Warmer water, warmer weather and the holidays are a potent mix on our waterways, possibly more so with water levels as low as they are. Windamere, Wyangala, Burrendong, and Ben Chiefly dams will be very, very busy, and all I can say is be patient, and courteous to all other water users.
One way to avoid the rush is to fish during the week. Of course, this option is not available to most so the next-best strategy is a very early morning weekend session. Plan to be off the water by about 10am to avoid most of the traffic, and possibly get the best fishing action.
The upper reaches of Windamere Dam, around the boat ramp area, are very shallow either side of the creek channel at the moment so take it easy in this area.
The fishing for golden perch in Windamere does tend to slow up a little over the Christmas period. The place gets fished pretty hard over Spring and I think the fish get a little lure- and boat-shy.
Anglers who walk the banks casting unweighted baits, flies or lightly weighted soft plastics will do best. The weed sometimes makes this option a little painful but perseverance does pay dividends.
This option is great for the early morning session I talked about earlier.
Later on in the day, the intelligent use of a quality sounder is a good option. The tops of drowned gum trees in deep water can hold some quality fish at this time of year.
With the Murray cod season open, lots of anglers will be ready to tangle with these great fish. Thanks to the DPI Fisheries stocking program and the revenue generated by our fishing licences, the chance of catching a Murray cod has greatly increased over the past 10 years.
My fishing photo album was virtually devoid of cod seven or eight years ago, now it’s overflowing and I am proud to say they all went back alive and well.
Waterways such as Wyangala and, to a lesser extent Windamere and Burrendong, are producing cod much more consistently.
I will say again that Burrendong has huge potent ional as a cod fishery. The food is there for them in the squillions of redfin and European carp, the water quality is usually pretty good and there is some good structure in the dam.
Casting large spinnerbaits and lures around solid structure in the form of horizontal logs and rocky reefs is a great way to tangle with a cod. Casting (often lots of casting) surface lures around shallow timbered margins is also something a lot more anglers are experimenting with. Just on or after dark is the best time.
Trolling large deep-diving lures is the most popular method of chasing cod in our impoundments and for good reason: You get to cover lots of water and your lure stays in the strike zone for the longest period possible.
Having said that, the cod in Wyangala have a liking for smaller deep-diving lures around 60mm to 80mm. I’m not sure why but it’s been proven time and again to me over the years.
Finishing up, I’d like to congratulate Canobolas Marine in Orange for 50 years of service to the people of the surrounding district and beyond. From humble beginnings to where they are today is a credit to all those who have been and still are involved.Reads: 552