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Natives mark out their territory
  |  First Published: December 2007



Blowering Dam has had a fairly steady water level of around 30% for the past few months, which has given the fish a good chance to really settle in and call their chosen locations home for a while.

This is a really good thing for lure fishos, especially those targeting those natives which can become very territorial and attack any intruders into there lairs.

A lure will be interpreted as an intruding threat and will be attacked whether the fish is hungry or not, giving you a better chance. A bait will be eaten only if the fish is hungry.

Spinner baits and rattlers are the pick of the casting lures this month and don’t be afraid to go big, in fact the bigger the better, especially when targeting the Murray cod which should be very active this month.

Trolling medium to large divers is another good way of targeting the natives but I also recommend trolling with TN70 Jackalls and Jackall Doozers, which often on tough fishing days have restored hope.

Trolling spinnerbaits is also becoming more popular, especially since lure manufacturers like Bassman began producing 1oz to 2oz lures designed for trolling. These things really do run deep if need be and are much less prone to snagging than most conventional lures.

The resident redfin really fire this month and can be caught easily from the bank or boat with worms or small yabbies or by casting with spinners, small rattlers or 1” to 2” plastics.

The reddies can also be caught trolling with small divers like Stuckeys, AC Slim Invaders and No 3 StumpJumpers. You can add a small soft plastic to your line around a metre above these lures for better results.

Because the dam is almost always rising or slowly dropping, there is no specific turning area at the bottom of the boat ramps but common sense would tell you to leave at least 20m of swing-around room at the bottom of a ramp.

But time and again I arrive at the Log Bridge boat ramp only to find that after launching boats people have parked their vehicles right at the water’s edge. On busy days when there are 20 or 30 trailers already parked you need to reverse down the ramp as much as 300m or more. Until someone signposts the ramp, please use common sense and leave enough turning room at the bottom so everyone else can launch easily.

TUMUT RIVER

The Tumut River has remained in low flow all season so far and the fishing has been a little patchy at times, mainly due to the unusually large numbers of anglers, but there have been some very nice fish landed. As I reported last month, the average size seems to be slightly larger than over recent years but numbers seem to have dropped off slightly.

Hopper pattern flies have worked well and should continue so this month but if you can’t get a fish to come up to your dry, tie on a black or brown weighted nymph dropper.

Spinning with Rooster tails, Celtas and Scrounger soft plastics almost guarantees you a fish in the Tumut River and this technique has been the producer of many a fine fish already this season.

MURRUMBIDGEE

Cicadas have been in good numbers along the upper Murrumbidgee and have probably been a main part of the Murray cod diet.

Because the fishes’ attention is focused upwards, there should be a lot of fish caught on surface lures around dark and afterwards. If you can’t seem to get one to come to the top, cast big, flashy spinnerbaits, especially in the middle of the day.

The upper Murrumbidgee also has a healthy population of redfin which are mostly large and willing to hit almost any lure. I generally don’t bother to actually target the redfin although you would catch a lot more by using small lipless rattlers, soft plastics or spinners. I stick with my spinnerbaits, Chatterbaits and bigger rattlers and find that the reddies still hit them.

Bait fishos generally do well this month, especially with shrimp, bardi grubs, wood grubs, worms and yabbies in that order.

It also pays to carry a can of corn kernels when bait-fishing in the Bidgee, more so when you have your kids with you. On days when you can’t get the natives biting you can throw out a handful of kernels to get the carp feeding. Then let the kids have some fun while doing their water way the world of good by getting rid of a few of these pests.

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