Redfin a good option as trout go deep
  |  First Published: December 2008

With summer here and petrol prices dropping rapidly, we’re hoping you’ll all take a well-earned break and visit Khancoban, because the fishing has been excellent. Though a small lake, Khancoban Pondage has room for both water skiers, who tend to use the bottom end of the lake, and the fishers who like the top end.

Khancoban Troutfest is over for another year, with more than double the number of entrants than last year. The weather was against us, with over a foot of snow on the peaks and buckets of (greatly appreciated) rain down here in the lowlands. All participants I spoke to enjoyed themselves and have promised to be back next year. Phill Jones is doing a report elsewhere in this mag, so I won’t go into detail, except to thank VFM and all our other sponsors for their support.

Redfin have been the flavour of this month, with the trout going deeper as the temperature increases. All Khancoban fish are extremely well fed and in excellent condition. A 2kg reddy used to be a rarity, however this year we are seeing some excellent specimens to 2.5kg. Over the past three weeks, I have seen at least a dozen 2kg redfin caught, as well as numerous smaller fish. Scrubworms are the bait of choice, fished over the grass beds. Redfin pattern lures and soft plastics will also do the job just as well. I have never seen the redfin like this so, if reddies are your thing, we’ll see you in Khancoban.

Other news for our fishers is that Gaden Trout Hatchery, which supplies all of Khancoban’s trout, has received a reprieve from the NSW Government razor gang. After a protest meeting at Gaden in November, which had 300 plus attendees on very short notice, the NSW Government has agreed to keep the hatchery open while funding options through the Recreational Fishing Trust (our licence money) are explored.

I must say it seems very short-sighted to destroy a 17 million dollar tourism industry in the Snowy Mountains because of a $750,000 funding issue. It is particularly galling when you consider the land and hatchery was given to the Government in the first place.

Khancoban has just received 50,000 Atlantic salmon fry, on top of our regular trout stocking. It will be interesting to see how many reach size. Fry released directly into the lake do not have a great survival rate. Fingerlings seem to do much better – but you should never look a gift horse in the mouth.

Over summer trout will be deeper in the lake, particularly around the old river bed. Deep diving lures and leadline come into play. These are not usual rigs for Khancoban, however in this time of drought and low volumes of water released, it makes a huge difference.

Baka Brulic and Sabat Beganovic caught these great trout in the Khancoban Pondage. The trout are holding much deeper as the weather warms.

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