March is a great month for chasing natives in the local area. It’s generally the last month before the water temps drop below a level that is comfortable for golden perch. We will almost certainly see a decline in the number of these fish caught between now and the next report, so if you like chasing goldens you need to make the most of this month and get out there with your small 50-60mm hardbodies and small single-blade spinnerbaits. Purple is a very hard colour to go past for golden perch or, if that doesn’t produce, bright green has worked quite well for a couple of local anglers lately.
March is also when we start to see some real trophy fish come out of our local rivers. As the water temperature begins to drop it sparks those bigger fish into feeding heavily before the depths of winter hit. Throughout the summer months there have been quite a few fish around the 90cm mark coming out of the Murrumbidgee, so if things go to plan we should see some real monsters between now and the start of winter.
Cast spinnerbaits and trolled hardbodies seem to be equally as effective at this time of the year. AC Invaders and Custom Crafted lures cover all the bases from a hardbody perspective, and darker colours work best. While there are many good quality spinnerbaits on the market, I find it hard to go past local brands like the Mudguts range. The colours are designed to suit our local systems and they have the big cod results on the board to prove their worth.
Where have all the rainbows gone? For a while now many of Eucumbene’s regular anglers have been waiting for the rainbows to fire but it just hasn’t happened. While we are still seeing quite a few come out, there just haven’t been those regular cricket score catches that Eucumbene is famous for. Admittedly we have been spoiled over the past five or so years with the amount of rainbows that came out of this place.
Late afternoons seem to be the best time to target rainbow trout. The best results come from the hour before and after the sun goes down. Vibes and 5cm Rapalas in dark colours have been working very well for the trolling community, while Powerbait is the pick of the baits. Those casting from shore have encountered the toughest fishing for these rainbows.
There is one upside to the lack of rainbows: the number of browns being caught by shore-based anglers has been outstanding. Most of the browns seem to still be gorging on yabbies, so the best method to catch a decent brown is to make sure you fish your lure or fly on the lake bed. A subtle hop ‘n’ drop style retrieve works extremely well, with the emphasis on the word ‘subtle’. Only very small twitches are required.
Mornings and (even better) evenings have been the standout fishing times throughout February, but we can expect this to change through March as the weather starts to cool off. Many locals believe March is the best month to fish the lake, and with school holidays well and truly over it’s a great time for a trip.Reads: 696