New record carp captured in Canberra’s southern lake
  |  First Published: June 2017

Canberra has long been home to some giant European carp. Local angler Jeffrey Morphett may have blitzed the field with a monster fish weighing 15.5kg caught recently in Canberra’s southernmost lake, Lake Tuggeranong. The fish was caught on a scrubworm on light line and took 40 minutes to subdue.

It eclipses the previous ACT record carp which weighed 14kg, coincidentally also caught in Lake Tuggeranong, and my well be the largest ever taken on rod and line in the whole of Australia. There is no official recording system for the weights of carp caught around Australia, so if anyone knows of a fish larger than Jeffrey’s, we would be glad to hear about it. I seem to remember an anecdotal report of a 19kg fish caught in a net in South Australia some years ago, but can find no official record of it.

Drain Rejuvenation

Lake Tuggeranong has some news also. There is an exciting project to convert a concrete drain to an urban wetland. The drain currently carries stormwater and, accidentally, domestic rubbish from local suburbs to the lake and the Murrumbidgee River. The drain is now being ripped out and replaced with pools, shrubs, trees and aquatic vegetation native to the area.

When the wetland is completed, rubbish will be trapped by baffles and vegetation and can be removed mechanically. Water quality will be enhanced by prolonged exposure to sunlight. The wetland will then be stocked with golden perch and Murray cod and will naturally attract native birds and other wildlife. It is pleasing to see such forward thinking from the government and recognition of the value of improving water quality in an urban environment at minimal cost for maximum effect.

Urban Lakes Rebound

Golden perch and Murray cod were recently hard to find in Canberra’s urban lakes. They now seem to be coming back on the bite. They probably realise that winter is coming and they need to feed more heavily to put on condition to get through the leaner months when food is scarce.

A few nice cod in the 45-80cm range have been caught in Lake Burley Griffin and Lake Tuggeranong. Local lure master Rory Ben-Clibborn ducked out for an early morning session with a large wakebait and landed a cod measuring 105cm.

The golden perch came mainly from Burley Griffin and were taken mostly on yabbies, with the occasional fish on a Jackall or Burrinjuck Special. One angler fishing at Lennox Gardens in Burley Griffin had five follows from golden perch without a hook-up, but was compensated when an 80cm cod took the Jackall.

Googong Success

Googong again fished well, with several reports of cod to 105cm caught on spinnerbaits and Massy Vibes. Fat golden perch to 49cm have been caught as well as some big redfin. The redfin were mostly 42cm with a couple just touching 48cm. They were easy to find even in the deepest water. Some of the cod were initially spotted on the sounder then tempted with the lure being bounced in front of them. One angler landed two of his three cod using this technique. The reservoir is full and the water clear, providing perfect fishing conditions.

Burrinjuck Responding

Burrinjuck Reservoir was around 68% full recently and starting to fish well again after a lean spell of several weeks. Murray cod in the 45-80cm range have been taken on spinnerbaits and other large lures, mostly in open water. It’s a matter of putting in the hours. Time on the water generally means fish in the boat.

Golden perch have been responding reasonably well amongst the flooded trees and the best catches have been on shrimps and yabbies. Shrimps have been curiously hard to find this year and there is speculation that they have all been eaten by the hordes of redfin in the lake. Nice goldens have been taken on cast or trolled lures and Gulp Grubs in black have worked well. Bank fishing along the rocky shoreline with scrubworms, yabbies and lures accounted for just as many goldens as trolling and casting from a boat.

Redfin are around in huge numbers and many of them are full of eggs, which means we will have a few million more of them in the near future.

Mountain Lakes

Fishing has been reasonably productive in the mountain lakes, with most anglers landing at least one fish in each session and sometimes more. One flyfisher at Eucumbene landed 13 fish to 2.5kg in three nights and others fishing with bait and lures reported catching three to five fish per session. A few nice fish were caught in the running water at Providence Portal in Lake Eucumbene.

A few fish also came from the lower reaches of the Eucumbene River but the main run of fish has not yet started. The prespawning run is expected to be in full force up until the season closes on the Queen’s Birthday weekend. The new car park to accommodate cars at Denison has been completed and will prevent vehicles from accessing the riverbank and churning up the national park landscape.

Jindabyne attracted a big crowd recently and the best fish came from the usual hotspots at Waste Point, Kalkite, Hatchery Bay and East Jindabyne. Bait fishers fared best with scrub worms and others were taken on wood grubs and PowerBait. Small fish were a common problem throughout the lake, but this looks good for the future.

Tantangara fished well with large numbers of small to medium sized browns being taken on lures, baits and flies. It has been popular with anglers looking to stock up the freezer for future feeds.

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