If you’re a golden perch fisho then you could be forgiven for wishing that there were 12 Octobers in a year because this is an absolute prime time to get Blowering Dam’s resident yellas, some of which will bottom out your 20lb scales.
A lot of keen fishos in the area go on about a six-week window of opportunity in which the Blowering yellas really hit just about anything thrown at them. I think this is pretty close to true although they can be caught year-round by knowledgeable anglers. They’re simply caught in huge numbers in the middle of Spring and this is the time.
As the water temperature rises rapidly this month the golden perch are sparked out of their Winter haunts and pretty much all techniques will get a fish or two. Trolling is by far the favoured technique on Blowering and while towing lures has been pretty slow over the past few months, this is all about to change.
Trolling Stuckey lures, Merlin deep divers, Predatek Boomerangs and most other small to medium crankbaits with a nice wide action should nail you a fish although lipless crankbaits are also worth a shot. Large crankbaits also work well on the goldens but during the closed Murray cod season I prefer not to use them.
Shore-based angling is very rewarding this month with yabbies and worms the pick of the baits. They work best when hooked alive on a paternoster rig and hung around a metre off the bottom.
Casting lures like spinnerbaits around trees and bays also works well this time of year. White or black seem to be the main colours of success on this impoundment. Lipless rattlers worked through the same areas and around weed beds could also get you some action.
Spring goldens can also be targeted with big wet flies like Mrs Simpsons or Hamill’s Killers in dark green worked slowly. Big, flashy saltwater flies worked fairly quickly with erratic short sharp strips and lots of rod movement are also effective.
I have had great success at Blowering with some saltwater flies that I slightly modified with small rattle chambers glued to the hook shank to add a bit of noise to the flash for slightly dirty or murky water. I can’t wait to test them out on Windamere Dam when I head up there for the Tri Fish Classic this month.
Trout catch rates are starting to drop off but they are still there, with flies and grubs your best bet.
If you’re after a feed of reddies you’ll have to head out into deeper water around 9m or so and drop some worms or yabbies down to them if or use ice jigs or soft plastics. Either technique pretty much works year-round on the reddies. The depth at which the fish hold is the only thing that really changes through the year.
As usual, the resident Murray cod are really firing during the closed season so if your hook one, be sure to release it as carefully as possible. Every season I see at least a couple of good cod belly-up or on the bank so be sure not to lift the fish by its jaw alone. This can sometimes cause fatal damage to the fish’s backbone and muscles.
The Tumut River and the other trout streams of the area are open for business again and after reasonable weather conditions and a break from anglers, fishing should be somewhere between good and great.
How high the river will be is anyone’s guess but, high or low, the trout will be pretty hungry after their spawning runs and will be hunting anything that moves for the next few weeks.
PowerBait works really well this time of year and is best when it’s lightly rigged to run naturally with the water flow rather than fixed to the bottom in one spot with a heavy sinker. Worms worked the same way also take plenty of fish.
Fly fishos get good results this time of the year using the tandem Glo Bug and nymph technique. Using just the nymph or the Glo Bug works well also but the tandem rig will land you more fish.
Bright-coloured Rooster Tails and Celtas work well in the streams, as do a lot of different soft plastics. Squidgy make rainbow trout and brown trout paddletail soft plastics which I almost exclusively used all of last season with deadly success. I landed a 2kg rainbow and a 3.6kg brown in the Tumut River on opening day last year as well as a kilo-plus brown out of Gilmore Creek a week later, all on Squidgies.Reads: 960