After December’s fresh drop of rain, this month is shaping up to be a corker. Active fish will be gorging themselves on the abundant bugs and small animals that stray too close to their lairs. I expect surface lures to reign supreme, with options like the Balista Hunchback a great choice. Tamworth local Bailey Skewes recently landed a metre-plus model on one of these lures and I suspect it’s just the first of many.
The trout streams north of Tamworth will also be on the mend. I’m not holding my breath for any trophy models, but a smattering of smaller fish should keep you entertained on light gear. Small minnows and lightly weighted soft plastics will be hard to beat, or unweighted worms and shrimp for bait soakers.
Golden perch have been consistent, with most outings producing a few of these hard fighting natives. They have wised up over previous seasons, so mix it up a bit. We have had a lot of success on silent lures and weedless frogs, so don't be afraid to try something different.
A small rise in the dam has many people enthusiastic, and I’m on the bandwagon too. Fishing the edges with the usual techniques should prove fruitful. My money this month is on night casting. Working the edges of the dam with spinnerbaits and chatterbaits will see some big fish caught, and great memories for those willing to put in the hours. Full Moon Spinnerbaits are a new, locally made spinnerbait, and from all reports will be a serious tool for any angler looking to target our greenfish. Not only are they effective, they can be custom-ordered to suit your needs in store at Tamworth Fishing Tackle.
Bait fishing the dam at its current water level is a little more restricted. A good sounder makes things easier, with many choosing to fish the old riverbed in order to find some depth. Baits of shrimp, small yabbies and scrubworms will do well, but the fishes’ preferences change daily.
From all accounts the carp in the dam are still in plague proportions, taking baits of shrimp, worms, crushed yabby tails, bread, corn and dough mix recipes.
Although an introduced species and a total pest, they fight well above their weight and are quite a handful on light line.
There have been a few golden and silver perch reported, but have been patchy to say the least.
Small vibes fished around the western foreshore will find the majority of the goldens. Limited visual structure can make choosing a likely looking area more difficult, but look for points and weed beds that extend out from the bank into deeper water and you might strike it lucky
With the recent fresh came some great topwater action. Murray cod of all sizes came out to play and anglers have been having a ball. The action should continue this month, and the surface will be where it’s at! Of course target times of dawn and dusk are key periods.
For those wetting a line with a few baits out, live shrimp and wood grubs will see those rods bent and reels screaming. Just remember that you are only permitted 2 lines per person in NSW, so check your fishing guide if you are unsure of the rules and regulations.
Also, new size limits for Murray cod are now in play, with a 55cm minimum and a maximum of 75cm. All fish larger than 75 must be returned to the river or dam unharmed.
The author with a nice little cod taken on a lipless vibe.
Working the edges for goldens is a gun technique on Lake Keepit, even at high noon.
Surface fishing is the most fun way to chase Murray cod, no matter how many boofs don’t connect.Reads: 739