Sanity on the net
  |  First Published: February 2003

I have recently been broadening my computer’s versatility and my own up-to-date topical dictionary, by visiting a few sites on the internet.

Some are excellent sources of information, with anyone’s questions being individually answered by some of the most respected and knowledgeable fishos in the country and, on some sites, the world.

While some sites promote trivial bitch sessions and slander-slinging, others, such as fishingmonthly.com.au, concentrate on being constructive, informative and interesting. There is a site just updated to allow any angler access to direct responses on a wide range of topics and it took Rod Harrison to do it. I enjoy the content and, like any angler, I am sure to learn from others’ experiences.

No one knows everything about fishing. There are those who wish to cram as much info as possible and they aren’t afraid to ask questions which might make them feel inferior on some sites. On this site there is no such thing as inferior, just fishos sharing info at www.harro.com.au. I visit this site regularly along with ausfish.com.au and fishingmonthly.com.au whenever the weather turns sour and keeps me off the water or there’s nothing but crap on TV.

Up and down

The consistency of the fishing in the New England, is a bit like a honeymooners’ doona at the moment, up and down. One day they are goin’ off their heads, the next day nothing. I had a ball recently in a river that has all but stopped flowing, catching small cod on surface lures, spinnerbaits, soft plastics and flies. The fish were only between 2kg and 5kg but on light tackle they were great fun and provided a great chance to try new techniques. About 20 fish were landed, most from the Aqua 2 Koastal Kayak I fish from, and several from the bank.

Wanting to try a couple of other new ideas, I ventured out again two days later. In a similar period all I could raise was two small cod and a yellowbelly. The only difference was the barometer, which was slowly dropping the second day, while it had been rising the good fishing day. Barometric pressure is a funny one and even though there have been a couple of days when it has not affected the fishes’ enthusiasm, as a 90% rule of thumb, they shut down a fair bit during lows.

Danger in the dams

I haven’t had too much of a chance to fish Split Rock of late, though they tell me its fishing well on the troll. I’d been wanting to check out some new water and have gained access to some glorious country, of which you will see some pics soon, with wild bass up to 57cm fork length. As always with wild fisheries, I do not give out locations and anyone who has great spots to fish would be mad to, wouldn’t they?

Dams are different. With lots of water and artificially stocked fish, they are anyone’s playground but conservation is still the key to their success. Pindari Dam, near Ashford, hasn’t copped a lot of publicity of late. It has great numbers of cod and other natives and the picturesque countryside and great fishing combine to make it just one of those places that cries out to be fished. It’s very much like Glenbawn, but even prettier.

Spinnerbaits are possibly the most successful lure for cod in Pindari’s big channels running up in between the stands of drowned pines, big boulders, and sheets of granite. This is perfect country for the flutter-type presentation: Cast the spinnerbait close to, or onto, the chosen rock, slide it towards the boat and allow it to sink vertically down the rock face till you hit the next level.

Keep this flutter going until you hit around six metres, then start a slow, pulsing retrieve, so you can just feel the blades thumping away. This is much easier with braid. Bassman’s purple, brown or black with chartreuse tips in 1/4oz to 5/8oz tandems or double brass Colorado blades seem to be the most affective spinnerbaits in Pindari. They and work well in most other New England impoundments as well.

As with all my cod spinnerbaiting, I always use a stinger hook unless I’m in real tiger country. The addition of a soft plastic trailer is almost mandatory, as it adds realistic tail movement and bulks up the silhouette. It also slows the sink rate down to more strike-inducing speeds for cod.

Pindari is also great for surface lures at night with Halco Night Walkers, Mudeye surface lures, and medium to large Jitterbugs the best. Shallow, tapering points combined with steep drop offs are the best starting places but the water has to be fairly glassy calm to make the best of the night action. I use a 4kg to 6kg 6’6” rod for the surface stuff. I don’t want to get too close to the fish and would rather keep at a distance where the fish can feel secure in attacking the lure.

I also use a longer rod for spinnerbaiting, allowing longer casts and slower, longer presentations down where the fish are usually holding during daylight. The only variation to this is when I fish from my Koastal Kayak – shorter rods are easier to handle in paddle craft.



Ben Kennedy of the Newcastle Knights with a fine Glenbawn golden perch taken on a 3/8oz Bassman titanium spinnerbait.


Mark Williams with a thumping 51cm bass hooked in tight cover on a 1kg to 2kg rod.

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