With the onset of Winter there is a philosophy that the fish simply shut down and so do some of the anglers. My theory is that you fish hard enough, you will get the rewards.
The rewards at this time of year can be big fish. Now don’t expect to go out and catch the fish of a life time every trip but, like the old shampoo ad said, it won’t happen overnight but it will happen. So get out there and put in some hard yards.
At this time of year the Darling River between Bourke and Tilpa really starts to fish well. The Barwon and the Gwydir rivers around Walgett and Collarenebri also seem to kick into gear and if I had to choose a spot to try to catch a big cod during the Winter, somewhere on these two river systems would be my pick.
The fishing in the Macquarie River between Narromine and Warren does seem to taper off in June but the fish are still there and you just need to present a bait or lure that annoys them. With the irrigation season over the water is low and clear, a great time to cast some spinnerbaits about or find a good run in deeper water and troll some lures.
I recently fished the Macquarie at the Gin Gin Weir area and the action was a little slow but I managed to troll up a cod on a green StumpJumper and caught a few other smaller cod around 30cm to 45cm on bait.
I recently had success (to my surprise and others’) using the Cheese Bardi. Now I was a little sceptical about using this bait but it is important to try new baits and techniques to continue the learning curve and in this case it paid off. After a couple of slow hours on the river I decided to put one on and within half an hour I had caught and released three cod.
The fishing in these river systems seems to really heat up over the Winter and some big cod are caught every year. Last year I fished the Barwon near Walgett in June and my brother-in-law Mick Smith caught two great cod, one of about 4.5kg and the other 12kg, by casting lures from the bank.
These systems will start to clear and casting black and red spinnerbaits around timber and deep holes will lead to success. Baits will also catch their fair share of fish.
I had a great picture sent to me by Matt and Leanne, who recently moved to Forbes and are renting a house that backs onto the Lachlan just outside town. As ever, I wanted to check this place out, more importantly the river, and I suggested that these two buy some rods and gear and do some fishing.
Well the picture was of the first cod they had caught and it said 1000 words about how much they both enjoyed this fish. It’s great to see people getting into fishing and actually catching their first cod.
The action in the Lachlan will slow over the Winter but find some deeper sections with plenty of logs and you will find fish. Baits such as worms, shrimps, yabbies, cheese and bardi grubs will all work.
Spinnerbaits and lures will also work as they will aggravate a cod into striking. Persistence will be the key when fishing with lures.
Wyangala Dam has been relatively quiet lately with a few cod and golden perch being taken on the troll. If you are going to visit Wyangala in June, try the river arms and any steep drop-offs.
Casting Jackalls and spinnerbaits in among the timber and along any steep wall should eventually lead to success. Trolling with be the best option to get a big cod or golden to wake up.
Burrendong Dam has really fired up this season and it has potential to become a great native fishery. Let’s hope that DPI Fisheries really puts the effort into this body of water in future.
Burrendong will quieten down over the Winter. Recently a few good redfin and yellowbelly have been caught on small yabbies and lures.Reads: 2280