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Cray-zy times in Batlow
  |  First Published: August 2016



Surprisingly, it’s that time of the year again – the last month of the Murray cod season. If you’ve not already had your fix for the season, this month is the time to get it.

Now that it’s super late in the season, it’s time to mix it up and try something different, as these cod have been targeted for almost nine months straight with your conventional spinnerbaits and hardbodies. These lures will still work, but at this time of the season it often pays to give them something a bit different to try and fool them with.

Silent wooden hardbodies, Angel baits, large sort plastics, chatterbaits and skirted jigs hopped super slowly would be my best recommendations this month. Not many anglers have clued onto the skirted jigs for Murray cod, so the fish haven’t seen many, and trust me, they work as well on the cod as they do on the bass, redfin and golden perch.

On top of using these slightly different lures, try using the natural colours like golds, silvers, greens, blacks and browns to help improve your chances at fooling that fish of a life time even more.

Golden perch

If we get some warm days, the golden perch in our lakes and especially Blowering Dam will start to show up in good numbers. This doesn’t happen every year, and it all depends on Mother Nature, but if she does bless us with a bit of warm weather the goldens will often be found sitting high in the water column on the very tree tops just under the surface sunning themselves and picking off any easy meal that swims by.

Polaroiding these fish from a distance, casting past them and bringing the lure back to them will often entice a strike and is one of the most enjoyable ways of catching these often football shaped goldens.

If we haven’t had that much warm weather and the fish aren’t sitting high, a slowly hopped skirted jig can be lethal at this time of the year as the fish are often still a little lethargic from the long cold winter and a slow moving lure that stays in the fishes face for the longest possible time will give you the best chance. Add to this that at this time of the year the crays, yabbies and shrimp are finally starting to stir after their winter hibernation and the fish haven’t seen too many for a while, so they will be looking for them. So it makes good sense to use a lure that imitates this major food source for the predatory fish you are targeting. On top of the jigs, other lures that imitate these crustaceans well are blades.

Obviously bait fishers will find it hard to beat yabbies and shrimp at this time of the year. They will still be a bit hard to find, so hopefully you kept some through the winter and if you were smart enough to do this you should be well rewarded this month. Alternatively, one of the local tackle stores should have some in stock.

Trout

The trout fishing in our lakes can be sensational this month with some trout returning from spawning and others getting ready to spawn. This can result in some spectacular fishing with the fish either really hungry or in super aggressive spawn mode.

Strikes can be crazy and come regularly at this time of the year, and often the bigger, brighter and louder the lure, the better. I love using lipless crankbaits for trout at this time of the year, as they tick all of the boxes. Cast or trolled, these lures are dynamite on trout and for the most part are highly underused lures when targeting this species.

The trout will be mostly sitting within flat line trolling range this month, so there’s no need for lead lines and down riggers just yet.

As I mentioned, the fish that have returned from spawning are super hungry, so bait anglers can clean up this month as well. The best baits will be big juicy grubs, but garden worms and dough baits will also be worth a shot.

The usual trout dams like Tantangara, Eucumbene and Talbingo should all fish well this month, but if you don’t want to travel that far give Blowering a shot. There has been reasonable numbers stocked in the last few years and these fish are now a worthy target in the lake again.

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