I had a great excuse for the Editor for my late report this month: I was busy being involved bringing my first child into the world. At 49cm, Lachlan Joseph Webster is a little beauty with whom I look forward to sharing a lifetime of fishing experiences.
At times when we get caught up in the day-to-day rigours of making a living, seeing a new life you helped create sure puts a lot of things into perspective!
On the fishing side, things have been quiet in the Central West, which is to be expected at this time of year. Some good Winter rains have put a little water into impoundments, hopefully will be repeated a few more times before Summer.
The Far West natives are starting to feed more actively with some good fish being taken in the Darling River.
A gentle reminder to all fishing the freshwater scene this month: Murray cod are now protected for three months to allow them to spawn. All fish that are captured must be quickly and carefully released.
A murky Darling River has produced plenty of good yellowbelly for bait anglers in the past two months. The cool waters flowing down from Queensland have resulted in the native fish becoming quite active.
The turbid waters have made things tough for lure anglers with only a few fish reported by very the persistent. Bait anglers, however, have taken some good fish with golden perch to 2kg and several large cod reported in recent weeks.
Small yabbies, grubs, worms and prawns have accounted for some good fish, especially bobbed right in close to the timber.
Late Winter and early Spring can fish very well in this far western fishery. The river has had some good new water push through, which has done a lot of good for the general health of the system.
Native fish should respond favourably through coming months by feeding well. Small yabbies, worms, shrimp and grubs are good Spring options.
If the fishing is quiet, aim to get as close to the structure as possible and give baits a little bit of movement. A moving bait sitting so close to home is often more than any self-respecting golden perch can resist.
Winter rain has pushed some new water through the Lachlan. Although it wasn’t a large amount, it did arrive at a much-needed time. Bait anglers have reported a few golden perch around a kilo.
The cold has kept the fish relatively quiet but a good barometer produced fish for those prepared to wet a line.
As the days start to get longer, the fish should respond favourably. I expect bait anglers to report the best action with lure anglers getting in on the action as the water warms later in the year. Worms, shrimp and small yabbies should be presented in the deeper areas around some form of structure.
The Macquarie River has remained low throughout much of the Winter and local soaking rains did little to lift water levels.
The fish in the Dubbo area have remained quiet, as is typical through July and August. A few natives were taken further downstream in the Warren area by bait anglers with yabbies, worms and grubs.
A few fish should start to become active through September. With the closed cod season upon this month and the river around Dubbo predominantly a Murray cod fishery, I expect few anglers to be out on the water.
However, the river around Warren produces some good golden perch during Spring with bait the best approach. Target areas of good structure with a bit of depth with small yabbies, grubs, worms and shrimp.
The week leading up to writing this report was an emotional roller coaster: I experienced the birth of a son 40 hours before losing a grandmother. My grandmother was the widow of Joseph Webster, whose name my son takes as his middle name. Joseph Webster was the man who introduced me to the joys of fishing and he gave me some of my earliest happy memories.
I look forward to introducing Lachlan to fishing, knowing that whether he likes fishing for the act itself or simply because he gets to spend quality time with Dad that it will be an enjoyable experience for him, and vice-versa.Reads: 517