A little ray of sunshine
  |  First Published: September 2007

By the calendar, Winter is supposed to be behind us but if you fish the Central Tablelands often enough, you will know that the calendar does not always align itself with the weather around here.

Sure, you get the odd warm day when the birds are singing and the sun on your back has that little extra sting but, on the whole, there are many more days when the wind is howling and the birds in the trees are cowering like a drunk mans dog. So don’t say I didn’t warn you!


Those little rays of sunshine are like keys to the lock of Nature’s pantry, so chase them with vigour, especially if fishing for native fish.

As the sunshine warms the shallow, north-facing bays of our impoundments, the algae multiplies, the weed starts to grow, shrimp gather among the weed, baitfish prey on tiny morsels and in turn these attract bigger predators such as golden and silver perch. Murray cod top out the food chain under the water but, as we know, they are off-limits from September 1 to December 1.

Don’t worry too much about structure such as your classic lay-down log, there have been plenty more golden perch caught at this time of year on Windamere and Burrendong out of shallow, north-facing bays, let me assure you.

If I was to look for any form of structure in these bays, I would have a preference towards small, rocky reefs that extend down into the water or little rocky outcrops. Artificial breakwalls or roadways are another form of structure to look for because these will soak up the sun and transfer some of their heat back into the water.

Casting lures and baits from the bank can be one of the most productive methods at this time of year, especially at Windamere. So keep this in mind.


Lake Lyell is open to boats again, thanks to some great Winter rains. It has been a long time since we have had such a wet Winter and hopefully the trend will continue into Spring.

Flatline trolling with spoons and Tassie Devils should produce plenty of small rainbow trout this month but I suspect that most of the bigger rainbows will come from water a little deeper.

Sometimes you can see them on your sounder scattered under the smaller fish.

If you want to catch these bigger fish, you have to be at that level or just above. You won’t catch nearly as many fish but when you do it will be worth it.

If brown trout are your go then get out and walk the banks in the early morning.

Cast ahead of you with small soft plastics or shallow-diving minnows or yabby patterns. Work them back slowly close to the bottom and watch for any following fish.

I try to aim my casts depending on water depth. If it’s deep in close, I may cast in a forward direction only 2m or 3m out from the bank, running my lure back nearly parallel with the bank.

If it’s shallow, I move my casts out a little farther. This is a great way to be species-specific on Lake Lyell.

You can catch me most Saturdays with Kieran and Bruce on 2KY’s Hi-Tide, usually between 5am and 5.30 for the latest on what’s happening around here.

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