Hit the rivers before it’s too late!
  |  First Published: June 2016

With only a couple of weeks left until the end of the trout season, my first recommendation for this month would be to go and get your trout fix before that option is taken away from you. Most anglers who have not already gone up will be heading to the Eucumbene River to get stuck into some XOS trout as they attempt their spawning run, but if you are not into shoulder-to-shoulder fishing, then there are still plenty of options for you.

The Tumut River, the Goobragandra River and all of the smaller trout rivers and streams in the area will be worth fishing this month. Most fish will either be starting to spawn or getting ready to spawn and anglers can legally take advantage of this.

Fly fishers will find it very hard to beat the good old Glo Bugs this month, as a lot of fish will already be picking off the eggs from the early spawners. Using a floating one as well as a sinking one could see you hooking crazy numbers of fish. Alternatively, use large dries like big hopper patterns or big wets as there is a lot of food about for the fish at the moment and you really need to use something big to get their attention.

Bait anglers will do well this month with big juicy grubs or any artificial egg bait like PowerBait. Use either, or both of these baits with a small split shot sinker just heavy enough to get you to the bottom of the creek or river you’re fishing and allow the bait or baits to drift along nice and naturally to bring plenty of fish unstuck.

Lure fishers should also do well this month and large hardbodies like the Rapala CD5 and CD7s and even 9 and 11cm models are worth a throw. Alternatively, spinners like Rooster tails, Insanity Tackle Bling spins and Cocktails that are bright in colour and feature pink, red, green or yellow will also account for plenty of fish. Work these lures quickly to generate aggressive reaction strikes from the fish this month.

Trout lakes

A good alternative to the often-super busy rivers and creeks at this time of the year are the trout lakes. There are plenty of lakes to choose from in the area including Jounama, Tantangra, Talbingo, 3 Mile and Eucumbene dams to name but a few. The trout in these lakes that have not already shot upstream to attempt to spawn will be very active as they try to pack on as much weight as they can before they do try to make the annual pilgrimage upstream.

Fishing the shallower margins of these lakes can be done all day long this month, as the water temperature is right at the trout’s comfort zone, and as all good anglers know, the fish that are in the shallows are up there for a reason – to feed! So catching these fish is far easier than trying to catch the fish that are holding out deep in the lake.

The best lures to cast around the shallows are the ones I described for the running water, as well as soft plastics like the Ecogear Grass Minnows and Power Shad and small blades. Alternatively, you can try and annoy the deep holding fish in the lake by hopping lures like Mask Vibes or Insanity Tackle Mini Vibes in their faces.

Blowering natives

Blowering Dam’s Murray cod are most likely to be caught after dark during the warmer months and this can also be the case during winter, but at this time of the year Murray cod will quite often move up into the shallows during the middle of the day to bask in the sun, and like any opportunistic fish if there happens to be an easy feed around while they are up there, they will make the most of it.

The best way to target these fish is with big long casts, as cod can be very flighty in the crystal clear shallows that Blowering is famous for. Repeat casts with large lipless crank baits, shallow running hardbodies, spinnerbaits and chatterbaits to see you in with a good chance of hooking a few Murray cod. Natural coloured lures like greens, golds and browns will work best when the water is clear but if we have just had a heap of rain and the edges are dirty, try very dark colours like blacks and purples or very bright ridiculous colours like the Elton John colour (fluoro pink, bright yellow, bright orange).

Golden perch can also be caught this month, but the bite window can be very small at this time of the year. Generally they come on the bite for about an hour or so during the middle to late part of the day when the water is at its warmest. Just like Murray cod, these fish are best targeted in the shallows with long repeat casts, however using smaller lures will increase your chances with the golden perch.

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