Baitfishing Best Bet
  |  First Published: June 2008

This year a little snow in late April and early May had people excited but that snow didn’t last on the ground long. It will probably be well into July before we see how much water we will have for the lakes in spring.

This winter Lake Jindabyne and Lake Eucumbene’s water levels will most likely be lowered to almost the minimum levels. The drought continues along the Murray River and they are in desperate need of water.

Fortunately for Jindabyne, minimum water level is a reasonably high 46% and there is still plenty of water for the trout to swim around in. We still have good weed beds and plenty of feed for the trout, which are in spectacular condition at present.

Over the coming winter months the fishing will be good and there is a great possibility that you will see some trophy fish caught.

With the rivers closed to fishing this year on Monday 9 June we will be concentrating on lake fishing.


The best baitfishing occurs when the weather is bad from the shore, which is possibly the most comfortable way of fishing in poor conditions.

Baitfishing around the edges of the lake during the day is an excellent way of catching a trout. You can fish all day during winter but don’t fish too deep as the fish often feed close to the shore. Baitfishing with worms or bardi grubs works well during winter, so long as you don’t mind sitting back and waiting.

The worms and bardi grubs are fished off the bottom with a running sinker, similar to saltwater fishing. Remember to fish light and keep the reel bail arm open to let the trout run with the bait.

Berkley PowerBaits are also great in winter. My preferred is lemon twist, but fluoro orange and pink nuggets are also worth a try. The twist PowerBaits float so you only need to use about 30cm of leader after a small sinker to keep it on the bottom. Just a small ball of PowerBait, just a little bigger than a pea, and a small hook will catch more fish than big hooks and big bits of PowerBait.

The newer Gulp PowerBait is doing very well also with rainbow chartreuse and chunky cheese a couple of favourites. Because this artificial bait lasts so long in the tackle box, it’s worthwhile having a selection available for when you fish different conditions or even different waterways.


Trolling in winter means some very big fish if you’re patient. You don’t have to get out of bed early to catch fish as some of the largest of my winter fish are caught in the middle of the day in the middle of the lake.

The better lures to use in winter are Tasmanian Devils in pink (55) or orange (56) colours. Also keep in mind a Y36 Yellow wing for the sunnier days and Y48 is always worthwhile early and late in the day or off three colours or lead core line.

Jointed Rapalas are worth a try and the bigger the lure the better. We often troll 9cm and 11cm lures for the bigger fish.

There is still plenty of big fish at Creel Bay and if you know the bay and where the snags are it is not too difficult to downrig some very big brown trout. If you don’t have a downrigger then try putting the big Rapala onto your lead core line. Put four colours of lead into the water and then another 20m of 20lb Dacron backing and this will get you down to where the bigger browns are holding, but remember troll at about 2km/h.

Lure Spinning

Spinning is best early in the morning and though it is often hard to get out of bed, you have to suffer the cold to catch the best trout.

I find that in winter smaller 7g Tasmanian Devils flicked around the edges of the lake best. You can also spin with small bladed spinners such as, Celtas and Gillies Hopper spinners in gold or red, in the shallow weedy bays.

Soft plastics are also worth a try and the Squidgy Wriggler tails in rainbow trout pattern is going great.

Over all soft plastics for trout would have to work the best in winter. Flicking them out and working them slowly through the snags when the lake is low is the best way to catch trout. Having a boat is a big advantage though.

Another lure that has been worth a throw is the 3” StumpJumper. Pink is a great colour in winter. Jointed Rapalas with a little bit of orange on the tummy are another that will get the trout to take notice.


June and July on Lake Jindabyne are the hardest and coldest months for flyfishing.

The best fishing occurs when the browns start to return from spawning in late July and start cruising the edges.

If you are a reasonable fly caster, you will be able to polarise these rainbows, and cast a fly a couple of metres in front and wait until the fish moves towards the fly before giving it a little twitch or a strip of 10-20cm.

If casting is not your strong point, try targeting these fish by suspending a nymph, using an indicator to hold it up off the bottom. Using this method move the nymph very slowly, and twitch it every now and then to keep the fly alive. Don’t take your eyes off the indicator because the trout will often take the fly very gently.

With the low lake levels, the better Jindabyne polarising bays are, Creel Bay, Hayshed and Hatchery Bay, Mill Creek Inlet, The Claypits, and The Snowy Arm.


I am event manager for 4 fishing competitions for the Discovery Holiday Parks Group (previously Beston Holiday Parks) and the next one will be in September at Discovery Holiday Parks Pambula Beach (previously Holiday Hub Beach Resort).

Given that this area is such a popular spot for readers it may interest you to know a little more about what is happening.

The event will be called the Discovery Holiday Parks Pambula Beach Family Fishing Carnival and will be a fantastic one for the whole family.

There will of course be the fishing competition but plenty of other events will be happening to keep all the family amused, including casting competitions, painting and colouring, throw the fish, sandcastles with a fish theme and heaps of other small events with lots of instant prizes. There will also be evening entertainment and BBQ’s for all the family.

For more information on the event that will be held on the weekend of the 5-7 September, please check out my web site at www.swtroutfishing.com.au or e-mail me at --e-mail address hidden--

Other events that I am running will occur over the next 6 months. After Pambula we will have the Gerroa Shores Family Fishing Carnival on the long weekend of the 3-5 October and the Eden competition at Shadrack (Discovery Holiday Parks Eden) over the weekend of the 7-9 November. There will be major prizes up for grabs in all competitions and heaps of family fishing fun.

Hope to see you there!

If you would like a bit more information on what trout fishing is available on Lake Jindabyne in winter, please call into my shop at Snowline Holiday Park (soon to be Discovery Holiday Parks Jindabyne) next to the Shell servo or phone 02 6456 1551. All the best with the fishing over the next couple of months and remember I operate guided tours right throughout winter.


John Blanck with a Rainbow trout caught on a red nosed yellowwing Tasmanian Devil trolling


Side planers are a big advantage at the moment to get lures in close to the edges where the rainbows are hiding in the weed beds.


Thomas Valeri with a rainbow trout caught on a Tasmanian Devil number 89.

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