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Yabbies, fish on the move
  |  First Published: February 2008



Constantly dropping water levels in our impoundments have become the norm during the Summer months and dropping dam levels are normally associated with shut-down fishing but this certainly is not the case at Blowering Dam.

As the dam slowly drops, the resident yabbies and crayfish no longer have freshly flooded weed beds and grass flats in which to hide from hungry fish and must constantly keep on relocating to keep up with the dropping water level.

The fish are clued onto this and take advantage of the easy pickings these conditions are normally associated with.

This time last year there where more big fish caught on yabbies than with any other technique. A yabby is best on a paternoster rig to keep it from scurrying into a hole and also to have it sitting just up off the bottom where the fish will definitely be able to see it.

Big yabbies used off the bank will give you a very good chance of hooking a big Murray cod or golden perch and small yabbies from the bank or from a boat near timber, points or drop-offs should see you in on some redfin action.

The redfin can also be targeted with lures by jigging with ice jigs, spoons, plastics or rattlers or by trolling.

Best trolling lures for redfin are the AC Slim Invaders, Stuckeys (especially the small version) and the small StumpJumper. These lures get even better results when a 1” or 2” soft plastic is added to your line about a metre or so above your chosen lure.

This rig stirs the redfin’s competitive nature and can be the difference between fish and no fish on tough days.

COD, GOLDENS

Big Murray cod and golden perch are worth targeting with lures this month.

As most fish are very active seeking out the relocating yabbies. Skirted jigs or soft plastics with a yabby-like appearance are probably your best bet.

Just remember to use these lures very slowly with lots of pauses and in contact with the bottom almost all of the time. You’d be very lucky to even catch even one fish with these lures if you simply retrieved the lure through mid water, as you would with, say, a Tassie Devil-style lure.

Big lures like the large StumpJumper, the 90mm and 150mm AC Invaders and Mudeye Mohawks are ideal for targeting cod in those snaggy trolling runs because all of these lures are very buoyant, enabling them to ride over even the nastiest of snags with ease,

And when these lures are trolled with your rod in your hand so that you can feed slack line when needed, they very rarely snag up.

Golden perch are worth targeting on the troll this month and although you still catch the odd golden perch on the above lures, slightly smaller ones are needed for more success.

My all-time favourite trolling lures for golden perch are the TN60 and the TN70 Jackalls. They are underused as a trolling lure because most people don’t even realise that they can even be trolled but they work unbelievably well on golden perch and on almost every species of freshwater fish that swims, including Murray cod.

RAMP RAGE

The boat ramp at Log Bridge has seen a lot of use this Summer with fishos, water skiers and others just out for a day on the water to have fun. These Summer crowds are to be expected and on the whole a very good thing for the district but unfortunately these summer crowds also draw out a lot of lazy and inconsiderate boaters.

The constant wave action created by water skiers and the like is something we all have to get used to in Summer and rude fishos who come cruising over to fish the bay you’ve just pulled a nice fish out of can soon be turned the other way when a few lures start whizzing past their ears.

But it is the lazy, inconsiderate jerks who park there cars and boat trailers right at the bottom of the ramp in everyone’s way that really get my blood boiling, especially when the next twenty people have followed suit, leaving no turning room near the water. It means a nice reverse run of 500m or more.

Because the dam is always rising or dropping, no signs have been erected for those senseless people so it comes back to the individual to understand that sufficient turn-around room should be left at the bottom every boat ramp. Think before you park so that everyone can enjoy their day out on the water.

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