Natives and imports biting hard
  |  First Published: February 2016

February may be a hot one but it does not have to mean no native fishing. There is still great Murray cod and golden perch fishing to be had for those willing to get up super early or start late in the day and fish through the night.

You can still catch a few natives in Blowering during the heat of the day if you target the wind swept banks and points that are adjacent to deep water. Blowering Dam lacks the appropriate standing timber for ‘grubbing’ (vertically rolling soft plastics up standing trees) for golden perch, so unlike most other lakes, anglers have to think outside the square and fish tough areas to successfully catch fish during the heat of the day.

trout streams

As is almost always the case, the Tumut River and most of the smaller streams in the area have fished quite well all summer, but it could possibly get even better this month.

Spinning with small bladed lures and small hardbodies is great way of hooking into a heap of great-fighting trout. Many lures and lure styles work on trout but the consistent fish catchers are lures like Celtas, Vibrax minnows, Rooster Tails, Rapala CD3 and CD5s, IMA Sukaris or Asari Matsutas, which work great particularly in the higher flows.

Bait anglers drifting worms in the shallow runs or juicy grubs in the deeper holes should also do well this month, the key to success and good numbers of fish when bait fishing is to keep moving, just like the fly and lure anglers do. If you catch a few fish from a hole, then get no action for ten minutes or so, move on and preferably move up stream to the next hole. Being willing to do the hard yards can be the difference between one fish and 20 or more fish being caught for the day.

If you’re like me and addicted to dry fly fishing, then this month should see you getting your fix all day long. A loudly splashed down hopper fly should get any trout close by to stick their noses out and grab hold of your imitation.

As an each way bet it is always good to run a bead head nymph dropper below your hopper fly, so that if the fish aren’t willing to take the dry you still have a great chance of hooking them on the nymph. Quite often you will see a trout come up and look at the hopper after it splashes down, but then not rise for it or reject it, but quite often they will drop back down in the water column where they feel more at ease to feed and grab hold of the nymph.

Trout lakes

Anglers targeting the lake trout with lures will have to troll or lure deeper during the middle parts of the day for best results. In saying this, once that sun starts to go down the late afternoon hatch normally starts and the fish will be up on the surface feeding hard. Sometimes the fish can be fixated on the particular insect that is hatching that afternoon, but often you can still catch these rising fish on lures as the fish are already feeding hard, and being opportunistic feeders they will often attack a well-presented lure or even a generalist sub surface fly like a Mrs Simpson.

Bait fishers like the rest of the anglers will have the best luck late in the afternoon and through the night. Even in summer it can get quite cold at night, especially up at Tantangara and Eucumbene, but if you put the hard yards in through the night you will rarely go home empty-handed.

Murrumbidgee River tributaries

The Murrumbidgee River has been fishing really well for natives from Canberra all the way threw to Narrandera. Its smaller anabranches like the Tarcutta Creek and Old Man Creek have also been fishing well at times.

Some very good-sized Murray cod were being caught quite regularly during the closed season and it’s very pleasing to see that they are still around with quite a few monster Murray cod being landed since the season opened back up on 1 December.

Both lure and bait anglers have been getting amongst the catches in the ‘bidgee, but bait has probably been best due to the high and fast water. Once the irrigator demands start to slow, so too will the rivers flow and the lure fishing will then get much, much better and be fishable from canoes and kayaks. Bring it on!

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