Early mornings are inevitably cold on the Central Tablelands at this time of year and frosts can be very thick. The good thing is that a frost in the morning usually indicates a good day ahead.
Cold nights and frosts cool water surface temperatures quickly – great news for the trout which love cooler water. The chill also triggers brown trout spawning urges, followed later in the year by the rainbow trout.
Brown trout in Lake Lyell, Oberon Dam and many of our streams and rivers will feed up now, building up reserves for the rigors of spawning when they will eat very little. Just about anything that swims, crawls or lands on the water that is small enough to fit into a trout’s mouth is fair game.
That is why fishing for brown is so good in May.
Native fish also know that a shortage of food is just around the corner. A real spurt of activity can occur at this time of year and will vary from dam to dam.
If you’re fishing Windamere, concentrate your efforts around the limbs of sunken trees, casting lures such as small spinnerbaits. Soft plastics dropped down through the branches on heavy tackle also work well.
The most effective method by far, though, is to yo-yo a yabby. Small, bite-sized yabbies can be a little harder to get at this time of year but they are worth the effort.
Hooked lightly through the tail and dropped down through the limbs of Windamere’s drowned trees, they are seldom refused.
The secret is finding the right tree. The only help I give here is that large trees out on their own tend to fish a little better, but not in all cases.
Trolling for Murray cod in Windamere can also be quite productive in May. When I say productive I mean maybe one or two quality fish over half a dozen trips – that’s a lot of trolling so keep this in mind. Hopefully the odds will get better with more stocking.
Burrendong Dam has been fishing well for quite some time now, especially for golden perch. I think the low water level has helped the situation.
Burrendong is a bloody huge dam when anywhere near full and then the fish tend to be spread around. With low water levels of the past few seasons they have been concentrated, which makes the fishing a little easier.
Bibless rattlers and their silent counterparts have been catching fish left right and centre. The onset of cooler weather may change the bite a little this month so be prepared to experiment a little.
Remember, you can catch me bright and early on Saturdays around 5.15am on Hi-Tide, Australia’s No 1 fishing and boating radio program.Reads: 651