Steamy Autumn Nights
  |  First Published: May 2016

The hot weather has dragged on into late autumn; these steamy nights keep anglers awake with the heat and the thought of catching some beautiful native fish. This anticipation eventually leads to euphoria when that bait, lure or fly gets nailed and the hand-to-hand battle of fish versus angler is won!

Over the last month, afternoon thunderstorms have brewed up some great fishing in the Tamworth region. Surface lures still work a treat, and smaller lures that imitate frogs, crickets or mice have accounted for many feisty goodoo that lay in ambush around dawn and dusk.

Even though we have had a few storms there is still very little water in our local rivers, small pools of very weedy holes have become the norm, and unless we get decent rain soon I fear a fish kill could occur due to such low oxygen levels.

Lake Keepit

Lake Keepit has been a tough nut to crack for me in recent weeks, and my go-to techniques have struggled to get any bites or interest at all. From all other accounts, anglers fishing deep around the trees with shrimps have weighed in a few golden perch. Another productive technique is to fish soft plastics very slowly, almost on the bottom puffing up silt to imitate a yabby or shrimp foraging around the bottom. Those in the know have caught the odd trophy cod, these bigger fish in the 80-100cm range have been taken on large trolled spinnerbaits and deep divers around drop-offs and weed beds around the main basin.

Chaffey dam

Chaffey Dam is alive and well. The carp seem to have gone quiet but the golden perch have been on fire – it’s not common at this time of year to have such aggressively feeding golden perch, so relish it while it lasts! Schools have been feeding actively around the weed beds and rocky points in the last hour or so before dark, and small vibrating lures like the Jackall TN 50 have been a clear standout, but TT switchblades account for a good number of fish as well. These nugget shaped goldens will also respond well to baits of shrimp and worms, baitfishers should expect some by-catch as well, with eel tailed catfish and silver perch the repeat offenders.

Peel/Namoi River

The rivers around our Tamworth are looking dismal at best with the lack of rain and flow really making things tough. Small pockets of water followed by the odd larger pool make the scenic views somewhat unappealing but there are still fish to be caught if you go in with confidence, patience and persistence, switch up the way you fish, as shallow divers like the models commonly used for barramundi can often turn these cod on in the shallow pools. Colour choice is personal, but I have been doing well on gold or browns and greens and these imitate the European carp that they commonly feed on. Be flexible and don’t limit yourself to the standard lure types.

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