Plenty of runoff at last
  |  First Published: December 2005

The deluge that many had predicted for some time arrived shortly prior to writing this and Large amounts of rain fell over much of the western areas, producing plenty of runoff.

The result was a 20% rise in our impoundments and flooding river systems. As I write there are further storms building up around Parkes, suggesting there is more runoff to come.

The rain has come at a great time, lifting water levels, and will do a lot for local fisheries. Although fishing may be challenging over the next few months due to high and muddy rivers, once conditions settle there should be some good action.

The Darling River tends to fish consistently in brief periods of the day for native fish during January. The Macquarie can fish exceptionally well this month with top-notch cod on offer. Golden and silver perch and a few cod show up in the Lachlan for anglers prepared to spend time throwing bait and lures.

This month promises to fish well if rivers are allowed to settle down and if further rain continues, we can’t really begrudge it, can we?


The Darling River has had some good run over recent months, ensuring continued high and muddy levels. Local anglers have experienced tough conditions but at the time of writing the signs were that the fish were becoming more active.

The river had 20cm or so of visibility and anglers were reporting some good fish. Anglers trolling have reported cod to 15kg and golden perch to 2kg. Anglers casting worms and shrimp have taken plenty of good goldens.

Recent conditions suggest January could be a good native fish unless another influx of warm, and dirty water shuts the fishing down again. If the river remains stable, there should be some quality yellowbelly and Murray cod on offer.

Trolling deep-diving lures through the holes, ensuring they regularly bump along the bottom and submerged snags, should result in some good fish. Those using shrimp, worms, yabbies and prawns around the timber and deeper sections should also make some good catches.

January typically fishes well for natives early and late in the day although the fish will also feed for a spell in the middle of the day – a very hot time to be fishing in these parts!


The Lachlan River has run over its banks for some time but if no more rain falls it should settle down. The new water would have done a lot of good.

Anglers have taken some good yellowbelly and a few cod recently on worms, shrimp and small yabbies cast close to structure. Before the rains, a few anglers had taken some good golden perch and redfin on lipless crankbaits upstream of Cowra.

As the river settles the fishing should improve again. The Lachlan typically fishes well through January.

Active native fish will take deep-diving lures and spinnerbaits cast around the timber. Rattling lipless crankbaits are continuing to take some good fish. I have been using the 55mm Team Daiwa Pro Vibrations in the bluegill and ghost ayu models with good results.

Bait anglers using yabbies, shrimp and worms fished tight against the timber or in deep sections should continue to take good fish early and late in the day.


The Macquarie River has been running reasonably high for several weeks and has been very dirty. Anglers using yabbies, grubs, shrimp and worms have taken cod to 10kg, yellowbelly to a kilo and a few catfish.

January is one of my favourite months on the Macquarie, particularly from Dubbo to Narromine. The river should have settled by early January and there should be some cranky Murray cod about.

Yabbies, grubs, shrimp and worms bobbed around submerged timber will take some good fish. My favourite method at this time of year is to trolling large StumpJumpers or Viking purple and black lures for cod and the occasional yellowbelly.

While trolling or casting, make sure that lure is thumping the bottom, work the rod walk the lure over snaggy obstacles and hold on because the strikes can be very aggressive.

It has been great seeing rain across the State but we still have along way to go before water levels are looking good.

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