Goldens head offshore
  |  First Published: April 2009

Surface water temperatures drop fast in Windamere at this time of year; the fish sense this and know that a long, cold Winter is not that far away.

This triggers a short feeding binge, when some great angling can be had by all.

Golden perch more often than not at this time of year will follow the baitfish out into deeper water. That said, if water levels rise it does encourage the fish to stay shallow for a little longer.

Tree tops out in open, deep water are great places to start.

Casting lipless crankbaits around the edges or throwing small deep-divers in among the branches is also great fun.

Deep flats close to the old river bed are also worth a look. Use your sounder to scan the bottom and if there are scattered baitfish schools, you can bet the golden perch won’t be that far away.

Blade-type lures are great for this type of fishing.

It’s very simple: just drop one straight down over the side once the fish are found, and gently lift your blade just enough to get it to vibrate.

Follow the blade back down with just a hint of slack line because this is when most strikes will occur.

Bigger cod are also caught at this time of year. Large deep-diving lures trolled around rocky, timbered edges can be quite productive. By productive, I mean one decent fish for the day, so please keep that in mind.


What a great time of year to target trout in our local streams and rivers!

Fly-fishing ‘business hours’ is the go as the warmth of the sun triggers insect hatches.

Small duns, black spinners and caddis are on the menu so make sure you have plenty of fur and feather imitations.

If there is no evidence of trout rising or the day is cloudy and no insects are present, don’t despair because a small, nondescript nymph cast and then drifted down a rapid will usually get a response.

The local dams, Oberon especially, can also produce some great fish at this time of year.

Casting lures from the bank at places such as the golf course and the reefs nearly always produces a fish.

PowerBait is also a good fallback method in these spots, just remember to keep the hook size to a minimum so your bait should float up off the bottom.


There is something special about staring into a hot fire on a cold April night by the river.

Glowing embers like these have been sat around for aeons and many fishing tales have been told – most truthful, some stretched a little, for who would let the truth get in the way of a good story?

A story that comes to mind that was told to me not that long ago about a bloke from Bendigo, big Phil Keatler, and a cod that just wouldn’t stop.

Now Phil is a no-nonsense sort of bloke who doesn’t mess around when it comes to trolling for cod – with 80lb braid (rope!) a rod with as much flex as a crowbar and a reel built for marlin, there’s no such thing as drag.

Phil doesn’t get snagged, he just hauls the river red gums straight up off the river bed, and pulls his lure free.

Now Phil has caught some great fish over the years and rarely is he beaten, but this day was different and his finger has never been the same since.

Trolling the mighty Murray down Echuca way, Phil hooked a behemoth from the deep so big that the motor skipped a beat and the back gunwale of his punt was drawn down to near the water.

Phil was working overtime and he knew he was in deep. The cod was pulling drag like there was no tomorrow and Phil had never seen so much ‘rope’ disappear from his reel in such a short time.

Then his level wind let out a squeal. Phil looked down to see what was amiss: The bloody thing had packed it in and it was time to intervene.

Phil shoved his finger into that mess, only to have it jammed so tight it would not come out again.

The cod bulldozed its way underneath a log, where it shook the lure free, never to be seen again, leaving Phil with a jammed finger and a lot of pain.

Phil needed plenty of assistance with his reel, which was still jammed on his finger and had to be stripped down to be removed.

To this day he still feels the pain and there’s no way he will stick his finger back in a reel again.

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