What more could you ask for?
  |  First Published: March 2003

The sky is blue, the sun is shining, and the fish are biting – what more could you ask for?

Along with November, March is a favourite time of year on the Central Tablelands. November might just have the edge as far as fish numbers go but March is a lot more predictable weather-wise.

We have had a little rain and a little more would not go astray.

Traditionally Lake Lyell turns on some pretty good fishing for brown trout this month. The fish are building up reserves of fat for the upcoming spawning season. They feed heavily on bull-headed gudgeon and yabbies. Both these food items are bottom-dwellers. Needless to say, that’s where you’re presentations will need to be.

Rainbow trout are a little different. They tend to be more pelagic in their nature. Rainbows seem quite happy cruising open water, feeding on smelt in deep water and small insects that make it on to the surface. Although the next rainbow trout that takes Berkley PowerBait close to the bottom in Lake Lyell won’t be the last.

I mentioned beetle mania in last month’s column. The beetles have slowed somewhat but there is still the odd one around. Rest assured, any on the water will not last long as the trout will be used to seeing them on the surface and will not think twice about taking one.

Thompsons Creek Dam and Lake Wallace have been close to full right through the drought. Pipes to Lake Lyell connect both these dams, so that’s where all the water is coming from. As a consequence, both dams have well-established weed beds. This is where I will be concentrating my efforts this month.

These weed beds are chock-full of goodies with shrimp, damsel fly nymphs, mudeyes and small fish. Trout take full advantage of this and feed heavily in these areas.

Oberon low

The small amount of rainfall we have had has done little for the level of water in Lake Oberon. It has been low for a while now and the fishing has been patchy.

There is very little, if any, weed at the moment. This has one advantage, though: It gives anglers the chance to hop small jigs and soft plastics along the bottom. I will never tire of actively looking for browns in shallow water during low-light periods, placing a small jig well in front of the fish and then giving it a small hop as it approaches and watching the reaction. It may not be the best way to fill the bag but it sure gets the pulse racing.

Natives restless

I have always found Lake Windamere a little tough to fish in March. I know this is not the case for some anglers so maybe I need to adjust my technique. I am possibly still stuck in Spring gear. I tend to fish it heavily in Spring and give it a miss over Summer. I will keep you posted on that one.

I got a phone call the other day from my Old Man (I think I can call him that! If I am not around next month you will know why.) Anyway, he was over the moon, having just landed a 13kg Murray cod from Windamere Dam on a 50mm green and black, deep-diving AC Invader. It takes a bit to get the Old Man going but I could tell by the tone of his voice he was excited. I guess if that sort of capture doesn’t get you going, nothing will.

Bait anglers have possibly been doing the best in Windamere. Just find yourself some trees and a rocky point. Bob your baits up and down slowly in 15 to 25 feet. Move spots every 20 or minutes or so if you don’t get a bite.

Wyangala and Burrendong have been producing golden perch. Wyangala has produced the numbers but they are smaller fish. Burrendong has the advantage of hordes of small redfin for the goldens to feed on and this sort of protein gets them to a good size, up to 6kg. Although you don’t tend to catch as many, when the rod tip goes down the adrenaline levels go up.

Carcoar-Chifley double

Some of the local boys have been giving Ben Chifley and Carcoar dams a real going over in the past month or so. Ben Chiefly has possibly been the pick but only because of the variety of fish available there.

Ben Lane got a nice golden perch there around 2kg. A week or so previously his outboard broke down and a mate was towing him back to the ramp. Ben thought it was a good trolling speed so he threw out a deep-diving Whitmore and promptly caught a 1.6kg rainbow trout. Talk about making the best of a bad situation…

Both dams have been producing a lot of small redfin with the odd bigger one thrown in.

Remember stay tuned to 2KY Hi-Tide between 5am and 5:30am on Saturdays for weekly updates on the Central Tablelands area.



Neil Bell caught this sleek silver Lake Lyell rainbow trout in 11 metres of open water. Lure of choice was a yellow and black Tassie Devil, trolled off the downrigger.


Craig Thompson from Oberon is stoked with this Windamere golden perch, caught slowly trolling a purple 50mm deep-diving Codger.


Redfin are not fussy when it comes to artificials. This one was nailed on a home-made jig, hopped slowly along the bottom in nine metres water at Carcoar Dam.

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