Golden times ahead
  |  First Published: October 2016

October up the top end of the lake takes on a different colour at this time of year, and that colour is gold. This is such an exciting time of the year when we know the yellowbelly are starting to school up and get really active.

In other news, now that the lake is open to fishing for cod all year round, this is going to be a season to remember.

Up around the Delatite arm is a real hot spot that produces good numbers of fish on a regular basis, particularly on the rocky fringes on the northern shores. One of the best techniques to try is the old faithful lipless crankbait and similar lures, anything from 40mm right up to 90mm. The most important thing when choosing these lures is to make sure that the tail sits up off the bottom to look like a feeding fish. Some of the cheaper versions just lay flat on their sides and aren’t as productive, and most punters agree with this theory.

If you manage to come across a school of yellas that aren’t very active and you try all your tricks and still can’t get them to eat your lure, here’s a little trick for you. This method goes against what a lot of guys do, but I’ve managed to catch fish when others couldn’t. It’s all about finesse. Go back to basically trout gear, 4-6lb leader a small jighead of around 1/12-1/16oz with hook size size 1 or 2, and put a black and gold t-tail or a black grub cut down to about 25-30mm long. Put this down in front of them and they simply can’t help but to eat it. It’s like offering someone a party pie even if they aren’t hungry. They’ll think ‘why not’!

These fish are the best fun on light gear, and one of the best yellas of my life was a 15lb model fought on an Ecogear SX-40 on a 7’6” Howler custom finesse bream rod with 5lb braid and 3lb leader. It took close to 25 minutes to land, but it was so much fun.

There have been a few yellas caught lately. Luke Muscat picked up a nice yella up in the Goughs Bay area and I expect to see a lot more from that area over the next four months or so.

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