Steady as she goes
  |  First Published: April 2005

Early April can be a real fishing bonanza, especially if you fish for golden perch and Murray cod in Wyangala, Burrendong or Windamere dams.

Cool to cold nights start to drop the water temperature from the low 20°s to the mid-teens. This is a trigger for native fish to put the feed bag on and really go hammer and tongs.

Trouble is, it’s a relatively short bite of a week or so that is really dependent on the weather gods. The fish will be a little shallower than over the Summer and three to five metres is a good depth to start looking.

Take on board the number of lures and baits the fish have seen over the Summer. Use light terminal tackle and keep noise to a minimum, especially when working from a boat.

If the water is clear use natural-coloured lures and use rattling lures sparingly.

Downsizing lures is popular at this time, too, although I believe a bigger offering at this time of year can sometimes be the way to go. With a long hard Winter just around the corner the fish get better value out of a large offering.


Lake Lyell’s level has been slowly rising for the past few months. This rise plus a drop in water temperature will push the fish shallow.

Casting lures and flies around the margins should bring good results. Don’t be surprised if a bass jumps on, either.

Rapala Shad Raps, Rebel Crawdads and the small Viking Talisman will be good for the lure-casters, while Woolly Buggers and large Black and Brown Nymphs will be good fly choices. Early mornings and late afternoons will still be the best times.

Polarising conditions at Thompsons Creek and Oberon dams are still quite good; Oberon has had rising water so the dam’s brown trout should be very active in shallow water during low-light periods.

Thompsons Creek Dam’s rainbows move a fair bit faster than Oberon’s browns so make sure you’re good and ready. Small soft hackle wets work well at TCD.


Carcoar and Ben Chifley dams have both been closed due to blue-green algae blooms but hopefully by the time you read this the cooler conditions will have dispersed the algae and all those marauding redfin will be back on the chew.

With no angler pressure for quite a few weeks, expect the fishing to be pretty good. Bigger fish might be hard to find as they don’t tend to school up as readily as the smaller ones.

Trolling lures along the weeded edges with a small Halco RMG Poltergeist in red and black is a good option. Move out off the points in the dam and pay close attention to your sounder. Look for fish suspended in deeper water and a jig or spoon dropped to these usually gets a response.

As usual you can catch me bright and early Saturday mornings on Australia’s No 1 fishing and boating radio program, Hi-Tide on 2KY with Kieran and Bruce.


Large offerings such as this Ian Cranny-built Lure sometimes get a better response from native fish in April.


Move out of points and look for suspended redfin in deeper water continue your troll or drop a jig or spoon down.


With rising water level at Lake Lyell look for fish in shallow water, casting lures and fly’s around newly submerged grass and structure.

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