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Cranking in the gold
  |  First Published: November 2014



Last month the weather turned on its head and the fishing around the region has been nothing short of sensational. From Keepit to Chaffey and the rivers north and south of town – everywhere is running hot!

Much to the delight of anglers, the golden perch have been very plentiful and aggressive, with lipless crankbaits the weapon of choice. There are plenty of lipless cranks on the market and I use many different models for different scenarios. I use the heavier models like the Jackall and Megabass varieties in the dams, and use the lighter models like the Balista Juggernaut and Kokoda G-vibes in the rivers. Their slower sink rate not only stays in the strike zone longer but you will snag up far less and save yourself some money in the process. For this style of fishing, a baitcaster or spin outfit rated at 2-5kg or 3-6kg loaded with 10lb braid line will do the trick.

LAKE KEEPIT

The dam is currently hanging around 17% and dropping, but with the increased water temperatures the perch are hungry and on the move. They will have come off the shallow weeded banks now and moved back into a more comfortable ground between 4-6m of water.

Not all the fish are hanging around the standing timber though, with many of the rocky points around the dam fishing really well. Shrimp are the gun bait at the moment, and if you have a few they’re as good as gold.

However, for me lure casting at this time of year does not get any better. Casting parallel to the trees and allowing the lure to sink right to the bottom followed by a slow methodical retrieve is all that’s required. Or, if your lure is coming off the bottom too far, pause the lure halfway back to the boat and allow it to free-fall back to the bottom. This is often when the fish will pounce on the lure and give you a real run for your money around the sticks.

Trolling is a good way to search for fish, and following the old river course around the dam is normally very productive on both golden perch and Murray cod. Just remember Murray cod season is still closed until the 1 December. If you do encounter one or two cod please treat them with the utmost care to ensure they’re released in good health.

The European carp in the dam have become a real pest for anglers bait fishing from the shore. I heard one report of close to 50 of these fish in a single weekend. They have been taking baits of shrimp, corn, yabbies and bread but I’m sure most things will tempt them given their insatiable appetite.

PEEL/NAOMI

The Peel and Naomi systems have been in great shape in recent weeks, with most trips providing plenty of action with diving lures like the 60mm Balista Dyno being a real standout early in the mornings.

I have noticed a real resurgence in Murray cod numbers. On a recent outing four cod under 30cm were caught which is great – it means the breeding fish are still doing well.

Snakes have become a serious hazard around our local waters, with red bellies and browns being spotted on regular occasions. Slow down and take your time when moving from spot to spot as you never know what could be right in front of you.

CHAFFEY DAM

Chaffey Dam is fishing well, and sight casting around the edges of the dam with the fly or soft plastics is a great way to find plenty of mud marlin (carp). They’re great sportfish and put up a sensational fight on light line.

The dam can also be a great golden perch fishery but the key to finding them is a quality depth sounder. Look for them around the submerged hills and flooded timber on the bottom of the dam.

Silver perch should be around in good numbers and are suckers for a well-presented worm fished lightly along the bottom.

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