As a freshwater fisho, you just have to love spring – another month with great weather and so many great fishing options. The trout season is back in full swing, both in the lakes and rivers. Golden perch fishing to be had in our lakes will be about as good as it gets until early next spring.
Blowering Dam, Burrinjuck Dam and Lake Hume will all be well worth a flick this month with golden perch activity about to peak. At Blowering, try fishing the edges with small lipless crankbaits early and late in the day or along any windswept bank.
If they aren’t sitting on the banks, you’ll have to fish down deep with rubber vibes and blades, especially any banks and points that have been copping a flogging from wave and wind activity. The backs of bays are also worth a hit early in the day and at night.
At Burrinjuck dam and Lake Hume, it’s very hard to beat grubbing in the trees. This technique has gained huge popularity over the last couple of years. On top of being super easy to master, it consistently yields good numbers of fish.
The technique is simple; grab hold of a tree and drop your plastic to the bottom then slowly wind the lure to the surface before dropping the plastic back down and repeating it all over again. Any 2-4” plastic will do the job, but it’s hard to beat a 3” single curl-tail rigged on a 1/4oz jighead.
Trout anglers will be able to get their fixes at a number of places this month. The lakes always fish well this time of year. Jounama, Tantangra, Talbingo, Dry and Three Mile dams, and Lake Eucumbene are all worth a shot this month. Most trout lovers will be hitting the creeks and rivers now that trout season is back into full swing.
The Tumut River will see its fair share of anglers this month and with good reason. Generally the discharges from Blowering Dam in November are quite low, meaning the Tumut River could be low and make for some amazing and easy fishing.
If the river is in low flow, lure fishing is about as easy as it gets. Simply jump in the river and slowly work your way upstream. Cast ahead of yourself as you go. Best lures for this style of fishing are the good old Rapala CD3s, IMA Sukaris, Asari Matsutas, Insanity Tackle Bling spins, Wordens Rooster Tails and Gillies Feather Tails.
Colour selection with these lures is critical, as the river is almost always crystal clear. Most of the time, bright unnatural looking lures will just scare fish and limit your chances, especially at those bigger smarter fish. By sticking to natural colours, you’ll scare less fish and in turn catch more. In this area, due to the massive numbers of rainbow trout present, it’s hard to beat a rainbow trout coloured lure when targeting any trout.
Flyfishing is generally good this month. The odd fish is already starting to take a dry fly and almost all fish will respond to wets, especially nymphs. I like to cover both bases by using a dry fly as my indicator. Depending on the depth, I have a 1-4ft dropper off the dry with a bead head nymph attached. This helps me work out what the fish want on any given day. After I see what the first ten or so fish are caught on, I may change my set up. If I’m getting them on both flies, I leave this setup.
If I find most fish are rising for the dry, I’ll get rid of the nymph dropper. If all of the first fish are caught on the nymph dropper, I get rid of the dry fly and replace it with a floating stick-on indicator, and then add another nymph to the first one so the fish have two flies to choose from that I know that they’re interested in. Flyfishing using these strategies will see you catch good numbers of trout all year round in all conditions.
Drifting bait also works well in the low flows. The key word here is ‘drifting’. If your bait is not drifting, you’ll catch far less than if it is, so be sure to actively fish your bait for best results. Many types of bait will catch trout at this time of the year like worms, PowerBait, yabbies and prawn tails, but it’s very hard to beat a juicy wood grub. The hard work involved in gathering these grubs makes it worthwhile when you’re hooking fish after fish.
Golden perch and plastics go hand in hand, especially at Lake Hume and Burrinjuck Dam. This one fell to a twin curl tail plastic but pretty much any plastic in the 2-4” range will do the job.
If the fish aren’t sitting around the edges at Blowering Dam, go deep with blades or rubber vibes. This one fell for one the new Insanity Tackle Mini vibes but other great lures for hopping in the deep are the Jackall Mask vibe. When it comes to blades, it’s hard to beat the Ecogear ZX range.
True trophy sized trout like this 70cm specimen are a rare possibility this month, both in our lakes and our rivers. No need to get out of bed early for them yet either. Air and water temperatures are still right in their comfort zone.
Trout are now back on the cards in our creeks and rivers and with fish like this about, you’d be crazy not to get out there amongst them.Reads: 1003