The freshwater’s fantastic in February
  |  First Published: January 2015

How the times change. For the past decade lipless crankbaits have dominated the inland fisho’s favourite lures’ tray and for good reason — they catch fish and will continue to do so for many years to come. But have you got one of those spots that used to fish well, but have since gone quiet? Or do you fish an area that receives a lot of angling pressure? Well I’m daring you to take up the challenge of fishing something ‘out of the box’.

On a recent trip, a good mate of mine came in with a plethora of techniques typically employed by our colonial cousins in America. Soft plastic frogs and mice were one technique that sparked my interest, and we were greeted with immediate results. Okay, so it’s no surprise that the cod loved the frogs, but the amount of golden perch boofing and eating these subtle surface lures was mind blowing. Up until that trip, I had only caught 2 other yellowbelly off the top, and talking to fellow dedicated anglers this was considered the norm. In one session though, we had dozens of follows and strikes from these golden assassins, as they cautiously followed these lifelike imitations to the bank. Hopefully with some refining of the technique, I will be able to share some more info on it at a later date. It can pay to try new things on old water, as you won’t believe how many gems lay right at your feet.

Peel river

The Peel should still fish well through February. The water clarity has improved, and lure fishing has provided many newcomers to the sport a better than average chance of catching a fish or 2. Silent versions of the Jackall and Mazzy Vib range have been producing results on each outing. 
The topwater fanatics will continue to prosper, with the cicadas in full song. When the cicadas are singing, the dinner bells are ringing for our precious cod, so take advantage of those topwater bites early and late in the day.

Shrimp numbers have exploded in recent months. The fresh must have done wonders for these much sought-after crustaceans, and I believe they are the number 1 bait in our area. Not only are they favourites with golden perch, but cod, catfish and silver perch all love a well-presented shrimp.

Lake Keepit

Well the rains came and yet they keep dropping the dam level. The good drop of rain brought the height up to 17%, but as quickly as it came they released it back downstream. As much as the Aussie battlers on the farms need the water, it’s a real shame to see the place so low. It’s not all bad, as the guys trolling the main basin have been doing well in the 5-6m depths, while those bobbing scrubbies and yabbies have been struggling to find any quality fish.

The carp numbers in the dam are incredible, and many a fun day can be had from the banks catching these hard fighting imports. All the usual baits will work, and remember to use a little berley as that often gets the fish to hang around for a while.

Sheba dam

Sheba has been active in recent times. No record breakers, but great fun for the whole family. Small Celtas and hardbodies have been a good option for the lure casters, and the Power Bait Trout Nuggets are almost a guarantee for anyone chasing rainbow trout or teaching the kids how to fish.

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