Zip, zero, zilch
  |  First Published: June 2014

You can feel the chill in the air, and chances are you felt it last month as well. Around here, especially at higher altitudes, we get our first frosts before Easter so if you were out and about you probably felt it. How quiet was the fishing! I fished Carcoar dam near Blayney over the Easter break, and to say it was quiet would be the year’s biggest understatement. There were three of us fishing most of the time out of the boat, and normally you’d count on catching at least a few redfin. Well, we fished reasonably hard for two days for zip, zero, zilch!

We could see the fish on the sounder, we dropped to 3.5lb nylon mimicry line (it’s like spider web thin) increased our leader lengths and threw everything at them bar the kitchen sink. We turned sounders off, we drifted over schools with no electric, we even took it in turns one drop at a time so we didn’t bombard the school. We went scent free. We added scent. We moved off them and cast back, we used micro plastics and hand-tied feathered jigs. I even dug out a floating plastic worm and fished it Carolina style slowly just off the bottom. When I went to throw this rig out the boys were like, “if that doesn’t catch a fish we are going home,” it looked that good.

However, the only consistent action (if you can call it that) was with small ice jigs and the 3.5lb leader… isolated loose groups of four or five fish, a few taps. It was the toughest bite I have ever come across. Remember we are talking redfin here!

After a trip like that, some anglers would say, “I’m never going back.” Not me though. I was like, “man, when the fish put the feedbag back on I want to be there because I know they ate zilch for at least two days!”


The month of June is a great time of year to fish TCD (Thompsons Creek Dam). Big browns are pre-spawn hungry and very active. They throw caution to the wind in a lot of instances and move into places and at times that they wouldn’t normally dare. I think a lot of this has also got to do with yabbies becoming scarce (with colder water temperatures the yabbies literally go underground). Yabbies are a huge source of food for brown trout and when they disappear off the menu it must be a bit of a shock. Make the best of this time as it could be a real chance to score a trophy fish of a lifetime.

Lake Lyell is also a great option for some good brown trout action. Casting lures and baits from the bank is possibly one of the better ways to target these fish. Soft plastics get the nod from me. Despite yabbies disappearing off the menu, I tend to lean towards a good yabby imitation. I suppose it’s a bit like having your favourite food at home being taken off the menu, then suddenly spotting it in the kitchen a couple of weeks later. You’d jump the kitchen table to get to it!

Just be careful with leader choice with these fish they get quiet toothy at this time of year. Go as small as you dare, and fluorocarbon is a good choice.


Wyangala has fished well since December. The numbers of fish will drop away considerably but I am expecting some real big ones to hit the deck. They will come to those anglers who target these bigger fish, and they will come to those anglers who put the time in. They will come to those anglers who, no matter what, stick to a big fish plan. Sure – feel free to make adjustments but always have in mind big fish. By this I mean target good structure, keep it real with the gear, and don’t be discouraged if you don’t succeed right away. It may take you two or three trips but when that big one hits the deck you won’t care about the fishless sessions that preceded it. Fishless sessions aren’t failures, they’re just part of the process.

Keep Windamere in mind this month. Not many people fish it for cod specifically, but stocking numbers have been good in previous years and you can’t help but think what three or four days of trying might turn up. There are specific pieces of structure such as wood and rock for casting, and you can make repeated trolling runs on steep rocky banks, change lures, change depths, watch your sounder like a hawk. Good quality sounders don’t lie. If you see a good fish and don’t get any action, come back later and try a different approach.

Hope to see you on the water soon. Until then, tight lines.

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