April is traditionally a quality month for the Murrumbidgee and Old Man Creek. Many of the old-school die-hard cod fishermen have always said that when the first frosts of the year hit the ground around April, the bigger Murray cod swing into action and start to look for some quality feed before the cold weather shuts down the majority of the river system.
A good rule of thumb as the water temperature starts to drop is to really upsize your offerings. The big cod feeding during April won’t waste their time chasing small meals that offer no great sustenance; they are more likely to chase big lures and baits that offer a greater reward for their effort. Think 100mm+ hardbodies, big Colorado bladed spinnerbaits or, if bait fishing is your thing, throw on the biggest yabbies you can get your hands on. Focus all of your efforts on areas of the river that are likely ambush spots for these big predators. Back eddies, log jams and rock walls just off the main current are perfect examples.
Silly season isn’t too far away from hitting the Snowies. It’s only a couple of months before the trout season will close and Denison Campground on the Eucumbene River will look more like the Frankston Pier than the pristine alpine environment that it is.
With the close of season in mind we should start to see a lot of fish stacking up from Angler’s Reach through to the Providence flats. This is where you should focus your attention, particularly if you’re chasing trophy browns as there will be plenty on offer from now through to mid-winter. If we get some decent rain events in the Eucumbene catchment towards the end of this month we may even see some fish heading upriver to spawn early, so keep an eye on the weather and be ready to head up. A general rule that I normally adhere to is this: the worse the weather the better the spawn run fishing will be on that day. So toughing it out on those cold rainy days is well worth it.
If you are targeting the lake throughout April, your best option will be using aggressive colours that will elicit that sort of response from the fish. Reds, oranges, yellows and pinks are all top-notch colours to be trolling or casting. But in saying that, if casting plastics is your thing you will have more success with darker colours fished off the bottom. Blacks and purples are pretty hard to beat.
Those who are on the fly rod should see some good action throughout April as more and more fish start cruising the shallows looking for food before heading upstream. Woolly buggers, Tom Jones’ and bead head nymphs are super reliable patterns, particularly woolly buggers. Just be persistent with them and fish as close to the bottom as possible.
Bait fishos have been having the most success with scrub worms and bardi grubs, but Powerbait has also been accounting for a few fish. I have said it before but if you’re fishing grubs or scrub worms, fish them unweighted within 3-4m of the shore and don’t sit on top of your rod. Make sure you’re a good distance away so you don’t spook any fish moving into the shallows.Reads: 638