A drop in a bucket
  |  First Published: August 2004

IT SEEMS that the small amount of rain that has fallen recently has done little to boost our local water supplies.

At the time of writing Wyangala and Burrendong dams were both sitting at 9% capacity. The Macquarie and Lachlan rivers remain very low while the Darling River is running mid-bank of late due to recent good rains in southern Queensland.

The cold weather (although still warm for this time of year) has bought a few decent cod out to play on local rivers but fishing on the Lachlan and Macquarie rivers has been mostly quiet.

The fishing out west on the Darling has been reasonably good with cool temperatures and reasonable water flow resulting in some good natives being taken. With the annual Louth Races being held early this month, there should be a good number of anglers enjoying some good fishing on the river between Bourke and Tilpa.


The Darling has remained stable around the mid-bank mark for much of the past month and the cooler temperatures have resulted in some good fishing. The river between Louth and Tilpa has produced the best fishing of late with golden perch to 2kg and cod to 30kg being reported.

The cod have been taken predominantly on small yabbies (5cm to 10cm) and grubs, while yellowbelly have been favouring worms, prawns and small yabbies. The river remains very murky, which has resulted in the lure brigade resorting to baits over the past month or staying at home.

The fishing in August is generally good and with the river maintaining reasonable flow, this year should be no exception. Yabbies, prawns, grubs and worms should score anglers a few fish.

Yabbies are hard to get this time of year but if you can manage a good number of the 5cm to 10cm models you should be in the running for some good fishing. Prawns are a great substitute for shrimp at this time of year but can be hard to get at times, so either source them before you go or ring ahead to Frank’s BP in Bourke and ask Murray Stewart for some.

If the river starts to clear this month, it is always worth trolling a lure through some of the deeper holes as there are generally a few large, cranky fish about.

If you intend fishing and visiting the Louth Races this month have an enjoyable trip but, as always, if you are planning to drink then please don’t drive – it can turn a good trip sour very quickly!


Apart from a few big cod taken on baits, the Lachlan around Forbes has fished slowly. The sections between Condobolin and Hillston have fished marginally better than those upstream.

A few small cod and golden perch have been taking yabbies, worms and grubs but low water levels are making things tough out west.

The river around Hillston traditionally fishes well in August but in the past few seasons where this has been the case, there has been a much larger flow in the river due to good release rates from Wyangala Dam. I strongly doubt that we will see a big river this month with no big rains predicted and our impoundments very low.

If you are fishing the river this month, aim to use yabbies, worms and grubs in the deeper holes.


The Macquarie River has remained relatively low over the past month. Cold temperatures and clear waters have resulted in tough fishing but those using grubs and worms have reported a few small cod. A few anglers have trolled lures in the deeper holes for limited success but if ever there is a time to connect with a big fish, it is generally this time of year.

August is typically a slow month for fishing on the Macquarie. A few anglers generally venture out but they tend to be those chasing the big fish, which become more active and can be caught through the colder months. Remember when targeting these big fish that they are valuable as our successful breeders.

This is a good time for taking home a feed of fish in our western river systems but please take home only what you really need. The fishing inspectors are generally out and about this month due to the increased angling pressure, which serves as an added incentive to stick to the regulations.

A murky August Darling River tends to bring out the Murray cod.

There have been some good pan-sized golden perch in the Darling of late. This one is headed straight for a campfire pan!

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