Pre-spawn madness ramps up
  |  First Published: May 2016

The weather might be cooling right off but the freshwater fishing in the greater Batlow area is just getting hotter. There are so many fishing options this month it is hard to choose where to fish or what species to target. Big Murray cod are starting to feed hard before the long winter ahead, trout are starting their spawn runs and redfin will be starting to form massive pre-spawn schools.

Redfin and Murray cod

There isn’t a great deal of tucker around at this time of the year, so Murray cod in our impoundments like Blowering and Burrinjuck will often hang around redfin schools, picking off any slow moving, sick or injured fish. Quite often when you are onto a hot redfin bite, you find it’s not just the redfin that get into a frenzy. The cod often fire right up and are at times a common catch. We have caught good-sized Murray cod on ice jigs, small plastics and blades while targeting the redfin, so it pays to keep an eye on the sounder and if you do notice a big arch sitting below the school, you will often find they are Murray cod.

Although we have caught many cod on the above mentioned lures, if a big arch is noticed it pays to have a heavier rod rigged and ready to go with any large sinking lure that somewhat resembles redfin like a lipless crankbait, blade, soft plastic, chatterbait, spinnerbait or Angel Bait.

Baitos targeting the redfin should do well with small yabbies and worms rigged on a double paternoster rig. Start with a yabby on one hook and a worm on the other and see what the fish prefer on the day. If you find they are mostly hitting one type of bait, take the other bait off and rig both hooks with the preferred bait for the day and there is a good chance you will be bringing them in two at a time.

Just like lure fishing for redfin, when bait fishing it pays to keep your bait moving with a gentle lift and drop back to the bottom action. If you aren’t getting bites or hits within the first five minutes, move spots until you find an active patch of fish then fish it hard until the action drops right off.

If you are up to specifically target the big cod in the lakes at this time of the year, daytime captures are now much more likely with the water and air temperatures dropping to a more comfortable level for these massive fish.

Spawn run

The infamous Eucumbene River will be a super popular place this month as the annual pilgrimage of spawn run anglers converge on its banks. If you’ve never fished the spawn run before, I suggest heading up and having a look as the fishing can only be described as insane.

It is not for everyone, as the amount of anglers can at times outnumber the fish, but once they really start spawning, even with the massive crowds there are plenty of trophy sized fish for everyone.

Drifting Glo Bugs and nymphs is the order of the day up there and it can be done with either fly or spin gear.

If like me you go fishing to get away from everyone there are some alternatives to the crowded spawn run rivers. The Tumut River, both down below Blowering and above Talbingo Dam, is a great river at this time of the year. Some other less crowded alternatives are the Goobragandra and Goodradigbee rivers and down on the upper Murray or Swampy Plains rivers.

So as you can see there are still quite a few options again this month and depending on what your favourite species is, this month could be the best month of fishing for the entire year. So rug up and go get amongst some sensational fishing before it does get too cold.

For even more up to date fishing reports or if you’d like to ask Wayne any specific fishing questions check out his website www.mrfreshwater.com.au or like his ‘Mr Freshwater’ Facebook page.

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