Quiet moment in the crazy season
  |  First Published: December 2013

December can be quite a hectic for most, but if you’re really organised it can actually be a little quiet window of opportunity to go fishing! Cod are pretty high on the list at this time of year so it’s usually Wyangala for a sneaky camping trip.

Casting spinnerbaits, and heavy structure are the key to catching cod at Wyangala. Logs and rocks in combination are also good places to start. Ease your boat into place, and try to position it so that you can cover multiple casting options; some like to go for the honey-hole first up others work their way in.

I must admit I am the ‘honey-hole first’ kind of guy. I look for a likely visible spot where a cod may sit, such as a junction point between two logs crossing, a spot where rock meets log, and the shaded side of the largest part of the structure. A good mate of mine Rodger Miles from down south is the best I have seen at reading cod structure and one that really opened my eyes on thinking a lot more about presentation before casting.

Non visible structure, i.e. under the water, is a little bit harder to judge and I guess the guys who like to fish their way into a piece of visible structure are fishing this first.

It’s probably not a bad idea to alternate between the two theories, as on different days or different times, cod can be sitting deeper or shallower on any given piece of structure, so keep this in mind.

Trolling is your best option to attack deeper structure, especially if there is a large amount of it at the same depth for quite a distance. For best results think before you cast out the back; lure selection can be critical. What depth does your lure run? Do you want the lure pounding into the structure? Do you want to it just to lip out on the highest piece or do you want it to pass over the top by a few feet? Does the depth vary greatly between the inside lure and the outside lure presuming there is two of you in the boat? So many questions…

A good piece of trolling advice I picked up, and something I always refer to when tolling, is drive the lure not the boat. Modern high-tech sounders will help when trolling. I am constantly looking at the sounder and adjusting the lure when trolling. Do repeat runs on good structure, adjust or change your lures to suit, and after a few runs you can build up a pretty good picture of what is down there.


Bass on surface lures are always high on the Xmas list.

It takes a little while for the water to warm around these parts, so I always make the mistake of fishing Lake Lyell too early in the season, too keen I guess! But by December things should well and truly be on the go for bass.

Small crucian carp are a big ticket item for bass at this time of year. They are very active at low light periods, just before sun up and sun down, so this is the time to be on the water.

Constant slow retrieves with paddlers can be deadly. Missed strikes can be frustrating, so don’t stop your retrieve after a strike, keep winding slowly as quite often they come back. I am absolutely dying to give some bent minnows a go down there as I reckon they will work a treat.

These things have an action like no other lure, I can see why the bream and bass guys down on the coast are raving about them.


Depending on water flows and temperatures, the creeks and rivers can be a very good option for some trout fishing. Snakes can be an issue for some people, but I never let it stop me from going anywhere; just fish with a mate and make him go first!

Flyfishing the dry fly can be very productive with good hatches of black spinners, caddis, and beetles. Matching the hatch can be very important so make sure you have a good supply. A jump up or down in size can make all the difference to some fish.

Watch the pools from a distance before moving in, it’s amazing what you pick up while sitting back. Plan your approach and make your first presentation count.

Hope to see you on the water soon, until then tight lines.


Taking some quiet time just before the Christmas rush with the Wyangala cod.


Crucian carp play a big part in the diet of Lake Lyell bass in summer. This one is possibly a little on the big size for a bass to eat, maybe….


This is a classic example of some decent cod structure from Lake Mulwala, apart from the large upright tree in the foreground not one piece of this structure was out of the water when full.

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