In need of a drop
  |  First Published: March 2014

By the time you read this we will hopefully have had some rain. It’s been so dry and hot that not even the weeds have been growing! Just the other day my son and I fished a small local waterway for cod and goldens on one of those exceptionally quiet afternoons with not a breath of wind. The bush was so dry we could hear little skinks scurrying about in the leaves 30m away, but unfortunately the fish were a lot more quiet than the skinks. Not the best time to fish.

We’ve had a lot of time with a low barometer for some reason, so if you have the luxury of timing your run to suit a high barometer the fishing has and should be pretty good – especially for native fish.


Water traffic has been insane this summer season. Everybody must have gotten a boat for Christmas.

It’s best to steer clear of the main basins of the more popular dams; Wyangala in particular has been like a washing machine at times. I recommend avoiding it during the warmer times of the day in favour of hitting it really early in the morning before anyone else is up and about. Alternatively, you can go out late and stay until after dark. Just make sure your boat is set up for that style of fishing and that you are familiar with the area.

The other option is to go small and light. If you can access some skinny water high up in the system and launch off the bank, so much the better. That way you will at least be able to fish in peace and quiet – something myself and quite a few mates have been doing the last couple of seasons.

Water clarity can also be affected in the main basin of some dams by the increase in traffic. Quite often it’s only the top 3-4ft that is affected, so keep this in mind.

Lake Lyell is another busy waterway, but usually by the start of March things start to slow down and the lake reverts back to some form of normality. The bass fishing has been frustrating again… there are just enough fish to keep you interested but not enough to write home about. The water is very clear but using lighter breaking strains in amongst the black wattle isn’t an option. It’s better to wait until after dark and surprise them that way.

Small paddlers in the 40mm to 50mm range cast and retrieved after dark might get you some action just on dark or a bit before. Small inline spinners could also be worth a try; my son and nephew have been making some and they work a treat on the trout in the clear water. I don’t see why they wouldn’t work on the bass as well.


Been getting some good reports about plenty of catfish at Windamere on lures as well as bait, the catties build a nest in loose gravel usually in three or four feet of water close to the edge sometimes you can see them going about their business on the nest moving rocks and the like, this is when they are most aggressive I have actually heard of swimmers getting hit on the legs from time to time, I have also watched them chase bigger fish away. Lures that land on or near the nest are usually dealt with sharpish…they are great scrappers and more often than not return straight back to the nest when released. They learn very quickly thou even hours later they are very cautious.

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

No1-003.Jpg Decreased boat traffic should make the bass fishing in Lake Lyell a little more comfortable at least….The fish have been very frustrating, super clear water makes it tuff.

N02-2.Jpg Catfish can be very aggressive towards lures when nesting, keep this in mind if you see a little circle of cleared rocks and sand about the diameter of a large pizza in three or four feet of water.

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