The fishing is unbelievable!
  |  First Published: December 2016

We’ve had unbelievable fishing in all the dams, with the yellowbelly spawning and highly aggressive.

Everything has filled up, and Chaffey’s water level is at a new high thanks to the extended dam wall. When it first filled it was a bit of a shock to the fish because the green grass started to rot, removing oxygen from the water. There was a small fish kill, but now things have settled down nicely. There’s heaps of food in the form of baitfish and shrimp, and the fish are spawning all over the newly flooded areas. There is now timber in this dam for the first time, giving fish some great new hiding places.

Chaffey Dam

Chaffey is fishing extremely well. Late afternoon and evening is the best time to catch yellowbelly, and the most effective lures have been lipless crankbaits, such as Jackall TN60s, in any of the darker colours. You can cast them to the edges or structure and just slow roll them back, or if you get over a point you can vertically jig them.

Lately most yellas have ranged anywhere from 40-60cm, and they’re very healthy, fat fish. It’s not surprising, given the amount of food in there for them.

Keepit and Split Rock dams

Both of these dams are fishing really well. I recommend casting to the edges with lipless crankbaits, or fishing with soft plastics around the trees. We’ve had good results on 3” black Gulp Minnow Grubs, rigged on 1/6oz or 1/4oz jigheads with a 1/0 hook. You can just cast and hop them back to you, but we’ve had the best success using a vertical presentation around the trees. Blades have also been working well lately, particularly Ecogear ZX 40s in black.

Both dams produce all day, unlike Chaffey, which fishes best in the afternoon and evening. I’m not sure why, but that’s how it is.


The rivers have been really pumping. Because of all the dams are so full, all the water coming into the dams has been flowing straight into the rivers. Things have started to settle down now though. The cod population is really strong, and everyone has been hanging out for the cod season opening on 1 December.

In November there were good catches of yellowbelly. The two most productive lure options in the rivers are to cast small spinnerbaits and lipless crankbaits. Small hardbodies catch their share as well.


Everything is set for one of the best openings to the cod season that we’ve seen for a long time. The rivers and dams are going to be fantastic. Everything is looking on the up and up.

The surface lure fishing is going to be fantastic for the cod. I recommend big surface lures around 80mm, such as Jackall Pompadours, Custom Craft Moonwalkers and Kingfishers. Big spinnerbaits, such as our AusSpin CodSpin, will also be highly effective. The general rule is darker colours later in the evening and brighter or natural colours through the day.

This great fishing should continue all through summer. I can’t wait!

This month’s report has been supplied by Steve from AusSpin Lures and Tamworth Fishing Tackle. For more information on what’s biting and where, drop into the store at 15 Roderick St, Tamworth or phone (02) 6766 7100. The friendly staff will be happy to answer any questions you may have. You can also check out the full range of AusSpin spinnerbaits, which are now manufactured in-store.

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