Fishing and camping go hand in hand and I can’t think of a better time than now to enjoy both.
The fishing is normally sensational, especially at Blowering Dam, and the days are so long that even the keenest fishos can get their fix. And it can sometimes be even better at night.
Even though Blowering is normally receding this month it still produces some excellent catches. Redfin predominate this month but there are normally some very big Murray cod and golden perch caught as well.
Medium to large yabbies on a paternoster rig are the best way to avoid the small redfin that at times can steal your bait before it has even hit the bottom. This technique fooled many big yellowbelly last December and there were also a few big cod caught this way.
Other baits like wood grubs, bardi grubs and worms will get you the odd native but you will more than likely catch mostly redfin.
Trolling can be very rewarding because the redfin are normally very active and can be found in water from 30cm to 30m, making them unavoidable. But these tasty fish are an enjoyable by-catch when targeting native fish.
Now that the Murray cod season is open it’s time to break out the big lures and troll your favourite run in expectation of catching up with a greenfish. You still catch the odd golden on big cod lures. The best to troll at Blowering are the locally-made Stuckeys, Merlin Ultra Deeps, small StumpJumpers, spinnerbaits or lipless crankbaits.
Spinnerbaits and lipless cranks cast around the edges early and late in the day are also effective for the natives, especially the goldens.
A couple of months ago while enjoying a hot yella casting session I landed one unlike any other I’ve ever seen. The fish had a perfectly-shaped forked tail. I don’t know how this has happened other than some silly rednecks with nothing better cutting the tail to make it appear forked, but it didn’t seem to worry the fish. It was very healthy, hard fighting and the tail had grown over and it almost looked normal.
I’ve seen an almost identical tail on a Murray cod picture on an internet chat room and the guys on there seemed to think it was fin rot but I’m not convinced: both fish appeared as if they had been cut with scissors in the middle of the tail. If anyone knows with certainty how this occurs or has caught fish with similar disfigurements, feel free to email me and share your experiences.
There has been a noticeable average size increase in Tumut River trout this season although numbers have dropped slightly. Spinning and fly fishing have been sensational and should continue so for a while.
A lot of fish have been caught on Glo Bugs and nymphs but plenty are willing to take a dry fly.
Fishos have also done well on a variety of lures from 1” soft plastics to big Tassie Devils and everything in between but the best all-round models have been flashy spinners lures like 1/8oz Rooster Tails and Tsunami Cocktails. Although I prefer the 1/16oz size in the low flows, the 1/8oz seems to be the best all-rounder.
So when fishing the Tumut River, I’d make sure you had these in your box.
What better place to test your luck against a big cod than the lovely Murrumbidgee River? I choose to not fish the Murrumbidgee during closed season because even smaller lures aimed at golden perch hook the odd cod. With evidence proving cod released during the cooler months don’t go on to spawn, I’d only be doing harm. Anyway, golden perch in Blowering and Burrinjuck can be sensational during the closed season.
Most cod now will be keen to hit just about anything thrown their way. Casters can look forward to good catches, especially with big spinnerbaits. Trollers tend to do alright on the outsides of sharp bends using lures from 90mm to 150mm.
Bait fishing can be pretty flat out at times, especially when using worms. Everything from crayfish to cod love juicy worms but best baits for the natives are shrimp, yabbies and bardi grubs.Reads: 1015