Dam good fun
  |  First Published: February 2005

With the weather warming up, and the holidays over, fishing trips for me and a lot of other keen anglers in Tamworth have become more frequent. And the fish have been coming on the bite more frequently, thanks partly to the recent rainfalls, which have been putting long-awaited water in our dams.

Chaffey Dam is well over half-full, Split Rock has gone past the quarter mark and Lake Keepit is approaching half-full so let’s hope for more rain.

Many great stories from keen anglers have been coming into my Dad’s shop, North West Fishing Tackle and Archery Supplies, which has made me even more keen to get out and about.

It's also great to hear that the catch-and-release philosophy is also being practised by a majority of people around here. Young Adam, a very keen angler, recently went to the Peel River that runs through the heart of Tamworth with a $15 rod and was lucky enough to catch a 2.5kg yella and a 3kg cod using a Smak Brolga lure. Unfortunately, he also lost this lure to a big cod right at his feet. He was smart enough to carefully release the yella and the cod so he can go back for another go with his new Penn Applause reel and Pinpoint rod, a great combo for the beginner and the more advanced this young fella is rapidly becoming.

I have had great luck with the goldens out at Chaffey Dam. On a recent trip my fiancée and I caught and released a dozen goldens and gave my new Penn Affinity threadline with 6lb Super Braid a good workout.

The day was a beauty. The weather was warm, the water glassy and we had been out for a few hours without any luck as the sun was going down. We were thinking about heading home when the famous ‘last cast’ caught the first fish of the day! After that, almost every cast produced a hook-up, a hit or a follow. I found the Affinity’s drag very smooth, allowing me to land some fish that might have been lost with a more sticky drag. The fish weren't huge but were definitely great fun on our light Live Fibre rods.

That afternoon I found the 50mm Poltergeist in yellow and orange, as well as my all-time favourite, the Hydro Bug Dytiscus No 7, the outstanding lures. I thoroughly recommend them to catch yellowbelly in Chaffey.

All up, Tamworth’s fishing is starting to warm up after the recent rainfall and it's great to see so many people releasing their fish so it can only get even better.

The author with an average Chaffey Dam golden perch that took a fancy to a Hydro Bug Dytiscus.

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