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Rivers running but murky
  |  First Published: December 2005



With plenty of work travel a few weeks ago, I was able to cross all the rivers I report on in the space of a few days.

The good news was that all were running reasonably full but news on the fishing front has been a little more gloomy.

Lots of fresh, murky and warm water has flowed through these systems and slowed the fishing down considerably. Bait anglers are catching a few native fish but conditions have remained mostly tough for western anglers.

The tough conditions, particularly in the Darling system, have been attributed by locals to the low water levels that have been experienced for several years.

The concentration of fish in small areas has possibly depleted stocks and the result will be some tough fishing for the next few seasons. Time will answer some of these questions.

The cod season opens again this month, allowing anglers to keep a bag limit of two fish, only one of which can be over 100cm.

Based on the long-range forecasters’ predictions of a lot more rain, I expect the rivers to remain full and murky for a few more months. This will mean that bait anglers should experience the best of the fishing again through December.

BOURKE TO TILPA

The Darling River has remained full, warm and murky for the past few months. Consistent rains have produced the good flows and similar river conditions should persist.

Anglers have reported a few fish taken on small yabbies, worms and shrimp. The cod have been largely quiet but a few golden perch to a kilo have been reported between Walgett and Wilcannia.

I expect that bait fishing will remain the best method over coming months with yabbies, shrimp, worms or grubs taking a few fish. During shut-down periods, aim to get right in close to the structure with baits and possibly employ techniques such as bobbing.

FORBES TO HILLSTON

The Lachlan River has produced a few fish for anglers prepared to soak baits around the timber or in the deep holes. Yabbies, worms and shrimp have produced golden perch to 1.5kg, silver perch to 800g and the occasional cod to 5kg.

The river has risen appreciably since my last report, producing a few more active fish.

The Lachlan typically fishes well through Summer when good water flows are experienced. The signs bode well for some good fishing over the next few months.

Yabbies, shrimp and worms close to timber or in deep holes should produce the best, especially early and late in the day. The middle of the day can also produce a few fish for anglers who can brave the heat.

DUBBO TO NARROMINE

I crossed the Macquarie River at Dubbo a few days before writing this and noted that it was running very murky. There have been few anglers fishing there of late.

The Macquarie is a great waterway to fish through the Summer as it contains a good population of Murray cod, perch and catfish that become active when the water warms up.

December can be a great month to explore this river. Fishing worms, shrimp, yabbies and grubs under the willows or around the timber can produce some good fish and some monumental bust-offs.

If the river starts to clear, lure fishing becomes a favoured means of targeting the aggressive Murray cod in the Macquarie. Trolling deep-diving lures, ensuring you get the lure on the bottom bashing the timber, is a great means of catching a few cod.

Casting lures at structure along the river will also produce some exciting fishing.

The holiday period gives many of us a well-earned break and a chance to take the family, or ourselves, for a fish. Enjoy some good family time on the water and make sure you travel safely on the roads.

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