Murray cod come out to boof
  |  First Published: June 2016

There is something special about this time of year, the freezing cold air and early starts make for some of the most picturesque moments you could hope for while out on the river. Low fog and the crunchy ice covered flora make trekking the rivers an interesting affair, but if you’re keen enough, the rewards are well worth it.

My one tip for fishing during winter is to spend money on a quality pair of water resistant boots. Not only will you get comfort, durability and extra grip, but also keeping your feet warm and dry is essential if you are covering long distances on foot. Generally, winter time in the Tamworth region sees the fishing slow down a little, the once abundant golden perch almost disappear into their winter retreats and remain dormant until spring arrives. The tailing carp that have been cruising the edges are now down on the thermoclines feeding on aquatic insects and will be much harder to find and fool. Persistence will be the deciding factor as to whether you find a few or head home with your tail tucked between your legs. Murray cod encounters will slow for the smaller fish that were present in large numbers this season, but the big girls will start to feed up so now is the time to beef up those baits, lures and flies and chase those trophy fish. You may have to work hard and fish longer hours for these fish, but the chance of tangling with a 1m+ fish (something many anglers aspire to achieve in their lifetime) will markedly increase – there is no better time of year to do it.

Just a reminder for all you keen trout fishers – the season ends this month, so the long weekend will be your last chance to wet a line before the season re-opens again on the October long weekend. Small Celtas and any small hardbody or fly with some pink or orange on it will be a great late season imitation. Get out and make the most of these beautiful imports – they fight hard and are equally as tasty on the barbeque.

Sheba dam

The Sheba dams up near hanging rock are a beautiful place to take the family; they have shelters, barbeque areas and plenty of walking tracks to take a stroll on but it is also stoked with rainbow trout by the areas fishing clubs a few times a year and being a dam the closed season does not apply so if you need your trout fix before October this is one place you can scratch that itch, baits of worm small yabbies and Berkley power baits work well here as do spinners and small flies like egg patterns and nymphs.

Split rock dam

Split rock has had a huge resurgence in the last few months, with a hot yellowbelly bite that really took locals by surprise. I predict the winter months will see the big cod come out from hiding as Split Rock was once renowned for an abundance of huge fish but has seemingly been a sleeping giant for a few seasons. I’d say with the big yellowbelly boom, the cod might just wake up as well, so hit the edges early mornings and into the night with big spinnerbaits and diving lures and wrangle one of these giants to the boat for a few quick pictures. Just make sure you return these big breeders to the water so they can breed more cod for future generations of fish and anglers alike. Proven colours in the Dam include purple/black and blue/black, so don’t leave home without a few variations.

Drop in and see the team at Tamworth Fishing Tackle as they will have more than enough knowledge to get you started before your next outing, until then good luck and tight lines.

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