolling the two most effective methods at the moment. We are starting to see quite a few post-spawn browns back in the lake, and after their taxing run upstream they are feeding heavily. Unweighted scrub worms and bardi grubs have been the best baits to use. They need to be fished pretty close to the bank as these browns have been coming in quite close throughout the whole day. Focus your efforts on grassy bays between Providence and Old Adaminaby.

The Buckenderra end of the lake has been thick with rainbows over the last month. These fish are favouring trolled lures, and there have been more than a few reports of 30-plus fish in a session. Yellow winged lures are the key and it’s hard to go past either the Canberra Killer or the Eucumbene Bomber. Both have accounted for a huge number of fish lately and should be the first lures tied onto your line if you’re out on the lake this month.

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