Winter doldrums
  |  First Published: June 2005

The Winter doldrums have settled in on Central Western waterways with the native fish becoming very docile.

Lack of rain has kept water levels low, which has not helped the fishing. Prior to the cold weather, the fishing in Central Western areas was good. Murray cod and golden perch went on their pre-Winter feed-up and turned on some great action.

The Far Western waters of the Darling River should start to produce more active native fish. The cooler temperatures typically make native fish active in areas where Summer heat shit them down. A fluctuating Darling over past months has kept the fishing very quiet so some good action will be a welcome change.


After prolonged very poor fishing, the Darling is showing signs of improvement. The water clarity has improved and the onset of cooler weather has produced a few fish.

Bait anglers are still experiencing the best action with several cod to 10kg and yellowbelly to 2kg hitting the bank. Small yabbies and grubs have proved the best baits.

The fishing in June should be much improved. Trolling the river with large deep-diving lures, or fishing with yabbies, grubs, prawns and worms should work well.


The Lachlan River fished well leading up to the cold settling in. Between Cowra and Forbes turned on the best action and bait anglers fishing around the timber produced some good cod to 10kg and golden perch to 2kg.

Kraft cheddar cheese seemed to be the pick of the baits for cod again this month but a lot of anglers tried soft plastics on the native fish.

Several anglers had great results with Berkley 3” Power Hawgs in purple and some of the larger Gulp plastics produced several cod to 5kg. It seems that the Berkley scent proved a winner on these actively feeding fish.

Successfully techniques revolved around casting these lures tight against the timber and allowing them to sit for a while before slowly jigging them away from the structure. By fishing a lot of timber in this manner, some good fish were encountered.

The cold weather will dramatically slow the fishing down in these parts. Anglers in the Hillston region will continue to take native species because the temperatures do not get as low around there.

Anglers using grubs, yabbies and worms tend to take the best fish during the next few months.


The cool weather initially produced active native fish with bait and lure anglers catching cod to 5kg and golden perch to 2kg, predominantly downstream of Dubbo. The local cod responded aggressively to lures trolled around the timber and some good fish were taken by those who persisted with this technique.

The fishing in these parts tends to slow down until September when warmer weather starts the breeding cycle. The cod will be protected from September to December but the golden perch from Gin Gin to Warren should turn on.

Through the Winter there is the attraction of catching a big cod, which become active at this time of year. If you manage to snare one of these beautiful fish, consider releasing it so it can go on to make lots more little cod.


The Bourke fishing tournament that was postponed at Easter will be held on the long weekend, June 11 to 13. The Event will involve catch and release of all Murray cod with patrols aiding the catch and release process.

This tournament is always a lot of fun and definitely worth the trip. For more information, contact Murray Stewart at Frank’s BP in Bourke on 02 6872 2357.

Two gentlemen in the Parkes area get the big thumbs-down for drag netting a local public dam for yabbies. The local kids enjoyed catching yabbies from this dam, too, but will have to wait some time for replenishment before they can catch a few yabbies there again. For the two blokes in the Chev ute, I am sure Fisheries are keen to check out your shed for illegal nets.

I have no issues with what people do on their own private dams but when public resources are selfishly pillaged, it is disappointing.

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