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No shortage of action
  |  First Published: February 2014



This is my first article for NSW Fishing Monthly, and I’d like to say thank you to Steve and the team for having me on board.

Being raised in Tamworth since I was 10 years old, I have focused most of my fishing trips around the Tamworth region hiking, casting and searching for the piscatorial treasures that call our inland waters home. I have a strong passion for targeting native fish, and I reckon fishing for Murray cod and golden perch is almost as good as it gets. In recent times I have also taken to flyfishing for these fish, as well as for European carp and rainbow trout.

I hope you enjoy my articles as much as I enjoy writing them, and I hope to see you out on the water soon.

THE MONTH AHEAD

With the summer heat bearing down on us, a long day’s fishing can really take it out of you. If chasing natives is your thing, try fishing around the prime bite periods of dawn and dusk. Not only will the fish be more active but you will also be a lot more comfortable.

Having said that, fishing during the day won’t necessarily be fruitless. Fishing the shaded sides of willows has accounted for many good fish for me this summer.

DAMS

Keepit Dam has been fishing really well over the last few months and I expect this to continue. There are good numbers of golden perch holding around the deeper rock walls and tree lines that are prominent around the dam. Shrimp has been the best of the baits, and many boats have been coming in with good results, often bagging out before sun up.

For those casting lures, it’s hard to go past a lipless crankbait. Jackalls and Mazzy Vibes have been accounting for some great fish when slow rolled or hopped.

Trolling is also a nice way to pass the day, and deep diving lures in the 4-6m diving range are the most successful.

Chaffey Dam (closer to town on the Nundle side) has been producing hordes of silver perch for anglers using worms, and a few young guns have been into some great cod trolling the western foreshore of the dam.

One trend that’s catching on in this dam is chasing carp on fly. It is dam fun (excuse the pun) because they fight hard and will take you well into the backing on a #6 fly outfit. There’s certainly no shortage of them, so even if you’re just starting out you will get dozens of opportunities to present a shrimp fly or a Fuzzy Wuzzy to these brutes. If you have ever wanted to get into flyfishing, now is the time.

At Nundle there have also been some big rainbow trout in Sheba Dam for those who put in the time and effort. Lightly weighted baits of worms, shrimp or corn should produce a few good fish with bladed spinning lures being the pick for those walking the banks. A light outfit of 2-4kg will cover most fish that you’re likely to encounter, but don’t be surprised if a trophy fish takes a liking to your offering.

Rivers

Fishing our alpine streams is a great way to cool off as you wade the shallows. The trout fishing is steady, with the streams to our north already showing some good fish holding in the deeper pools around Bendemeer and Armidale. The flyfishers have been getting the better fish.

After the recent rains both the Peel and Namoi rivers have been fishing well, with good numbers of Murray cod and golden perch falling to a variety of techniques. On a recent trip we encountered many small cod in the 40-60cm bracket willing to smash surface lures as the sun dropped towards the horizon. There is something special about that surface strike that brings me back time and time again; I love the anticipation and suspense that’s suddenly broken by the savage strike of the Murray cod. If you haven’t tried it, summer is the prime time to cast surface lures. Once you crack the code it’s hard to focus on anything else!

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