Water should begin to clear
  |  First Published: December 2004

The holiday season has brought its usual delights: Hot weather, lots of eating and drinking, cricket on the telly and some top quality native fishing if you pick the right time and place.

Our impoundments and rivers have remained low over the past month and water temperatures are increasing rapidly. Although anglers are still experiencing some good fishing in western waterways, we are still in need of some good drought-breaking rains.

This time of year we normally see murky waterways starting to clear up, with introduced species like carp hitting their peak activity levels and local native species producing some good early morning and late afternoon sessions.

The Darling River is producing a few fish on lures but bait anglers have ruled the roost recently. The Lachlan River remains low and the fishing has tended to be a little quiet. The Macquarie River is fishing reasonably well and should continue to do so this month.


The Darling River has remained low and murky over past months. Anglers fishing with yabbies, prawns and worms have fared the best, reporting golden perch to 2kg and Murray cod to 10kg. The majority of fish are being taken in deeper water close to structure. Lure anglers have reported a few fish but the water isn’t clear enough to get better results.

The river should start to clear this month, providing there is no more significant rainfall in southern Queensland. If the river does clear, lure anglers should start taking some good yellowbelly and cod.

Bait anglers should continue to take native fish but the carp tend to be at their worst over the next few months. Prawns, yabbies, grubs and worms should remain the order of the day.


A low Lachlan River has produced a few good sessions on golden perch and Murray cod. Anglers using yabbies and worms have fared well, reporting goldens to 1.5kg. A few small cod are being taken by bait anglers from Condobolin to Hillston.

Anglers throwing deep-diving lures and spinnerbaits around the timber have also reported a few good goldens in recent weeks. Best fishing has occurred in the early and late in the day.

Some new water in the Lachlan would do wonders for the fishing over the next few months but as this seems unlikely, local anglers will probably focus their efforts on soaking baits and swimming lures around the structure in the deeper holes along the river.

The low light hours and night will be the most productive times to fish and will give anglers some respite from the heat.


If I get a chance to fish this month I will be heading to the Macquarie. The river below Dubbo fishes very well from January to April. Anglers have reported that the natives are starting to become active in this area with golden perch to a kilo and cod to 5kg. The encouraging sign for me is that most of these fish have been taken on lures.

The Macquarie in these parts is full of timber and a great place to throw spinnerbaits and deep-diving lures. Trolling big lures like Oargees and StumpJumpers can produce some awesome sessions.

This month should turn up some good fish on lures and baits of yabbies, shrimp and worms. Aim to get your offerings right into the timber for best results.

I will be throwing spinnerbaits around this month as they are very snag-resistant and I can throw them around the timber with increased confidence.

I am fast becoming a fan of the AuSpin Twinspin in black and purple, colours which are well-known cod favourites in this neck of the woods. If you see the blue Polycraft out on the water this month, come on over and say g’day.

This period is a great opportunity to make the most of your holidays and take the family fishing. The weather is generally good, there are usually a few fish about and families can spend some time together.

Last Christmas season I ended up showing five strange kids (whose parents weren’t fishos) how to catch a fish from a jetty at a popular holiday spot. I found that I had a great time sharing the enthusiasm of these kids while equipping five new fishos with the info to take them on to the next step as anglers.

These holidays take the time to take your kids for a fish and if you have to take someone else as well, then so be it. It will be a good investment whatever way you look at it.

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