Spinnerbait success in The Peel
  |  First Published: April 2016

With summer past us and the shadows of winter approaching, it is now the time of year when anglers are torn between fishing for the smaller run of natives and hoping for big numbers, or thinking big and probing the older snags in the river to look for some size.

Big trophy fish represent what we do as anglers, and to target these fish there’s really only one way – fishing big lures in the 100mm+ bracket to switch on the big old fish. Anglers have used lures in excess of 160-250mm, so gearing up tackle to suit these oversized cod snacks is always imperative to your success. Generally I fish a lighter rod in the 4-7kg bracket but upsize to an 8-10kg stick and 50lb braid for bigger winter fish. Get out there and put in the hours and you too could join the meter club.

Peel River

The Peel River has been quiet lately; the lack of rain and the abundance of weed have made the fishing difficult, especially in the lower reaches from Tamworth and downstream towards Gunnedah. Heading north toward the township of Dungowan and Piallamore has been a little better, and if you have a kayak or canoe then connecting to one of our hard fighting natives shouldn’t be too hard. Fish spinnerbaits and sinking rattling lures around submerged timber and rock piles on dawn and dusk. You could also find a deeper bend in the river and try a lightly weighted yabby or bardi grub – if a hungry cod or golden perch is home, it won’t be long before you know about it. With the cooler weather approaching, the European carp that were in plague numbers will still be around but catching them will involve a different process. Fish deeper sloping banks with good weed and muddy bottom with a bit of berley to find them. I don’t think freshwater anglers use berley in our rivers and dams as much as our saltwater counterparts. A mixture of bread, worms and corn mixed in with water and aniseed oil is a fantastic starting point to draw more bites from even the most dormant of fish.

Lake Keepit

There have been multiple similar reports from the locals, in regards to golden perch and catfish caught around in the main basin of the dam with worms and shrimp the most effective baits. There are still a few golden perch grabbing lipless crankbaits as they flutter precariously close to the scattered timber through the dam. The big ticket this month will be Murray cod in the dam, and those willing to fish late and long hours are in with a serious chance to land a big cod. Fish the shallows at night around the weed beds with large hardbodies and chatter baits. Everyone has their own methods to fish for cod; some follow barometer readings while others follow certain moon cycles but I believe if you’re not on the water you will never know. Keep a fishing journal and you’ll be surprised at how often you catch fish dependent on particular conditions.

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