Spring – you beauty!
  |  First Published: September 2004

YOU BEAUTY! That first warmish day in September always brings a smile to the dial.

If you’re anything like me, you will have spent the past few weeks looking for some sort of sign that Winter is on the way out – a magpie with nesting material in its beak or the first shoots of a willow tree showing through.

Water temps make their first upward movement this month. Impoundments at lower altitudes and a little farther west are the first to move.

Surface temps at Windamere and Wyangala will rise from a chilly 10°or 12° to 14° or 15° and this gets the food chain into gear and fish activity increases accordingly.

In Windamere and Wyangala, look to fish rocky banks that are a little protected from prevailing winds and have a northerly aspect. These banks capture the most sunlight at this time of year and generally the water is a little warmer.

Inflows are another good place to try and they don’t have to be major tributaries. Scrub worms, fished under a float or on the bottom where a gully drains into the dam, are a good way to get connected.

Hard-bodied lures such as the Tilsan Bass, Rapala Shad Rap or Deception Shrimp are good to cast now. The Shad Rap RS5 or RS7 would be my pick as they are suspending lures straight out of the packet. This sort of lure is just the ticket for golden perch just coming out of a Winter slumber.

Crank the lure down and then twitch and pause your retrieve all the way back.


Lake Wallace has been fishing quite well over the Winter and all indicators point to a very fishy Spring. Anybody who has had anything to do with Lake Wallace over the years will no doubt tell me I am really sticking my neck out here but I have seen and heard enough to back it up.

Berkeley PowerBait fished just off the bottom is always a good option. Tassie Devils and large spoons cast and retrieved off the major points are also worth a try.

Weed beds are always present at Lake Wallace; fishing the outside edge is the key.

The fish don’t seem to have to venture into the risky shallows in Lake Wallace. In all the time I have spent fishing there I could count on one hand the number of fish I have seen cruising the inside edge of the weed that runs around the dam. And, believe me, I am always looking.


With water warming, yabbies in Lake Lyell make their first movements in late September and the big brown trout in the dam are hard on their heels.

I have watched browns patrol clay banks in Lake Lyell waiting for yabbies to come out of their holes. Maybe they can hear them scratching around, in there.

Any hole that has muddy puffs coming out is closely inspected. It is amazing to watch and I have been lucky enough to have seen it a few times now.

As you would expect, yabby-pattern lures such as the Deception Shrimp and the Rebel Crawdad are good lures to start with. I have also had good success with home-made jigs tied with fly materials and some split shot crimped on the head.

Trollers should get their lures close to the bottom, hitting it from time to time. A deep Whitmore or a Viking Talisman, both of which have no trouble hitting six metres when trolled on light string, are good options. Darker colours work best.


With low water levels for most of the year, Carcoar Dam’s boat ramp was high and dry. Blayney City Council did the right thing and extended the ramp. Hopefully by the time this goes to print it will be under water and usable.

September can be a good time to fish Carcoar for its abundant redfin. Like the trout in Lake Lyell, Carcoar redfin love yabbies at this time so similar tactics will have rods bent before you know it.

Wind can be a problem at Carcoar, as with other impoundments in the area in September. I have recently purchased a drift drogue to help slow me down while drift fishing. It’s early days yet but it seems it will become a permanent part of my boat gear.

The lower end of Carcoar Dam always seems to produce enough redfin for me. I don’t think I have ever had need to venture much further up than the sailing club.


With a number of species being stocked there over the years, Ben Chifley has become a real lucky dip, especially during Spring.

Trolling the edges or over the tops of weed beds is a good tactic for redfin, trout or golden perch in Spring. You will need about a metre of water over the top and a shallow-running minnow to be successful. Rapala minnows from 5cm to 7cm are good, as is the shallow-running McGrath.

Schooling redfin can also be targeted in deeper water. Ice jigs and metal slug-type bobbers worked among the school can keep you occupied for quite some time.

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


Lake Windamere usually fires up in late September. Look for those north-facing banks that are protected from the wind. This golden perch slammed a black AC Invader trolled by a camera-shy ‘Mully’ Muldoon.


Lake Wallace has produced its fair share of fish over the Winter and the Spring fishing should also be good. Neil Bell puts a good working curve into his rod as another rainbow trout powers off into the distance.


Spring fishing for early season golden perch at Windamere is a good way to blow those Winter cobwebs out of your tackle. Deception Shrimps fished slowly with lots of pauses and twitches are very effective.

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