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Green and gold rush
  |  First Published: March 2014



If you haven’t heard the deafening screech of the cicadas by now you might need a hearing check. For some people the sound drives them crazy but for we anglers its music to our ears because it normally means one thing: surface fishing! Watching these green fish belt surface lures is number one on the fun scale and it’s as easy as casting out and slowly retrieving.

All the likely areas still come into play – fallen trees, large boulders and undercut banks are prime locations to start your hunt. Stick to early mornings and late afternoons as these will be the prime times. Most fish won’t be monsters, with the average size being 50-60cm, but that doesn’t matter; surface fishing is all about the heart-racing hits.

Lake Keepit

With the holiday season over and things returning to normal around these parts, the fishing should continue to be good. Golden perch are willing to hit trolled lures in the main basin, and again the 4m mark seems to be the sweet spot. Feral Catts and Oar-Gee Plows are two of the best producers.

For those who like casting lures, fishing these areas with lipless crankbaits like the Jackall, Viva and Balista ranges should see the undoing of many of these great sportfish.

The catfish have been thick, resulting in good catches for anglers fishing the trees and gravel bottoms in the lake. Worms are the gun bait. Just be careful when handling catties as their spines can cause a nasty sting if you’re unlucky enough to get stabbed by them.

The Murray cod in the dam will still be active throughout March, with many anglers targeting them at night trolling the old river bed and deeper rock walls around the first and second inlet. One lucky angler recently reported a fish of more than 30kg taken using this method.

Carp are a pest for bait fishers after sun up at the moment, with most anglers getting on the water early to try to avoid these brutes. Even if the carp weren’t a problem, it’s a good idea to avoid fishing in the middle of the day in hot weather. As the sun gets up it’s good to pull the boat up on the bank and have a quick dip to cool down. Nothing ruins a trip quicker than sunstroke! Remember to bring a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen as well.

Rivers

The Namoi has stopped flowing and is in desperate need of some rain! The fishing is still good though with many cod being caught on a variety of techniques. Spinnerbaits and chatterbaits are go-to style for many anglers, and it can pay to downsize your lures at this time of year.

Both golden perch and Murray cod are actively hunting the same areas around dawn and dusk, and we have been using the Balista 65mm Juggernaut and similar lures to search new ground. We’ve had good results on most outings.

Hot, balmy nights can also be a good time to get out for a fish. Shrimp and bardi grubs are the pick of the baits for cod and goldens. And remember that the fish won’t stop hitting lures just because the sun has gone down. The new technique for chasing big cod in the dams is trolling at night, but most people forget about the rivers. Surface lures and nights go together like a pie and sauce, but you shouldn’t forget other methods like spinnerbaits and big hardbody lures. They move a lot of water and the sound of the blades or rattles will grab the attention of the resident Murray cod and draw them in from a distance.

With the European carp still thick in the rivers it can be great to take the kids down to the river with baits of bread, worms, corn or hot chips. It can turn an afternoon of boredom into a fun-filled family activity that everyone can enjoy.

If you’re looking for more of a challenge, try sight fishing for these brutes using small soft plastics or unweighted baits of bread or corn. It’s great fun to actively walk the banks of the river looking for the tell-tale signs of feeding fish. As they feed they stir up the mud, causing it to rise and give away their location. Putting a cast within a meter of them will typically see some bent rods, screaming drags and some very happy anglers.

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