Storms add life
  |  First Published: May 2004

A FEW good storms have added life to most of our western rivers.

It seems the rains are gradually becoming more frequent, which is hopefully an indication we are in for a wet Winter that will restore our waterways to their levels of a few seasons ago.

The hot weather is long gone and most of our waterways have seen some active native fish as they prepare for the Winter. This month should see native fish activity start to slow in the Macquarie and Lachlan rivers as temperatures drop. It is a time, however, when the bigger Murray cod start to become active. The Darling River starts to really turn on some good fishing for the next several months.

This is a great time of year to get out for a fish. Temperatures are very comfortable and the rivers are usually full of feeding fish. Either way, it’s a great excuse to get out and wet a line.


A lot of rain has fallen in Southern Queensland over the past month and a lot of water has made its way into the Darling River system. At the time of writing, a good amount of water has been predicted for the upper Darling, which should mean a good river through to early May.

Those who ventured out over recent weeks have encountered a murky river which has produced some good fish on bait, mainly golden perch and only a few cod. Worms have been the pick of the baits, with small yabbies also accounting for the odd fish.

The rising Darling should stimulate native fish activity and the murky waters will more than likely mean that bait is the best approach. However, if you find a stretch with a few feet of visibility, don’t be shy about pulling a lure around the deeper holes for a few hours. The pick of the baits this month will be worms, small yabbies (5cm to 10cm) and prawns. Because a few cod will be starting to become active, it would not hurt to try the odd grub or two as well.


It seems as though a change in temperature has seen native fish disregard a dreadfully low Lachlan River and turn on some good fishing. Anglers fishing the deeper sections between Condobolin and Hillston have reported some good yellowbelly and Murray cod. Those fishing baits around the Ballyrogan Weir, near Hillston, have taken golden perch to a kilo and the occasional cod to 10kg.

Unless we receive a lot more rain in the next few weeks, the river should remain low. However, with Winter just around the corner, anglers could well encounter some action from native fish turning on their traditional pre-Winter feeding spurt. Small yabbies and worms have been doing the trick. With the big cod getting active at this time of year, a well-presented grub should go down well.


A relatively stable Macquarie River has produced some good catches of Murray cod and golden perch. Those trolling lures through the river downstream of Dubbo have fared the best with cod to 10kg and golden perch to 2kg reported. Yabbies, worms and grubs have also taken some good fish. The recent locust plague has been a great time to fish one of the SMAK surface lures. Brett at Inland Fishing at Narromine is a local stockist of these lures.

The native fish should become active as the temperature start to drop through this month. The fish have been very responsive to changes in the barometer, so keep an eye on what it is doing. A rising barometer indicates a good time to hit the water.

Deep-diving lures fished through the timber, or yabbies, worms and grubs should all take fish.

At this time of year, the native fish can often feed very actively. Anglers can turn up some very large catches in the right place at the right time. Hopefully you can find some action like this but keep in mind to take home only what you really need and leave the others for your next trip.

The Darling River has been producing good numbers of golden perch for those fishing with worms and small yabbies.

Carp, which feed actively prior to the cold setting in, have been a problem for bait anglers.

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