Bye to natives, hi to exotics
  |  First Published: May 2005

This month is a time of change. The sun is lower in the sky and the days are getting shorter.

Native fish in waterways such as Windamere, Wyangala, and Burrendong have been on the slow-down for quite a few weeks and anglers fishing these waterways using Summer techniques such as early morning or late afternoon trolling or throwing reaction-type lures like spinnerbaits and deep-divers will do it tough.

Bait anglers using worms and shrimps will more than likely be catching most of the native fish. Tying up to drowned trees and slowly jigging these baits at various depths is very popular at this time of year.

Of course, switched-on lure fisherman can always substitute scented soft and use the same jigging technique.

Not all submerged trees will hold fish; 20 to 30 minutes should be enough time to see if any fish are about. If they’re not, just move on to the next tree.

Good times at this time of year are from around 10am to 2pm – the warmest part of the day, basically.

Small rocky reefs that run down into the water are places where a hard-body lure or Colorado blade spinnerbait will be worth throwing. Approach them quietly if in a boat or get out and fish them from the shore.

Fish these reefs slowly. If you get any hits or bumps and the fish will not come back, switch over to a scented soft plastic or a slowly-sinking bunch of worms and quite often this will do the trick.


One of the great things about living and fishing on the Central Tablelands is the variety of fish available.

When our warm-water natives slow down, cold-water species such as redfin and trout are on the up. Of course, spawning time for trout has to be taken into account but, on the whole, things are pretty good.

Carcoar and Ben Chifley dams were closed over some of the Summer due to blue-green algae blooms but should be open now – just check with local council authorities before you travel any great distances to fish them.

Brown trout in lakes such as Oberon and Thompsons Creek dams and Lake Lyell should be following their spawning instincts by searching for inflows and small inlets so concentrate your efforts in these areas and you should be rewarded.

Bright colours seem to do quite well on the trout at this time of year so keep that in mind.

Your sounder will be your best friend when it comes to chasing redfin in Carcoar and Ben Chifley.

Big redfin love to patrol the outsides and sometimes the inside edges of large ribbon-weed beds. These fish are a little hard to pick up on the sounder but one of those beaut colour units might be the go there.

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


Dale O’Neil from Bathurst knows the importance of small rocky reefs that extend down into the water at this time of year. They retain heat and offer good cover for native fish such as the Murray cod Dale is playing out.


Natalie Grima caught this golden perch in Boondooma Dam in South-east Queensland while casting spinnerbaits to drowned trees when the water was below 20° so it just goes to show it can be done.


No doubt Glyn and George Sargent will be out on Ben Chifley Dam this May, giving the redfin a touch-up.

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