Heading into the middle of Summer the water at Blowering Dam will be in the low to mid-20°s which will make most fish species very active, particularly redfin.
All anglers using most techniques will be able to target the reddies. Worms or small yabbies will pick up plenty of fish and if you happen to be landing heaps of tiny reddies or losing heaps of bait to them, move on and try to find another school or put a bigger yabby on to keep the little guys at bay.
Casting lures from bank or boat also works really well this month and any lure that puts out vibration, flash or noise like redfin spinners, Celtas, Rooster Tails, lipless crankbaits, soft plastics and Stuckey crankbaits will get fish.
Trolling is the most popular technique for the locals on Blowering and this is a great month; you’d be unlucky to get 300m without hooking up a redfin and there's also the chance of the odd yella or cod to stretch your arms out when using the right lures.
To create action-packed days I like to target natives by trolling a lure specifically designed for cod or yellowbelly, such as a Codseeker, Custom Crafted, Oar-gee, Predatek Boomerang or size 1 or 2 StumpJumper, to name a few. But I’ll add a 1” to 3” soft plastic around a metre in front of the lure for a rig that emulates a fish chasing a smaller fish.
The smaller lure normally triggers a redfin to eat it before its mates do and you will also get the odd double hook-up using this method as well as having the chance of a native hitting the bigger lure.
Casting lures around structure, particularly rock ledges, will give you a good chance of tangoing with a big native. I generally use plastics and lipless crankbaits along banks, bays and points unless they’re full of timber, when I prefer a spinnerbait so I can fish right in there among the sticks without having to worry too much about losing lures.
Over the Summer Blowering Dam can get pretty busy and launching a boat can become quite difficult with the dropping water level but it is made all the more difficult by a small minority of people who, after launching, park their vehicles at the bottom of the boat ramp in the way of every other boater. People then must reverse up to 900m.
There is no set rule at local ramps about where to park and how much turn-around room to leave at the bottom of the ramp but just a little commonsense will tell you to leave at least 50m of room at the bottom of a boat ramp. If every one did this, particularly at the Log Bridge ramp, we would not have the traffic jams and frayed tempers we see every Summer.
Massive flows for irrigators make it tough for fish and anglers so it is no surprise to report that fishing in the Tumut River hasn’t been great since the beginning of the season because of the brutally high flows which make fishing almost impossible in a lot of places.
If you fish with heavier than normal gear you can still catch fish with persistence. Lure anglers are using Tassies for the odd fish and I have nailed a few on plastics rigged on much heavier than usual jig heads between 1/4oz and 1/2oz. Lipless crankbaits are also worth a shot.
Fly fishos have had it toughest of all with very little surface action so far and very fast flows. The best flies have been gold bead-head nymphs and tungsten-head nymphs. These techniques will be your best shot until we get a heap of rain, which will mean lower irrigation demands.
If the Tumut River is in low flow by the time you read this there’ll be great access and good fishing. Best lures to cast will be Rapala minnows in trout colours, Rebel Crickhoppers, Rooster Tails, Celtas and small soft plastics rigged on ultra-light jig heads.
The Murrumbidgee has fished fairly well over the past month or so with trout cod the main catch. Murray Cod to 76cm have been caught using bardis, wood grubs, shrimp and yabbies.
Cod and golden perch have been hitting lures at will. Best lures have been spinnerbaits with black and purple skirts or orange and white skirts but Scrounger soft plastics and lipless crankbaits have caught a few good fish.
Cicadas are starting to show up for those addicted to surface fishing and skipping a few surface lures about early and late in the day should entice a few exciting strikes.
The author fighting a solid Tumut River rainbow while the river was at a low level and flowing slowly – the best time to fish there.
Redfin are so active during January that catching two on the one lure is a real possibilityReads: 1994