Plenty of hot bites!
  |  First Published: October 2005

Having always had an inquisitive nature and a deep-rooted dislike for things that sting, a bullant’s nest is a bittersweet challenge.

Barely spitting distance from our regular camping spot, it was hard to walk past without giving it a poke with a stick. This went on all Winter long without incident.

In fact, it was hard to provoke much of a response at all. At best, a couple of 25mm- long angries would come out, stand on their haunches and then disappear back down the hole.

How quickly things change! A little warm weather and the customary poke with the stick turned into a full-on rap dance as the ants, full of vigour, exacted their revenge.

I should have seen it coming: Whether it swims, flies or crawls, Springtime is Nature’s alarm to get out and get busy.

Over the next month, most anglers will be doing just that as the warm weather fires the feeding instincts of our local fish.

In the lakes and dams, the redfin have already begun to show a little interest.

While most anglers target this species on bait, it’s well worth giving the soft plastics a run. Small shads or yabby imitations are an excellent choice and if the fish are on, they will quite often out fish the best of baits.

A slow, staggered retrieve similar to that used on flathead seems to produce the best results.

Locally, in the Murrumbidgee, good numbers of golden perch have been taken on bait and small hard-bodied lures. It’s a similar trend in the Wakool River, with most anglers bagging a fish or two.

It’s inevitable when angling with bait that you are going to catch a number of small Murray cod on most outings. Remember that it’s closed season on all cod from October 1 to December 1, so they all need to go back.

Now last I heard, fishhooks were not made out of gold. So why is it many anglers still refuse to cut the line on deeply-hooked fish?

A fish released in this manner has a far better chance of survival than one that’s had all sorts of paraphernalia poked into its gullet in search of a 10-cent hook. The term ‘as tight as a fish’s bum’ fits well in this case.

At great expense, Fisheries and anglers alike have worked damned hard to increase cod numbers along our rivers. It’s a shame to see some of this good work cut short by penny-pinchers.

The Murray is fishing a little slowly at present but as the weather continues to warm, it should begin to fire. Fishing the shallow backwaters around visible structure has worked well in past seasons with the early goldens a much better size on average.

Spring is a great season to fish our local waters and as the weather continues to heat up, so will the fishing.

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