Normally at Blowering Dam at this time of the year, the redfin in the lake are plentiful and easy to catch. This year they are still easy to catch, but finding a patch of them has been quite difficult for most anglers.
Those who have come across them either by clever use of their sounders, stumbling across them on the troll or while drifting, have really cleaned up. The majority of these fish have been fairly small, but there are still plenty of big ones out there and the odd trophy sized one to keep spirits and expectation levels high.
Anglers trolling small hardbodies are catching a good number of redfin, but those who try something slightly different are getting the best results.
Trolling suspending hardbodies with a constant stop-start technique is arguably the best way to target the bigger, wiser redfin at Blowering Dam. Constantly stopping the lure for up to ten seconds at a time can be a lot of big redfins’ undoing. To put it simply, they just can’t let an easy meal sit there for too long or those pesky schools of little redfin will get in and eat it first. If they don’t hit it while it is stationary, then they will often smash it as soon as you start moving the lure again, as this can look like their prey is trying to get away from them.
The other added bonus of using this technique is that when you do hook a fish you can simply leave the other rods out, sitting in the strike zone, which gives you a good chance of multiple hook ups. More often than not one hooked fish can turn the rest of the school into a feeding frenzy and the lures that are still sitting there in the strike zone get hit even though the boat and lures haven’t moved.
Another great little trick for increasing your redfin catch rate is to add a small 1-2” soft plastic or a flashy saltwater fly to your main line about a metre or so above your chosen trolling lure. This technique also gives you a great chance of getting a few multiple hook ups and when you do get two on the one rod it can make for some interesting battles, especially when they’re both up around the 2kg mark!
Pulling up after locating a good school and casting to them with lipless crankbaits, soft plastics, blades, vibes, ice jigs or metal spinners is another great way of getting some good numbers of fish under your belt.
Golden perch will be finally worth targeting up in the shallows this month, particularly early and late in the day. It is still a bit too warm for them to spend too much time in the shallows in the middle of these hot days, but they do love to lie in thick pockets of grass or weed waiting to ambush any easy meal that swims or crawls by. As soon as that sun starts to dip over the Snubba Range, they will move up into the shallows for a feed.
I like to target these fish with lures such as lipless crankbaits, Angel Baits, spinnerbaits, chatterbaits, soft plastics, beetle spins and hardbodies, both floating and suspending depending on how weedy the area is that I am fishing.
The Angel Baits, spinnerbaits, chatterbaits, beetle spins and the soft plastics all only have the one hook point, which generally means you will foul your lure less in the weed, but some days the fish just won’t hook up on these lures and a very slow, and I mean slow, retrieve with a hardbodied lure can often bring results. The only drama with these lures in extremely weedy areas is that they get fouled up far more often due to their six hook points hanging from below the lure.
A great way to reduce the foul ups is to take the trebles off your hardbodies and run assist hooks just off the rear tow point. This will mean your lure isn’t constantly getting fouled up, resulting in more hook ups.
There have been some insane numbers of big Murray cod caught in recent months but the cod fishing has just started to slow down due to the constantly dropping lake levels. In saying this, there are still plenty being caught, just not in the amazing numbers that were being caught in late spring and early summer.
The best techniques have been casting and trolling with Angel Baits and spinnerbaits, and the larger the lure, the better the results. There have also been plenty caught by those bait fishing, with the pick of the baits being grubs and large yabbies, but there have also been quite a few caught on cheese and raw chicken breast, yes that’s right, cheese and chicken breast works as well in the lakes as it does in the rivers.
The trout streams in the area have fished really well over the summer months and if you are into fly fishing, in particular dry fly fishing, it has been insane. There have been good numbers of hoppers about and the trout have been willing to rise to most floating hopper imitations.
Lure anglers have also fared quite well, especially after rain events when the water is too high and dirty for fly fishing. It won’t be long until the hoppers disappear, so get one on and get among them. Even if you can’t fly fish, get up early and catch a few real grasshoppers, lightly pin them through the wings and drift them down a likely looking run. This works just as well as fly fishing and is often referred to as ‘poor mans’ fly fishing’. Either way, it works really well at this time of the year and is hard to beat.Reads: 651