A golden opportunity
  |  First Published: October 2007

With the Murray cod closed season upon us, you could be forgiven for thinking it time to take a rest, give the Better Half a hand around the place and watch the footy finals – but you would be missing out on some fantastic fishing.

Golden perch are the flavour of the month and target and catching these fish will get you in tune for the upcoming cod season.

If you want to target yellowbelly in the Macquarie River, you should head west and fish from Gin Gin weir to around Warren, where there seems to be a healthy population. Fishing below weirs is a great place to start because these fish generally congregate below weirs at this time of year. I recommend that you downgrade the size of your lures to prevent accidental capture of cod during the closed season and to fit the significantly smaller fodder size the goldens perfer.

The Darling River has received some much-needed rain and it seems more is coming down from northern NSW and Queensland. How far this water reaches is anyone’s guess.

But with new water coming down and plenty of weirs on the Darling, you can expect heaps of yellowbelly to be on the bite. At this time the bite can last all day and cricket-score catches can be achieved – just remember to take only enough for your immediate needs and release the rest.


If you’re after something different in the Lachlan, head below Wyangala Dam for the opening of the trout season.

Even if you don’t end up catching a trout, you certainly will see more than a few carp and these seem to actively take lures worked on a stop-start retrieve. You will find yellowbelly and the occasional silver perch fishing below the weirs along the Lachlan. Remember also that any silver perch caught in a river must be released.

With Wyangala Dam really coming alive and Burrendong Dam offering consistent catches, the impoundments seem to be the places to go during the closed season. My past two trips to Wyangala have produced 20 or more fish in an afternoon session.

Bait fishing from the banks still seems the best option. When the water clears and warms a little, both dams should produce some excellent lure fishing.

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