Cod waking up for the winter
  |  First Published: June 2017

Many anglers believe that winter is the slow fishing period and the fish go dormant and hibernate for the winter months. That could not be further from the truth! I will agree that the smaller fish and the food all disappear, but the monster Murray cod switch right on!

Blowering Dam

I talk a lot about this lake, but get ready for it over the next three months, because the fishing is about to get good! The past few months have been slow but the winter months are the time to be on the lake, battling the elements, the freezing days and the icy conditions. The rewards can be spaced out and sometimes difficult to get. When these huge cod fill your arms, you forget about all the hours of work.

The reason the monster Murray cod feed well during winter is because the smaller fish and food all hibernate. The big Murray cod still need to feed and with less food they are more opportunistic and are more likely to take a lure.

Blowering is a special lake because it has both native species and trout. This mix of species helps us to catch more cod. How? You already know that the food is sparse and the cod are alert for food because they need to feed. The trout become active during winter and come out to feed in the shallows and on the surface. The trout become the main food source for the cod during winter and this is why we cast large soft plastics early in the morning – to match the hatch!

We have had the best success on large FX Fury soft plastics in the rainbow trout pattern. Casting them tight in against the bank and slow rolling them back is the best technique.

June is when this great winter bite starts and it’s usually from mid to late June. When we start to see the night around 3°C and freezing is when the fishing will really get good!

Murrumbidgee River

June in the Murrumbidgee River is similar to Blowering. The food disappears and the big fish still need to feed. Even better, the rivers are super low due to the end of irrigation flows. This allows us to access the big logs, which are sitting down in the deep holes. This is where the big fish are hiding.

The only issue with this is over the last three years the river has come up in height due to large amounts of rain. If the region receives lots of rain, the river will come up, it will flow dirty and the fishing will be very tough. If we get 20-40ml over a few days the river will go dirty. It should clear up within 4-6 days. So the fish could be great, but it all depends on the rainfall.

Tumut River

The trout season closes on the June long weekend, which doesn’t leave much time for targeting trout this month. If the Tumut River is running low (below 0.3m in Tumut) then it will be well worth a crack before the season ends!

Casting hardbody lures like Rapalas and Berkley 3B Cranks, FTL Twin Spins and Berkley PowerBait soft plastics will work. Make sure you target the broken and fast running water, as this is where the feeding fish will be. Always make sure you are fishing where the fish are feeding – it will help you catch more fish!

June is a time of year when the fishing does slow down and you’ll catch less fish, but the size of the fish gets much bigger!

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