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Make the wind work
  |  First Published: September 2013



August and September can be very windy around these parts; in fact I’ve heard quite a few say that September should be called ‘Scumtember’.

I think that may have more to do with the Winter just endured and the fact that it just won’t let go. It doesn’t help when you make a trip down to Penrith and you step out of the car and have to shed three layers of clothes!

It’s hard not to curse the wind but if you can avoid the worst of it and make what’s left work for you, it can be quite a good thing.

Wind and wave action generate oxygen and turn over water, concentrating food and fish.

Boat fishers loathe wind. How many times have you hopped aboard and heard said, ‘we will have to chase glass today’. But you can make wind work for you.

Setting up a drift with a drogue over shallow flats is one such case. Your casts go a mile downwind, you cover heaps of water and it’s very quiet.

Another scenario that has been quite successful for me over the years is to position the bow (electric motor down) into the wind and let the wind push you back towards the shore. Then just quarter into it and work the shoreline in a see-saw pattern. It works a treat in all but the worst of winds.

BE BRAVE

Bank fishers too can take advantage of the wind – don’t just put your head down and trudge off to the sheltered side of the dam with everyone else!

Be brave, modify your techniques and use the wind to your advantage.

The lee side of windy points in Thompsons Creek Dam have been great to me over the years. Trout position into the wind and work the point.

Cast out and across, let the fly drift back and across and don’t even retrieve; just maintain contact. When the line pulls tight, lift your rod and hang on.

We have all fished that classic blue sky with not a breath of wind. The sun is out and everyone says ‘what a great day to be fishing’.

The reality is that on such days, unless you’re there early or late, the rest of the day can be very quiet.

Windy, cloudy days can produce all day; I know which I would prefer.

TEMP WATCH

With Murray cod now off the agenda until December 1, we can concentrate on other species. Golden and silver perch and catfish can be caught on bait right through the Winter, especially if you pick your days.

Lure fishing can be quite a bit tougher but as the days get longer and light levels increase, the water temperature will start to rise.

We should really take a big leaf out of southern Queensland’s barra impoundment fishing here. I have had a few trips up there chasing the barra and have never spent so much time looking at the temperature icon on my sounder. I may have even made the size of the temp numbers bigger than those reading the depth.

It became evident to us very early on that if you were not fishing water that was 2°-3° warmer than everywhere else, you did not have a hope in hell.

I don’t think golden and silver perch are as temperature-dependant early in Spring season as the barra, but I do think it helps to look for that warmer water, especially if you’re lure fishing.

North-facing banks at Windamere and Burrendong which get the most available sunlight can be real hot spots at this time of year. Add a wind out of the north-west blowing straight onto the shore and you should have a good time.

Soft plastic craws and critters fished close to or on the bottom can work a treat. Grease them up with your favourite scent, be slow and deliberate and experiment with retrieves.

Separating the weight from the plastic, such as with a Carolina rig, can make a difference some days.

OBERON YAKS

It’s early days yet, but things are well and truly moving regarding canoe and kayak access to Oberon Dam. What a great thing for the town if they can pull it off!

I don’t know how many people over the years have said to me, ‘Wouldn’t it be great to put a canoe or kayak on Oberon and go fishing!’

With the popularity of kayak fishing in the past 10 years, such a plan would be a real winner.

Unfortunately, the redfin population has taken off in the past few years and most fish are stunted and tiny. With some more fishing and some intelligent trout and native fish stocking, the redfin numbers should drop and the fish get bigger.

It’s a very positive thing and those involved should be congratulated.

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