December 1 marks a special day for many of the native fishos around the riverine; it’s the opening of the Murray cod season! And with a little a bit of luck the local systems should reward many of those die-hard cod fishers who haven’t wet a line for the last three months.
Last year saw Blowering Dam deliver one of the best openings in its history with a huge number of 80cm+ Murray cod being reeled in; there were 12 fish over the magical metre mark.
The last four weeks has seen this dam start to pick up from a native perspective with a large number of cod falling victim to those anglers targeting the resident golden perch on lipless crankbaits and small hardbodies. An upgrade to big spinnerbaits and 100mm+ hardbodies should see anglers rewarded.
The Murrumbidgee and Old Man Creek have really started to pick up over the past month or so, and they are both shaping up to be an almost sure bet come the 1 December. Both bait and lures have been working equally well so whether you plan on drowning a yabby or some worms or casting medium-sized hardbodies and spinnerbaits you should be rewarded.
Keep in mind that while the river will be the most reliable place to ‘get on the board’ with your first cod of the season, your chances of hooking a trophy fish a much less than if you were to fish Blowering or Burrinjuck. Purple/black or red/black spinnerbaits are very reliable and should be the first colour to be tied on. The colour schemes apply to hardbodies along with the ever-reliable Forbes Special hardbody.
December in the mountains usually offers a variety of different option and, provided you have a few techniques up your sleeve, you can generally find fish most days.
From a lake perspective your focus should be on early mornings and late evenings, there tends to be some pretty warm days throughout December and this can shut the fish down (or at least send them deep) during the middle of the day.
Lure and fly efforts should be tailored to grassy or muddy banks close to deep water as this is where the fish will come to feed during these periods of low light. Dark coloured soft plastics have been the standout lure over the past two months; fished very slowly along the bottom with a subtle twitch-and-pause retrieve has been dynamite.
Most of the big browns that have been coming in have been full of yabbies and this is more than likely why the said retrieve has been working so well! Don’t be afraid of using 3” plastics if you’re chasing the big browns. I have been trialling bigger plastics in the lake recently with a lot of success.
This retrieve also works well with Woolly Buggers and other similar fly patterns. Bead Head nymphs in black and brown have also been a bit of a hit with rainbows for the last few weeks.
Trolling has been okay around Buckenderra and Frying Pan, as we move closer to Christmas this will more than likely slow down considerably. Yellow winged lures and minnow patterns like the Rapala 5cm will always work well, but lipless crankbaits are really starting to produce good results, especially the silent versions.
While the opening of the rivers back in October was a bit of a fizzer, we will hopefully start to see some dry fly action on the Eucumbene River this month. Nothing is ever guaranteed though so be sure to carry some nymphs if you plan hitting the river and if you have to come across a hatch make the most of it while you can.Reads: 519