Keep the rods out, the fishing’s just getting started
  |  First Published: June 2016

It has well and truly cooled off now and it’s only going to get colder. This will be the time many anglers pack up the rods to collect dust for the next three months in wait for the warm spring. If you’re reading this report then you’re in for a few secrets that will put you ahead in the fishing game and maybe convince you to keep the rods out for a little longer.

Fish still have to feed, and what’s even better about winter is the big fish come out to play. It can be slow and hard fishing but the results are well worth the effort. Let’s start with the number one location in the region – the mighty Murrumbidgee River. The dams are below 30%, which should help anglers with low water levels in the rivers. Many people who aren’t anglers ask me, “You wouldn’t be able to fish when there isn’t any water in the river would you?” I tell them it’s the best time to fish because less water means we are closer to the fish, especially in the Murrumbidgee River, as it is used for irrigation. When the farmers cry out for water the river runs high (especially in the last five years since the drought broke). This not only puts metres of water on top of the fish but it adds current. A raging current makes it almost impossible to get down to the big old resident fish, and no matter what the water height is, they will always be hiding out on the bottom.

The river downstream of Wagga Wagga, all the way through to Hay is the place to fish this month. Casting spinnerbaits and hardbody lures at the biggest red gums and snag piles you can find is your best option. This is where the big fish will be. Look for the big snags outside bends and in deep holes. It will also pay to put in lots of casts. By this I mean up to and above 50 casts to each snag. The rule of thumb is the cooler the water is, the more casts it might take to intrigue that big cod. Keep working at it and you will see results.

At this time of year the water will start to clear up, so just make sure you keep a little extra distance from the snags than you usually would, just to ensure you don’t spook the fish. If you are looking to head out, I recommend you fish above the weirs in the pool water at; Berembed Weir, Gogeldrie Weir, Yanco Weir, Hay Weir, Maude Weir and Redbank Weir.

It’s not long now until the Tumut River closes on the June long weekend to all angling. If you’re keen for a trout, make sure to head up that way for a fish soon. Most standard trout lures will work in the low water, but one in particular that I use with great success is the Powerbait TTail minnow. It’s perfect for trout, with an elongated body and a small paddle-tail that works exceptionally well in the shallow and quick water. Rig this on a 1/16oz Nitro Jighead and you’ll have the perfect combination for trout fishing. Just remember the water is very clear up this way and you should use a rod length of fluorocarbon leader that’s no more than 6lb.

Lastly, Old Man Creek is running very low and can be hit and miss at this time of year. It is susceptible to the cooler conditions but can still produce on its day. Even though it’s hit and miss, it’s well worth the effort as the size in which some of the cod grow to in this waterway is insane, with some absolute monsters hiding in the deep holes. Spinnerbaits and hardbody lures will work perfectly when fished down into the deep holes. Surface lures are always worth a crack at first and last light.

It may be cold, but that’s no excuse when the fish are biting – happy fishing!

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