Dam trout are hungry
  |  First Published: September 2006

After a long, cold Winter on the Central Tablelands, that extra bit of warmth of early Spring is something we all look forward to.

I just wish the big fella upstairs would string a few more of those warm days together in September. Quite often the weather and the fishing can be very un-predictable and four seasons in one day is quite often the norm. So come prepared and don’t say I didn’t warn you.


Trout in our lakes and dams love rising water in September. Remember, most fish will be coming off a long spawning period when they eat very little so they are very hungry. With longer light periods and warming water, the food chain is kicked into gear.

The shallow, rising water warms first and this is where the explosion of life begins. Trout in Lake Lyell and Oberon Dam come in and cruise these flooded areas looking for all sorts of tidbits.

The good thing is you don’t have to have a certain fly or lure – nondescript nymphs or a Woolly Bugger fly are fine, as are floating, shallow-diving lures under 6cm. What is important is keeping a low profile and fishing during a low light period (early morning, late afternoon or a cloudy day).

Fishing from the bank can quite often be an advantage at this time of year. Bait fishing also works very well in September. Worms get washed in with the Spring rains so a lightly weighted worm cast and left to drift down is quite often gobbled up before it hits the bottom.


Of course Murray cod are off the agenda until December 1 but our other native fish begin to stir with the first few warm days of Spring. Windamere, Burrendong, and Wyangala dams all hold good populations of golden perch, silver perch and catfish.

The good thing about fishing for these natives at this time of year is that quite often the best time to fish coincide with office hours of 9am to 5pm, with those hours around midday, when light penetration and temperatures are at their highest, being the best.

If casting and retrieving, look to a lower-geared reel which will help slow down the retrieve speed. If trolling, try to use the electric motor or throw out a bucket to slow the boat under the main motor. It’s amazing what a difference slowing down can do at this time of year.

Bait fishing is possibly the best method; the added attraction of a natural smell and a stationary or very slow-moving worm or yabby is quite often too much to resist for golden perch, silver perch or catfish in Windamere, Burrendong and Wyangala.


Lithgow City Council has announced that Lake Lyell has been closed to all powerboating and swimming from July 31 due to low water levels caused by prolonged drought in the region. Shore fishing, camping and paddle boating are still permitted. Built to provide water supplies for electricity generation, the lake was closed two years ago because of drought.

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