Rain helps the cause
  |  First Published: February 2005

The weather has become hot out west but has bought several good storms and some welcome falls of rain.

The rain increased local impoundments a few per cent and resulted in some useful runoff into several Central Western river systems.

The increased water levels have produced some active native fish and anglers fishing with bait and lures have taken some good fish in the Lachlan and Macquarie rivers.

The big rainfall in south-eastern Queensland late in 2004 produced a large Darling River in January but the fast influx of warm water has made fishing conditions tough of late.

This month should produce some good native fishing in certain parts of the region. Some further rainfall will improve conditions but if this fails to eventuate, I imagine that The Macquarie River around Dubbo and Narromine, and the Lachlan River in the Forbes area will be the pick of the fishing destinations.


High rainfall in south-eastern Queensland late in 2004 resulted in a 12- to 14-metre Darling River pushing through the Bourke area through early to mid-January, producing tough fishing conditions for local anglers.

Prior to the increased river levels, bait anglers were reporting some good fish from Bourke to Tilpa. Small yabbies were the pick of the baits, resulting in good numbers of golden perch around a kilo. The rising, murky river ended any hope of the lure anglers finding some good fishing.

The rapid influx of warm water into the system has produced quiet fishing conditions and it should become apparent soon wether there have been any fish kills resulting from the high river, as has been the case in similar circumstances in recent years.

As the river returns to normal levels and flow rates, the fishing will gradually improve. Bait anglers will be in with the best chance of taking some good fish, using small yabbies, worms and grubs early or late in the day or in shaded sections during the middle of the day.


The storms late in 2004 produced some good runoff into the Lachlan River in the Forbes and Cowra areas. It appears as though irrigation demand did not allow any of the new water in the system to make it as far as the Hillston stretch.

Where water levels rose, anglers reported some good golden perch and the occasional cod. The majority of these fish were taken on yabbies and worms around the fallen timber.

Further rainfall through January will go a long way to producing some good fishing along the Lachlan. Anglers fishing yabbies, worms and shrimp, or casting lures around the timber, should encounter a few native fish.

I have heard more than a few reports of some good Murray cod on baits of cheese, indicating that this bait really does seem to work. Apparently the more oily the cheese, the better. The way I see it, a trip to the deli or the supermarket is a lot easier than a session collecting grubs and yabbies!


The fishing in the Macquarie river has been good but a little patchy. Anglers have fared very well at times, only to find the fish becoming temperamental soon after. The pattern of storms and sporadic rainfall may well have something to do with this.

Lure anglers have fared slightly better than bait anglers recently with some good Murray cod from 5kg to 8kg reported. Bait anglers fishing with grubs, yabbies and worms have recently encountered a lot of fish playing with and then refusing their offerings. In these circumstances it seems as though the aggressive response that lures sometimes provoke has bought more fish undone.

The fishing is typically very good in February in the Macquarie but the water flow and clarity will have a lot to do with success this month. Fishing baits around the willows, timber and deep sections of the river should produce a few natives while trolling or casting large deep-diving lures or spinnerbaits around the plentiful structure should continue producing.

This month I will be focusing my efforts in this neck of the woods, throwing some of the latest AusSpin spinnerbaits at resident Murray cod.

Recent rainfall has improved fishing in some of our local waterways. However, there is a great deal more required to improve current conditions.

I listened to one of our local MPs on radio recently blaming the poor native fish populations in the Lachlan River on the European carp. The only problem I have with this statement is that waterways that have been infested with carp are gradually becoming great native fish fisheries.

These river systems where our native fish are starting to compete strongly with the carp tend to have one thing in common: Good, consistent water flow. It is nice to blame the carp for all our problems but we have to also consider water usage in the equation.

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