Slow in the snow
  |  First Published: August 2014

Over the last month the crisp mornings and moderate winds have taken their toll on our native treasures, with many trips yielding lacklustre results. It’s not all doom and gloom though – those anglers willing to put in the hours will eventually be rewarded. It helps to focus on the warmer periods of the day between 10am and 2pm when the water temperature is slightly higher and the Murray cod are on the move.

Fishing deeper along shadow lines has been the more productive method for me. I have been using LureStrike Spinnerbaits, with the tandem blades producing those reaction strikes. Fishing the tandem blades or a single willow blade on shutdown fish can often change your luck as they hang deeper and are retrieved a little faster through the water column.

August is a good time of year to break out the fly also. The thick vegetation that normally crowds our scenic rivers has died off, and the spindly limbs of the willows hang eerily over the water, providing easy access to a well-presented fly.

Bait fishers should do well with bardi grubs as they are as valuable as gold in these parts, and are an absolute favourite for Old Man Murray. I couldn't think of a more relaxing way to enjoy the afternoon sun than to soak a grub along the river with a few mates or the kids, so get out there and make it happen!

Lake Keepit

As the dams hold steady at the moment the fishing should improve. There haven’t been any monsters reported so far, but now should be the time to get out there fishing deep around the trees in the mornings or fishing the late night sessions. Casting spinnerbaits or chatterbaits to rocky points could see you locking horns with these big girls before they get into breeding mode.

Golden perch in the dam have been firing for all those in the know. The old river bed has been holding the majority of the fish, and they have been falling to blades and ice jigs for the lure fishers and worms or crushed yabby tails for those bottom bashing.

Sheba dam

The small photogenic dam north of Nundle should fish well this month. A healthy release of small 25-35cm fish have made their presence known, entertaining anglers with their striking rainbow flanks and acrobatic aerial displays making them fun for the whole family to catch. Small baits of worm or corn should see you in with more than even chance of tangling with a few. Alternatively you can use small minnows, Celtas or 1” plastics.

For those wanting for their sportfishing fix, the bottom dam holds a few larger specimens but catching them is easier said than done.

Food for thought

With the fishing a little harder at this time of year it can pay to think outside the square. Try new techniques and add some new styles to your arsenal. A few worth looking at before the season closes next month are buzz baiting and flyfishing, and I’ll tell you why.

Buzz baiting

Buzzbaits have been on the American bass scene for as long as I can remember and for good reason – they make plenty of splash and trigger some amazing surface strikes, especially around standing timber, brushes and weed beds. In Australia we have been reluctant to embrace these topwater sensations, generally because they are fished relatively fast. However, a few smart-minded Australian companies have adapted these baits to suit our conditions and the way we fish, changing the standard metal blades to a hard plastic and making it easier to work these lures much slower to suit our Murray cod.

A few brands have adapted to this style. The LureStrike Hydro Buzz and the infamous twin turbine buzz bait that made appearances in the cod fishing flick the Magic Hour have claimed many respectable catches. The build quality is great and tough enough to handle these powerful green brutes. Yes, sometimes it’s hard to pass up old lure styles that you’re used to, but I strongly recommend trying a buzz bait. You will have a ball and experience some of the most calculated explosive water eruptions the northwest has to offer


Flyfishing for Murray cod is taking the nation by storm. What I love about flyfishing for cod is the presentations are discreet and you can hang the fly in the strike zone for a very long time. This often proves irresistible for the territorial cod. Additionally, because there’s just a single hook you won’t often lose a fish as the point generally finds the hinge in the jaw. All up, it’s about as exciting a way to fish as you’ll find.

Large, slow sinking flies like the Hohnke hooks 6/0 Deceiver work really well, and you can buy these at Tamworth Fishing Tackle or online. Casting these big flies takes a bit of getting used to, but it’s such a great way to change your fortunes when things are tough.

Until next month, tight lines!

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