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Time for Spring cleaning
  |  First Published: October 2006



With the cod season closed and the opening not too far away, usually at this time of year I get my gear out and do some maintenance.

It is a great time to give everything a wash, grease and general service. So you can tell your wife or girlfriend that you are going to do some Spring cleaning – of the fishing gear, of course!

If you desire to go for a fish, the dams are your best bet and they should switch on this month – and it gives the cod in the rivers a break.

MACQUARIE RIVER

The Macquarie River has had some run-off rain but still needs more, especially to elevate the level of Burrendong Dam to a reasonable level before the start of the irrigation season.

The Macquarie has been low for some years and the river has changed dramatically. It needs a good flush, not only for the upcoming cod season but also to allow these fish to breed.

Cod need flooded areas to be able to spawn so let’s hope some rain comes so they can get on with what they are supposed to do at this time of year.  

The best place at the moment in the Macquarie is further out towards Warren, where there seem to be more golden perch and you can successfully target them while leaving the cod alone. This time of year the yellowbelly generally congregate near the weirs. Use bait or smaller lures suited to yellowbelly in some of the bigger holes around the weirs.

DARLING, BARWON

A few people who were in the area for the Louth races said they had fished hard for only a few small yellowbelly and it seems the same near Bourke, with little action there. A few good catches of cod and yellowbelly were taken before the season closure further down towards Tilpa.

Like all the inland rivers in NSW, this one needs a good top-up. The Darling should start to come to life this month, particularly for yellowbelly, because the fish in this system tend to bite when it not too hot so the next few months should be good.

The Barwon has been the pick of the rivers with a few good reports coming in. Dave Matheson and his father and friends fished just outside of Walgett for a stack of yellowbelly and a few cod which were released.

This river seems to be really coming along as the cod and yellowbelly have started to overhaul the resident carp that were menacing the river. So this is my pick of the places to go at the moment and it should only get better.

LACHLAN RIVER

With the opening of the trout season on the October long weekend, the Lachlan River below Wyangala dam down to Darby Falls is a good place to go. It is not the fishery it once was but there are still some big brown trout there mixed in with the carp and unquestionably worthy as an option for the opening morning.

The rest of the Lachlan is still quiet, low and murky from a much-needed influx of run-off rain. During October the river should come to life and there will be ample yellowbelly about. Bait fishing will be your best bet because the river will be dirty. Customary baits such as worms and shrimps should get you amongst them.

WYANGALA, BURRENDONG

These dams will start to awaken in October. Whether fishing with bait or lures, make sure you are in the swallower sections of the dam, especially in the afternoons if the sun has been on the water.

The yellowbelly will be in these sections because it will be a few degrees warmer than the deeper sections. Bait tends to work best at this time of year because the fish are still a little heavy-eyed but if you are going to troll or spin, put your lures in water no deeper than 3m to 4metres because this is where the fish will be.  

This is a tremendous time to chase Burrendong redfin, which will be biting savagely. Take the kids out and get some quality reddies and take home a good feed.

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