January can be quite hot on the Central Tablelands, especially out around Cowra and Mudgee. Generally speaking, anglers who adjust and fish a little deeper will do better this month.
Fishing the early morning and late afternoon is very important. Most native species in Wyangala and Burrendong dams will be caught below the six metres.
Windamere natives tend to be a little shallower, around four metres, due mainly I think because of more weed growth and possibly better oxygen levels at shallower depths.
Windamere will also have a lot of algal growth on its drowned trees in January, so fish the crowns of these trees on the shaded side by casting lures or an unweighted worm and slowly feeding out line as it falls. A small amount of weight may be needed on the bait if it’s windy.
Burrendong and Wyangala anglers should look for the shaded sides of banks under the water. We tend to forget that if light penetration is good under the water that shade will be thrown under the water as well. Look for sharp bends and steep declines on the sounder and simply fish the shaded side.
While our native species find warmer water and shallower depths more to their liking, trout and redfin find these temperatures a little uncomfortable this month. Daylight hours will find most trout and redfin below 10 metres. If trolling lures or drifting baits and flies from the boat in Lake Lyell I generally discount the first 10 metre of water on my sounder and set the range from there down.
Bank anglers will do best in the wee hours of the night when those big old browns come drifting in over the flats like Russian submarines of old.
Big, bulky wet flies that move some water will attract the most attention. Craig’s Night-times and Hamill’s Killers tied on shark hooks have always been popular. OK, maybe not shark hooks but you get the picture – don’t be shy.
Oberon Dam and Thompsons Creek Dam will also fish well this month. Being at a little higher altitude, the fish don’t tend to go quite as deep and will stay in the shallows a little longer.
Christmas beetles are pretty high on the list for most trout in these dams so make sure you have a few patterns and different sizes with you. Oberon would be my pick as the water level has risen there over the Spring and it could fish quite well.
As usual, you can catch me bright and early Saturday mornings on Australia’s No 1 fishing and boating radio program, Hi-Tide, on 2KY with Kieran and Bruce, usually between 5am and 5.30.
Deeper does it. Look to move out a little wider if trolling deep-diving lures in Wyangala Dam this month.
Drifting on the wind with a heavy spoon down deep is a good way to target trout in Lake Lyell.
Nocturnal fishing activities will keep the catch rate up this month. If you’re lure fishing, stick with dark colours and rattles.Reads: 923