FOLLOWING the rains in September and October our impoundments filled a few percent and, although a lot more is needed, this was welcome water.
Very little of this water has been released from the dams at this point and so our rivers have remained very low for the past month.
The weather began to warm up in early October and we have experienced increased fish activity. Water clarity has been down somewhat in most of our rivers, resulting in most fish being taken on baits such as yabbies. Where anglers have encountered clearer waters, lures have been used to take some good fish.
The warm weather is definitely upon us and with fish starting to wake up and feed following their Winter sleepiness, this is always a great time of year to wet a line.
The fishing showed its first signs of real improvement in early October with some good yellowbelly being taken. The Darling River has remained low and murky below Brewarrina and the murk has meant that bait anglers have done well from Bourke and downstream. Small yabbies have out-performed all other baits over the past month.
Anglers above Brewarrina have made the most of a clearing river by taking some good fish on lures, reporting some good-sized golden perch, with some over 2kg. Several Murray cod have been accidentally caught and released. The species is out of season until December 1.
The weather should be tending towards hot for the start of this month and the Darling usually fishes just as the heat builds up. Unfortunately the carp become very active around this time and will hamper anglers using baits yabbies, worms, shrimp and grubs for native species. If the river starts to clear, lure fishing for natives should hopefully make it easier for anglers to get past the carp.
The Lachlan River has remained very low over past months. The warmer weather has produced some better fishing in the Forbes-Hillston stretch with golden perch to a kilogram and a couple of Murray cod up to 20kg were caught and released just downstream of Hillston last month. Yabbies seem to have been the order of the day, with most fish being taken on these crustaceans. Worms accounted for a few fish but small yabbies have been hard to beat.
I am assuming some water will be released into the river as the irrigating season nears. This and the warmer weather should really kick-start the fishing. If we get some more rain in the time leading up to publication, the fish should well and truly become active. If the river is running clear, lures are always worth a throw. Deep-diving hard bodies or spinnerbaits among the timber are good ways to start. Baits such as yabbies, worms and shrimps (especially as they become more active) will be definitely worth swimming this month.
The Macquarie River has remained murky for some time. Cool, murky water started being released into the system in early October, keeping the fishing quiet for much of the month although there are signs that this may change. The warming weather and longer days will go a long way towards increasing fish activity.
Bait anglers have happened on a few small cod, mainly on worms, but the fishing has been largely quiet. As the river starts to clear and the fish become more active, lure anglers should start getting among a few fish again. The bait anglers should do well once the shrimp start becoming active.
The finishing touches to this article enable me to tick off one of the jobs I have to get done before flying north to tie a knot of the marital kind. My bachelorhood has come to an end and the team at Fishing Monthly have assured me that my fishing hours are soon to be facing restrictions. I am not altogether sure what the road ahead holds but I am sure it will be entertaining. I have so much to teach my new wife about the joys of fishing, and she definitely has no idea what she is in for when it comes to living with a fishing writer!
A few golden perch have been taken in the Darling River on yabbies in recent weeks. Anglers have found the conditions challenging for much of the past month however.Reads: 539