The past two months have offered some of the best lure fishing conditions for the Murrumbidgee for quite a while. A low and clear river has exposed a huge amount of structure along the banks, and the clear water means fish can see your lure from a long distance and the slow flow means you can really target a particular snag with ease. The last time the river was this easy to fish would be just before the 2010 floods. In saying this, there is every chance that Snowy Hydro are turning the taps at Blowering and Burrinjuck on as I write this, and these conditions may not last long.
Spinnerbaits are probably just outshining hardbodies but realistically both are working well. Land-based anglers seem to be doing very well and it’s a very rewarding technique. Pack a small backpack with a few lures, leader, pliers, fish grips and a bottle of water and just go for a walk and ping a few casts around each snag you come across. It offers some very challenging fights when you don’t have the manoeuvrability of a boat to help guide the fish away from the structure. I have found that 70-90mm hardbodies and medium sized Colorado bladed spinnerbaits in reds and purples have been the standouts.
With the close of the rivers and streams last month, the amount of anglers frequenting the lake have has decreased significantly, which is the norm for this time of year. At least for the next two months we will see an inundation of snow lovers into the Snowy Mountains, the ski season does wonders for the local economies in the Snowies.
While angler numbers do decrease through winter, it’s normally the idea of being cold more so than bad fishing that keeps people away. Don’t let the cold put you off as some of the best fishing can be had throughout these colder months. One of the most appealing factors from my point of view is that the fish don’t tend to turn on until well after sunrise when the water temps might have increased slightly. There is no need to be on the water before first light; sleep in, have a cooked breakfast and hit the water at 9am or 10am.
All methods will work over the next couple of months. Anywhere from Anglers Reach down to Providence will be worth a shot as we should start to see the browns returning to the lake after their taxing run up the river. These fish will cruise the edges and feed heavily to return to their pre-spawning condition. Similarly the rainbows will be starting to head up for their spawn run. These fish will also be feeding heavily along the edges of the lake in order to prepare themselves for a tiring spawn run.
Lure, bait and fly fished close to shore will almost certainly pick up fish throughout the day, and it shouldn’t matter whether you’re boat or land-based. Most of my success on post-spawning trophy browns has come from fishing big lures and flies along the bottom contour. My favourite technique is slow hopping a 3.5” black and gold PowerBait T-tail Minnow (any dark plastic should work). The last two seasons have seen me pick up a number of fish between 6lb and 8lb as well as memorable 10.2lb. The big browns feed heavily on the local yabby population and I believe this technique is the best imitation of these.Reads: 470