It’s the silly season
  |  First Published: December 2005

December is upon us already; this of course means warmer weather and therefore warmer water, plus a whole lot more water users. It pays to adjust to these changes to keep among the fish.

Early morning and late afternoon sessions become more important in December; this goes for trout and native species. Night sessions on familiar waters are also an option, especially later on in the month.


Fishing mid-week would be ideal but unfortunately for most of us it’s the crowds and the weekends. There is hope, however. A fish’s metabolism is very high at this time of year and they need to eat quite a bit to survive.

As a general rule pressured fish, especially native fish, will resort to deeper water and/or thick cover. Higher water temps also tend to push fish a little deeper in December.

For those fishing from boats, your depth sounder really starts to come into its own at this time of year.

Let me pass on some experience. Your sounder has no preconceived ideas or preferences to how you fish; it is a tool that shows you information. How you interpret and react to that information will determine how many fish you catch and how big they are.

Of course, the quality of your sounder will make it much easier to interpret and react to what you’re seeing. Keep this in mind, especially during the busy warmer months ahead.


Depending on the weather, this usually is the month when dragonfly nymphs – mudeyes – make their annual march to shore. Trout are nearly always hot on their heels.

Take the time to inspect bushes and trees close to the water’s edge before fishing in the late afternoon. If the dried-up crusts of hatched mudeyes are about, you know the annual march has begun.

Fly-fishing dams such as Oberon, Wallace and Lake Lyell during the night with flies such as Muddler Minnows, Craig’s Nighttimes and Hamill’s Killers in sizes that match the dried crusts you found earlier should see you into some action.

Don’t try to cover every rising fish you see or hear with a cast, especially if the rise is really going off.

Fish live in water, not air, so keep your fly in the water and they will find it


You beauty! I get preoccupied with golden perch and bass during the Spring months so by the time December rolls around, a good, old-fashioned wallop from a cod is well overdue.

Wyangala Dam, of course, will be on everyone’s lips but I am not so sure.

It has fished well over the past few seasons but I think with the rise in water level and the spreading of fish, it could be a little slow.

Over-zealous anglers taking out cod, rather than releasing them, could also have an impact. I am not against anyone taking the odd one above 50cm for a feed, let’s just keep it real!

As always, you can catch me bright and early most Saturdays on Australia’s No1 fishing and boating radio program, 2KY’s Hi-Tide with Kieran and Bruce.

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