The month of February can be a challenging month for anglers, especially those targeting natives in our lakes. The days are long and hot and just like us, the fish would prefer to either get up early or wait until the sun goes down before they go about their business.
Early starts followed by midday siestas are one way to go about it. You could wait until late afternoon and fish through into the night. At this time of the year, there are way more fish caught at night than during the day, so it makes sense to focus as much of your efforts as possible on this fishing period. There is one exception to this.
Redfin don’t seem to feel the effects of hot days as much as our natives or trout. Redfin can still be caught all day long on hot days. They’re your best target, if you just have to fish during the day. At this time of the year they can be found anywhere from the surface all the way down to about 40ft. It pays to have a good sounder to locate them that much easier.
The best techniques depend on the depth of the located school. If they’re holding deep and holding tight to the bottom, I recommend jigging with ice-jigs, blades or vibes. If they’re in shallow water or holding mid water then casting and retrieving or trolling with small lipless crankbaits, spinners and plastics will be your best bet.
Your best chances of hooking into some of Blowering Dam resident natives will come after dark. The temperature drops and cools at night to a much more comfortable zone and this alone makes the natives feel much more at ease. Add to this the fact that night makes them safer and is a form of cover for them, you can see why it pays to fish or concentrate your efforts after dark. Bear in mind the water temperature will be its coolest just before the sun comes up. If we’re in a bit of a heat wave, the best fishing will come between 3-6am.
Thanks to the massive natural recruitment of Murray cod from 2012-2013, there is now an insane number of Murray cod in the 30-60cm range to keep anglers busy between XOS cod captures. This is sensational for the fishery as well. There was a distinct lack of smaller cod in this lake. Now thanks to their own efforts and Mother Nature keeping the lake full while their eggs hatched and grew, we now have a sensational cod fishery that will only continue to get better and better. It was already up there for producing some of the country’s biggest Murray cod. It never had a reputation for numbers of cod, but hopefully this is all about to change.
The biggest draw card in the Tumut/Batlow area at the moment is the unbelievable trout fishing we are having in our small streams. We have fished over a dozen small creeks over the last couple of months and pretty much all of them are fishing well with good to great numbers present.
The creeks that have the lowest number of resident fish are the ones producing the biggest fish most regularly. With the amount of flow in our creeks over the last six months, fish have fed up really well. Even creeks that are teeming with naturally recruited fish are still producing some really big creek trout. It really is a win-win situation for trout anglers in our greater area at the moment.
I’ve been having great luck on the fly of late with plenty of trout willing to rise for a dry. It seems the bigger the fly, the better, as plentiful cicadas and grasshoppers are around again this year. Most hoppers will work, but my favourite hopper dry fly is the Joes hopper – one of the greatest dry flies ever tied.
Fish that haven’t been keen enough to stick their noses out for a dry lately have happily taken a weighted nymph suspended below the dry fly. My absolute favourite nymphs are the red copper John gold bead nymphs but natural blacks, browns and olives will also fool plenty of trout. Match the size and weight of the nymph dropper to the dry fly you’re using and the depth and flow of the creek. You’ll catch trout all day long, no matter where you go.
The other half has also been doing quite a bit of trout fishing with me of late and has been cleaning up on spinners. The standout was the Bling spins, which are easily her favourite trout and redfin lure.Reads: 669