Cold and clear, but cod aplenty!
  |  First Published: July 2016

We’re well and truly into winter now, and if you’re not debating staying home and warm by now, then you are a hardy and seasoned angler who lives and breathes fishing. Or maybe you’re like me… just plain crazy!

In all seriousness though, the cold weather is something to keep in mind. In summer, many anglers who snag a lure would happily jump in to retrieve their prized possession, but winter time is a whole new ball game, and many times I have considered jumping into the cold and clear water to save a few dollars, but the risks are not worth it. The cold water can cause you to cramp up very quickly and potentially drown, or even then, the shock from the cold could cause your heart to stop. In either instance, your life is worth more than a piece of wood or plastic.

As predicted, the fishing has slowed down considerably with the change of the season. Those fishing for golden perch have retreated to fishing baits around the trees in the dams, and if you can find any shrimp, you can almost consider fish a guarantee.

For those who insist on throwing lures around, use a depth sounder to locate schools of fishing holding out on the deep rocky points or deep flats that have some structure under the water, and then work them over thoroughly with soft plastic or ice jigs. Keeping these lures in the strike zone for as long as possible is important, because you need to entice that strike.

The flavour of the month is swimbaits, and those from Jackall, Koolabung, Mudeye and Gobsmacked are all extremely tough and durable lures capable of handling the XOS Murray cod that they attract. Fishing these lures around the shallow margins around dawn, dusk and right through the darkness is where they will get the most attention, so stick with it and be rewarded with a monster!

Lake Keepit

The dam has been quiet on the yellowbelly front. The Australian Yellowbelly Championships were held on 28-29 May, and from most accounts it was a very slow affair with many anglers struggling to bring back a bag or even a single fish!

Once again, bait fishers would have a slight advantage, but don’t give up entirely on lures.

A few switched on anglers have still managed the odd big cod, the main basin area is the key and fishing tight to the edges with spinnerbaits and chatterbaits has undone a few green monsters.

I also think big surface lures could also bring these goodoo undone as they have in other dams around the New England region. These big surface lures have been a revolution, so watch this space.

Peel and Namoi Rivers

After a recent drop of rain, the rivers have got a little bit of flow going through and that has fired up a few local Murray cod. A few reports have come in from in town and the Jewry Street bridge has had plenty of small cod harassing baits and lures in the afternoons, as has the area behind the velodrome.

Further out of town, the Namoi River at Manilla has had a few good fish show up. Walking good distances and finding a few deeper holes will certainly be worth it to find the bigger cod, but getting them to play is a different story.

So brave the elements, put in the hours, think outside the box and enjoy your fishing as each minute and every cast counts!

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