Winter is one of my favourite times of the year to fish Blowering Dam. The summer crowds have well and truly gone, which makes getting a bit of dam to your self quite easy, and the fishing during winter can only be described as sensational.
The surrounding native bush and pine plantations reflect on the water like it’s a sheet of glass most days during winter. This makes for some spectacular views whilst on the water, but the weather can change very quickly up in the hills. A beautiful glassed out, calm day can turn to howling winds, rain, snow and white caps in just a couple of hours, so always prepare for the worst by taking extra warm clothes.
Blowering Dam has been really firing of late with cricket scores of redfin being caught by pretty much everyone. The most successful technique by far has been jigging with either lures or bait.
Bait anglers have been getting lots of nice redfin jigging with worms and small yabbies on paternoster rigs, but the secret is to keep the bait moving slowly up and down a metre or two.
Lure fishos jigging for redfin have had the most amount of success on ice-jigs but there have been plenty caught on soft plastics. There have also been quite a few caught on lipless crankbaits, both the rattle versions and the plastic versions.
Jigging for redfin can be quite fun but the first hurdle is to find them. The easiest way, whether you own a sounder or not, is to troll. During June, the redfin in Blowering hold deep, anywhere from 20-60ft, although the majority seem to hang around in the 25-40ft mark.
There are plenty of lures on the market that will get you to these depths but they are normally design for Murray cod and are way to big for redfin. However, you can still use these lures to fish the depths but a soft plastic needs to be added to the line, around a metre or so, above the lure. Even though this will work, you get the added problem of having to then battle the lure as well as the fish once you hook up.
After years of experimenting with all the different types of extra deep divers on the market I’m yet to find one that finds and draws schools of redfin in like the AC Slim Invaders. They are rated at 30ft, and when you use them on ultra light line you can get them down to the 40ft mark quite easily.
The other advantage of these lures is that they are a suspending lure, which is great for achieving multiple hook ups with out having to fight a fish whilst the boat is going. When one rod hooks up and you stop the boat to fight the fish, the other rods will remain in the strike zone. A floating lure will simply float up out of the strike zone resulting in far less double hook ups.
If you can’t get a hold of these lures don’t fear, as there are plenty of other searching lures out there worth trying. For instance, the Ferralcatts, Strike Zone Squirts, Halco 8m+ P50s, Luhr Jensen Deep Secrets and soft plastics such as the Berkley Gulps or any 2-3” curl tail plastic will do just as well. To get them down into the strike zone, remember to rig them on 1/2oz or 3/4oz jighead.
Trolling soft plastics is relatively new to the freshwater scene but I can tell you from experience that they work on a whole host of different freshwater fish species and redfin are one species that just loves them.
Trout anglers should be out in force this month as it is the unofficial beginning of the trout season in the lakes.
Most flat lined lures will do the job, your usual Tassie style lures in any gold colour are always worth a shot but it does pay to experiment with colours during the day until you find the right colour for the conditions.
Flyfishing or lure casting either from the banks or in the many wind lanes is another good way of targeting the trout. Fly anglers seem to do best after dark with big wets like Hamills Killers, Mrs Simpsons and Woolly Buggers. By targeting the wind lanes during the day, it is also possible to get a few on the dry as well.
When it comes to lure selection for trout I could go on for hours, but I find the best lures are soft plastics, CD3 and CD5 Rapalas and spinners. But I always recommend trying different lures as often as possible as I have caught more trout on lipless crankbaits over the last couple of seasons then I have on any other lure.
Night trolling for Murray cod is catching on fast at Blowering Dam. There have been some absolute monsters caught recently.
Most cod lures work well but I’ve found the bigger the lure the better when targeting the resident green fish.
Bait fishing can also be very productive this month. However, bait fishing with worms or grubs can be a bit of a lucky dip at times as most fish species in the dam will eat these baits.
If you want to target the Murray cod in particular then I would recommend you use yabbies for bait, preferably fairly big ones as this will keep most other species away from your bait and increase your chances of hooking a big cod.Reads: 1992