Time to go all out
  |  First Published: October 2013

This is the month to go all out. It’s hard to know where to go and what to do and if time were no issue I would fish every day of October and I still don’t think I would cover all options.

Most would start on one of the many local trout streams. The season opens on the Saturday of the long weekend and the fly-fishing can be very good, with plenty of eager small fish willing to sip down a well-presented dry.

The Fish River and many of its small tributaries have plenty to offer. Public access is limited so please seek permission to access any private land.

If the weather is cool and overcast, walking and casting small minnows and spinners can be a good way to tangle with a bigger fish.

Walk upstream, casting as you go, and keep a low profile. The trout will nearly always face into the current.

Small soft plastics designed mainly for the bream market are real winners on these fish.

Keep the jig head light and small; those little sneaky hidden weights that lie back in the body of the plastic will be a good option, I cannot wait to try them. Thigh-length waders are handy for crossing over shallow runs and retrieving lures from inaccurate casts.


The combination of rising water temps and increasing sunlight hours really gets the impoundment scene going.

There is an explosion of life and it seems like old Mother Nature has flicked a switch.

Where only a month or so back in Lake Windamere there was lifeless, dull weed, it’s now leafy and green and full of life.

Yabbies are busy again in their clay rock banks which have those telltale wisps of silt puffing out like smoke from chimneys in a distant village.

I am sure the golden perch can hear and smell them as they busily go about digging new holes.

Gulls swoop and cormorants dive as baitfish schools multiply in their thousands. Down below, silver and golden perch weave and dart, cleaning up any tidbits left behind.

Over at Burrendong and Ben Chifley dams, similar scenes will be playing out.

The big difference here will be the redfin pin fry; there will be millions of them.

Sometimes I have stood on a point and watched in amazement as a constant stream of these small fish go past. It’s a wonder the bigger fish even bother with the lures.

Occasionally you will see the water ripple as unseen finned predators rip into the school; usually wolf packs of fat redfin gorging on their own.

I am glad they don’t grow to man-eater size, there is no way you would go swimming again.


Lake Lyell bass are fast becoming known for their brawling behaviour.

A lot of it is to do with where they have been hanging out. Thousands of black wattle trees were drowned when the water level rose a few years back and this created a bass fortress with little dark alleys and corners from where they launch attacks on unsuspecting crucian carp and baitfish.

Occasionally an expensive Japanese lure trundles past and is dealt with in much the same fashion, although this time it’s a first-time Lake Lyell bass angler who is the victim. Bass 1, unsuspecting angler 0...

All I can say is put the spider web gear away, keep your casts short and your drag tight. Fish in pairs and work together – drop whatever else you’re doing when your mate hooks up and get in the fight by moving the boat and having the net ready.

Sounds harsh, but that’s what it takes if you want to keep the score even.

Of course, you could sit back and watch events play out before you; it’s good for a laugh but I can assure you, your mate won’t be laughing.

You could stay away from all the gnarly stuff and cast the open banks and bays. Wait until the dead of night and cast surface lures to the open edges and the odds will definitely be stacked more in your favour.

Higher altitudes and changeable weather can make the bass very finicky.

Most days it’s like, ‘Are there any bass in this lake?’ but get it right and it can be dynamite.

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