This month you can go out on Blowering Dam and confidently expect to catch a good mixed bag of fish because the water is still warm enough for the natives to take a bait or lure but is cooling rapidly, which tends to fire the redfin and trout up.
Trout are probably the most targeted of all species in May and can be caught quite regularly all over the dam with either trout baits, trout lures or trout flies.
Over the past couple of seasons I have had a ball catching trout in the wind lanes with Prism Murrin lipless crankbaits.
I found that you don’t really have to imitate what the trout are eating when they’re actively sipping through wind lanes; these fish are hungry and are just focused on scoffing as much into them as they can while the going’s good.
I’ve found that these active risers in wind lanes or in calm bays will attack my lipless crankbaits with gusto when cast to them and retrieved in an aggressive fashion.
l can also troll through these wind lanes with typical trout-style lures such as winged Tassie Devil-style patterns, small hardbodies, soft plastics or lipless crankbaits and have a good chance of hooking one of the active feeders.
However, I think casting to these rising or sipping fish is much more fun, more rewarding and I also seem to catch more.
I think the main reason for catching more casting is that if a fish rises in front of you while you’re casting, you can fire a quick cast in its direction and know your lure is in front of the fish.
If you’re trolling, you have to hope that the fish is still there when your lures finally make it to where you last saw the fish rising. And you have to motor through the area first, possibly putting down the fish.
Fishing off the bank with PowerBait, maggots, worms or grubs rigged on ultra-light line with a tiny sinker or none at all will also give you a good chance of hooking a nice trout.
Fly fishing the flats or shallow bays around dark with big wet flies like Mrs Simpsons or Woolly Buggers is another good way of getting a trout or two.
May is also a great month for jigging for redfin, which will start to form massive schools over coming months and move out into open, deep water, making it very easy to go and catch a feed.
Schools can be located easily with the aid of a good sounder and once a good school is sounded, it’s time to start jigging with bait like small yabbies or worms on paternoster rigs or with lures such as ice jigs, Berkley Gulps or lipless crankbaits.
Murray cod are also frequently caught this month and they are best targeted with large deep-diving lures, the bigger the better.
Lures such as the 150mm AC Invader are perfect but any lure over 100mm will put you in with a good chance of tangling with a cod.
Best places to troll are along the old river bed up the top end of the dam and any rocky point would be worth running over once or twice.
Golden perch can also be caught in the same areas as the cod now but it would pay to downsize your lures if you really want to target them.
Best lures to troll for yellas this time of year are the Trollcraft Double Downers, AC Slim Invaders, size 2 and 3 StumpJumpers, Prism Murrins and the locally-made Stuckey lures.
By the time this article hits the shelves the Tumut River should be in low flow, making for some spectacular fishing.
Whilst it is in low flow, almost the entire river is accessible on foot, making it easy to fish and quite easy to walk from spot to spot if your favourite hole or section is being fished already.
Lure and fly selection in the flow doesn’t get much easier. If you’re casting lures, all you will need are some spinners and some soft plastics.
If you’re fly fishing and would like to target fish with dries, you will have to fish the first hour of daylight or the last hour before dark. If you want to catch fish all day then it is hard to beat a small bead-head nymph suspended 30cm to 1m below an indicator or highly visible dry fly.
The Murrumbidgee should also be in low flow this month, which will make all the canoe enthusiasts very happy.
While the river is flowing slowly it is very hard to fish by boat, as you can only work small stretches of river, normally only a few hundred metres or so, before you come to an unpassable shallow rock bar or fast rapid.
From a canoe, you can successfully fish long stretches of river with relative ease.
Casting lures is really the only way to go for regular success during the low flows and it’s hard to beat the good old spinnerbait but on tough days it is also worth casting shallow-running hardbodies, lipless crankbaits, Rock’n’Runners, Chatterbaits or big paddletail soft plastics.Reads: 2004