The best season of all
  |  First Published: October 2015

Spring is easily my favourite season of the year, because on top of the near-perfect daytime temperatures the fishing is nothing short of sensational. Whether it’s polaroiding monster golden perch in shallow water through to trout in our streams, there is something to whet everyone’s appetite.

Well, that’s unless you like your Murray cod fishing; they are still off limits for another month or two. Other than that though there are plenty of options and most of them are very good.

Blowering yellas

Every year more and more anglers converge on Blowering Dam during the spring months for a chance at tangling with some of the biggest golden perch in the country. Another drawcard is the water clarity, which allows anglers to watch these monster golden perch and Murray cod cruise around in the shallows of the lake. Even if the fish aren’t biting, watching these monsters cruise around the shallows sure gets the adrenalin flowing.

As the water temp and air temps are still on the rise and the nights are still cool, most of the goldens will seek that warmer water near the surface, so you won’t have to fish too deep to get some golden action this month. If the lake continues to rise there’ll be an abundance of drowned weed beds in the backs of bays and along shallow banks, so the fish will be spread out around the margins of the lake. If the lake doesn’t rise enough for this weed to be drowned, the fish will seek shelter in the trees rather than the weed pockets so it will pay to concentrate on any timber, especially standing timber. You will often see the goldens and sometimes cod sitting in the tops of the trees not far below the surface. They are here to warm themselves up, but because they’re opportunistic feeders (especially after a lean winter) a good cast in their direction will often bring them undone.

If you can’t see the goldens in the tree tops though, don’t despair. They will have just have moved down the tree further and will still be catchable, you just need to get your lure down to them.

The best lures to chuck around the trees and weed beds for goldens are lipless crankbaits. The new Insanity Tackle Slap Walkers, when rigged on the back tow point, are the best on the market for fishing weed and timber because they ride more vertically than any other on the market. This makes the lure swim with the trebles behind it, meaning you can ride them over structure and through weed more easily than with conventional lipless crankbaits.

Alternatively you can rig your favourite lipless crankbait with swinging assist hooks, which will also create fewer hang-ups and snags.

Generally the best time of the year to target golden perch in our lakes is during the cod closed season, so it makes sense to hit the lakes while they are fishing at their best. Sure, you will still get a few goldens in the rivers during spring but you will also catch the potentially breeding Murray cod, which is not what we want if we want even better fisheries in the future. I personally give the rivers a rest during the closed season.

Anyway, with the awesome golden fishing in the lakes you should get amongst those monsters whilst the going is hot. You will still catch a few cod in the lakes, even while using the smaller profiled lures, but these fish are heavily dependent on stocking so you will do less harm catching a lake fish then you will catching a river fish.

Trout season opens

Finally, river and stream trout fishing will be back on the cards when the season opens at the beginning of the long weekend this month. I and many other keen anglers will be out in force trying to get our first running water trout fix for the season.

The Tumut River will be good if it is low. The Eucumbene River could still have some big rainbows in it so it would be worth a visit as well. If, like me, you don’t like the crowds then the small streams will be your best bet. Not only are there fewer anglers, there are usually a lot more fish, albeit smaller ones.

There will more than likely be some late spawners around so fly anglers will do well deep drifting with a nymph and glow bug combo. The fish that have finished spawning will be hungry and they haven’t been fished for a while, so they should be quite aggressive and fairly easy to catch.

Lure anglers should do well, and your usual spinners and minnow-style hardbodies will do the job. Bait anglers should also catch their share drifting worms and or dough baits like Powerbait.

Trout lakes will also be worth hitting this month, with the pick of the lot being Jounama Dam. The trout there should go well, along with the redfin and golden perch which both attain trophy size in this lake. I love fishing everywhere at this time of the year but especially Jounama as you just don’t know what’s going to smash your offering next.

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