IT’S ABOUT time! Our cross-border anomalies involving fishing licences and regulations on lake Hume and lake Mulwala have at long last been resolved.
The confusion over that imaginary line where the Murray once ran on each lake have confused anglers as to what the regulations were and which licence was required. Now it is put to rest.
As from September 1, Lake Hume will fall under Victorian jurisdiction and requires only one licence. And our premier juvenile cod fishery, Lake Mulwala, is now regarded as NSW fishing waters.
It is certainly well over due but it’s great to see all the rubbish involving this issue resolved. According to media reports, both States are still going to continue contributing to fish restocking, which is a win-win situation, but I just hope that this actually happens.
As far as August options are concerned, the massive waters of Dartmouth Dam will be a great option. The rainbows have been a bit shy of late there, with browns from 300g to a kilo the norm. So far the Eight-Mile Arm, adjacent to the ramp, has been fishing best, along with the area around the Shady Creek.
Every time I write about this waterway I always stress the importance of having options to cover many depths.
Lead line or snap weights, which should see your lure swimming around four to seven metres, have been starring of late. Even at times when there appears to be quite a bit of surface activity, lures trolled around this depth seem to still score.
The time-proven cobra-style lure is always the stand-out performer on the troll but it is always worth having a minnow lure in the water. The standard Lofty’s Cobra in red-nosed brown bomber pattern has been going great but the most popular colour seem to be fluoro pink.
Aside from trolling, casting lures in and around the timber can certainly be great fun at times.
I know this might sound a little crazy, but I really prefer to get out of the boat and cast from the bank. I know it’s bloody hard work just keeping upright on most of those steep banks but, for some reason, I’ve found it to be far more productive.
It’s great fun, too. Each hook-up is exciting, with many fighting fish jumping high among the timber and doing their best to snag you. And most of the time this all happens just in front of your feet.
With a little luck, many of the big trout that make Khancoban so great should be back in the lake and starting to feed up to stack back the weight they usually lose up in the spawning rivers.
It can be a bitterly cold month but I’m a big fan of the place and I plan to get up there and put in plenty of hours from now on.
It really is the time of year when lures dominate over bait and 5cm to 7cm minnow lures are the stand-outs.
I’ve found that because of the very cold water, it’s best to troll lures very slowly and, if you’re fishing minnows, to hold your rod and work the lure. This gives your lure an enticing, erratic action that seems to tip the scales against a rod just left in the holder.
Again, you might think that I’m going a little loopy, but the best weather is as miserable as you can get it! Yep, those rainy, cold days can bring on some of the best lure-fishing here.
You know what they say, ‘fortune favours the brave’. The only problem is that it’s tough finding someone crazy enough to tag along!
The trout fishing will totally depend on when the authorities decide to make that first flush for the irrigation season after a long Winter of near-minimum flows.
I’m hoping this doesn’t happen too early so the lake has a chance to fill as much as possible. Anyway, if we do get an early release, the fishing can be great.
The rocks up on the NSW bank are always worth a look. Casting out redfin jigs and letting them just drift along with the current is always worth a go and if the water does come up high, the lead-fish brigade will be out in force.
Downstream a little farther it could be worth a look from Hayward’s Bridge down with a spin stick and a pair of waders. Small spinners like the Rooster Tail and Celtas or the cobra styles should be the go.
When it comes to using very loud rattling lure for our natives I have had very limited experience. Sure, I have used lures that do rattle but the ones I’m talking about are the ones that are LOUD.
A few months back I came across a lure new to me and, like most anglers, I just had to have it. It was a Team Daiwa 65mm Hyper Crankbait that had a great finish and was the loudest thing I’d ever come across.
Over the June long weekend Anthony Curtis and I ventured out to the Edwards River downstream of Stevens Weir for the first time, just hoping for some good casting from the canoe.
As usual at this time, it was very low, full of timber and fairly clear. The fishing was reasonable and we spun up a few cod and did well on the yellas.
The weather really dictated the fishing. As soon as the sun disappeared, so did the fish and it got cold.
After a good hour of no action, I went for something a little different and tried the Daiwa rattler. First cast produced a good yella about 1.5kg and the next four fish also fell to it.
The noise of this lure was amazing: I could hear it coming the whole retrieve each cast. It is hard to say whether the rattles were the defining factor that produced the goods but I was sure it did make the difference.
While this lure produced, Anthony never had even a hit or follow. So give yourself plenty of options. Large or small, bright or dark, rattles or silent, timber lures or spinnerbaits – all can have their moments and when you do have a tough situation, it makes it easier to turn the odds.
The back margins of Khancoban Pondage can lend itself to great lure-casting. After an encouraging dabble last year, the author is keen to give soft plastics a real workout.
Craig Barber is all smiles and why not, with his 1.8kg brown caught casting Khancoban Pondage.
Zeb Tonkin loves his trout fishing and August often signals great fishing to come.Reads: 1018