Catch a cod at Keepit
  |  First Published: March 2007

Thank God the Tamworth Country Music Festival is over and we can get back to our normal lives. Don't get me wrong, I think the festival is great for the city, but it certainly does make a usually simple trip to town a major task.

With the festival here a lot of locals opt not to come into the main CBD and head out of town instead. A lot of keen anglers take this time as an opportunity to head out for a long awaited, relaxing day’s fish.

I have heard of some good reports around town, with Keepit being ‘The Dam’ with heaps of yellowbelly on the bite. Many anglers have been having a lot of luck when fishing bait, but then, I have also had some say that lures are the way to go. Some people have had luck trolling lures in around 15-20ft of water and catching heaps of fish of all sizes.

Whenever I head out to Keepit I always make sure I have my tacklebox stocked with Strike Pro Deep Divers in any colour, as these work a charm. I also make sure I have Custom Crafted small Extractor and Hammer Heads.

Another great lure for casting for yellowbelly are Bassman spinnerbaits, and my choice is a 1/2oz or 3/8oz with a small tandem blade. You can get them down deep and work them slow.

Split Rock is an absolute disgrace. There is an unbelievable amount of water being released every day. The water is being released at such a speed that it is sucking the oxygen out of that water and killing the fish. It is so sad to see all the beautiful cod dying, cod ranging from 6lb to 60lb! The dam is basically a river now, it looks to be around 200m wide in some parts.

Apparently when the decision was made to release water from Splitrock the agreement was that it would not be of harm to any fish. Unfortunately this isn't the case. Years of hard work from the hatcheries and fisherman has been destroyed.

On a good note, the local rivers are looking much better, with lots of weed beds for the fish to hide and breed in. I have been doing a bit of fishing in my kayak with some mates and we have been catching some nice fish. Nothing to write home about but at the moment, but they're all fun to catch and release. The lures I have had the most success with in the weed beds are the Bassman spinnerbaits and Strike Pros, as well as Kokoda lipless crankbaits and some Eco Gear soft plastics rigged weedless. I basically bounce the lures across the top of the weed bed and this has worked well. I have also had some success using surface lures, with many species hitting them. Anything from cod to yellowbelly and silver perch – it's a real lucky dip.

Until next month, happy fishing and let’s hope for some rain!



Aaron Keech with a nice catfish which fell to a Bassman spinnerbait.


A nice 10lb cod which fell to a Bassman spinnerbait in purple and brown.

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