Skiers invade Jindabyne
  |  First Published: August 2016

The mountains are now all white and the snow bunnies are everywhere. August is the busiest month for Jindabyne township, and traffic jams are common early and late in the day as everyone heads to and from the ski resorts.

If you’re coming to fish in August, you have to either book early or look at cheaper options, like what is available in Berridale and Cooma, as you may find it very difficult to get anything in Jindabyne.

Fishing on Lake Jindabyne is at its best this month, as most of the trout have spawned now and have returned to the lake and are looking for a feed.

You also have a chance still at catching one of the monster Atlantic salmon that were release by Gaden Trout Hatchery. Atlantics over 15lb have already been caught this winter and there are bigger ones out there waiting for you.

August and September are possibly your last two months to catch a brook trout. Brookies will go and hide once the water starts to warm up in October.

Over the past couple of months, the bait fishing has been very good and August is a fantastic month to have a fish from the shore. You will see quite a few people fish before and after a day in the snow, some catching fresh trout for dinner.

On the cold windy and even snowy days, you often see anglers sitting by the camp fire or even sitting in their cars waiting for a trout to bite and the ‘bite’ can happen any time of the day, so a little patience may be necessary, but the rewards will be there.

Worms and artificial baits have always been a favourite way of winter fishing, and it always brings results. When worm fishing, use plenty of tiger worms or a single scrubworm, and fish them off the bottom using a running sinker.

There is a lot of weed about at the moment, so it is best to put muslin on your line to keep it floating above the bottom.

You can also suspended a bait under a float and if you want to use artificial bait (most will float) try a little split shot on the hook to keep the bait down.

As the fish move about the lake so much over in winter, there is no particular spot better than another, but a hint is shallow water early and late and slightly deeper water in the bright sunny parts of the days, but not too deep! Try the sheltered bays at creek mouths for the brookies. Wollondibby Inlet and Rushes Bay are both worth a try.

For the fly anglers that have been struggling to catch a trout over the last couple of months, August is the start to the polaroiding season where cruising trout can been seen in the shallows as they work around the edges of the lake looking for something to eat.

You sometimes have to look for shadows, as the trout can be often hard to spot, and of course you have to be a reasonabley accurate caster and the fly has to land on the water without spooking the trout, so all of that adds up to a good challenge and that is what is so exciting especially when you see the trout move towards the fly. If the trout takes the fly, then that is the ultimate adrenalin rush, and playing out the fish is just so exciting, even if it does end up busting you off.

Some days the trout will take big flies like my Goldfish Fly, Hamills Killers, and Woolley Buggers and other days the tiniest black nymph will work best. You just have to experiment a bit.

With the higher lake levels, the fish are hanging about the bays and some areas to try are Creel Bay, Hayshed and Hatchery Bay, Mill Creek Inlet, The Claypits, and The Snowy Arm.

Lure spinning from the shore any time of the day can be productive for all species of fish in Lake Jindabyne. I like to use mainly minnow lures in natural patterns. The 13g Tasmanian Devil lures are perfect on windy days, and it is always best to cast into the wind rather than have the wind at your back. You catch more trout on the windward shore and the best colours are aggression colours, like pink number 55, or yellow wing number 36 to represent goldfish and brown number 48 or holographic, as these colours look like yabbies to brown trout.

A variety of soft plastics are also worth trying at this time, possibly due to the smell that is impregnated into these products. It’s best if they are also natural or cold colours for the inlets and orange or pink for open water. The Strike Tiger range of plastics have been great in Lake Jindabyne, especially the 3” curl tail princess pink and vodka n orange.

Winter boat trolling can be a little slower at this time of year, but winter is when we catch all the big trout, even if we have to put in the hours to get them.

Older proven Tasmanian Devil colours like pink number 55 or orange number 56 are still the best over winter. These are aggression colours in winter and the trout will strike these hard. Also keep in mind a number y36 yellow wing for the sunnier days and Tassie Devil holographic, or a number 48 or y48 are always worthwhile early and late in the day or off three colours on lead core line.

There is still plenty of big fish at Creel Bay, and it is not too difficult to fish given there is so much more water this year.

July roundup – the best of the best!

Best methodBait fishing with worms and artificial bait, but lure spinning is also very good.
Best lake lureTasmanian Devil in pink 55 or Holographic and spotted dog StumpJumper.
Best lake areaClaypits and Creel Bay
Best fly methodWilliamson’s Gold Fish or Wooley Buggers and maybe a black nymph
Best riverRivers closed until October
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