Winter Wonderland
  |  First Published: June 2009

A winter wonderland awaits on the Central Tablelands of New South Wales, for anglers who enjoy the delights of a winter fishery. There are some tricks to this winter fishery though, and it’s got nothing to do with the lure you use or the rod you cast with.

Dressing intelligently is the key, the old fashion heavy winter clothing of past years should be exactly that past tense. Modern winter clothing such as polypropylene thermals, polar fleece jumpers, wind stoppers, and Gore-Tex jackets, will increase your enjoyment on the water, and allow you to spend more time on the water, when all around you fair weather fairys are either at home or heading back to the ramp.


Northern hemisphere species such as trout and redfin are much more active over the winter months compared to most native species. Cod could be the exception here.

Oberon dam, just two and a half hours from Sydney, produces some great trout over the winter months and has a good following of Sydney anglers who do quite well. Redfin are also turning up in the dam on quite a regular basis.

Bait fishing with worms and artificial Power Bait can be very productive with rainbow trout up to 1kg not out of the question. A light threadline outfit 2kg to 3kg is all that is needed. Keep your sinkers light and your hooks small.

Lake Lyell near Lithgow also has a big following of anglers and for good reason the trout fishing there can be sensational at times. Downrigging the depths of the main basin can produce some absolute howlers in July and August for those set up for this type of fishing. Walking the edges casting small soft plastics and flies can also be good - especially for those who want to target a brown trout.

Burrendong dam between Orange and Wellington has a growing reputation for producing some great winter redfin. Small deep diving lures trolled around fish found on the sounder can produce some great catches. Quite often these fish will be found adjacent to the old river bed in quite open water, although they will migrate back to the trees which line the old river bed in the main basin.


What a great little mixed fishery Chifley is - still way short of its potential in my opinion, but well on the way. Trout and redfin can be caught at this time of year although trout numbers are not what they used to be. I never venture to far away from the main basin, although the upper reaches of the dam could be an option as trout return from the spawn later in the season.

Ripping metal jigs and blades up off the bottom can be very productive with fish up to 1.5kg not out of the question. Just don’t expect them on every drop. With sounder technology the way it is today you can discount the smaller fish and spend your time looking for larger specimens, although seeing them and catching them can be a different story.

Best of luck, hope to see you on the water sometime.

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