Frosts send natives crazy
  |  First Published: July 2008


Since Dubbo and surrounding towns experienced their first morning of white crunchy lawns and ice-covered windscreens a few weeks back, the increased activity of the local native fish population as been amazing.

At Burrendong Dam, there have been reports of 50cm golden perch, cod up to 90cm and some massive 2kg-plus redfin have been boated by locals in recent weeks and this bonanza will continue if the dam level continues around 14%.

In low-light periods anglers casting baits or lures along the edges fared best with lipless rattlers and spinnerbaits performing well.

Trollers have fared best in water ranging from 3m to 8m with dark-coloured deep-diving Feral Catt lures being most productive.

As the sun gets higher, metallic-finish and brighter coloured lures become more productive, as do the whirring blades of spinnerbaits.

The old drowned trees following the river channels of the Macquarie and Cudgegong arms should continue to produce for bait and lure fishers. A yabby worked slowly around the bases of the heaviest timbered trees works well while lure addicts can excite the fishing into biting soft plastics or natural-coloured rattling lipless crankbaits or even chrome slices. All looks good for the following weeks.


From Wellington to Dubbo, cod up to 20kg have been caught on lures while bait has accounted for the odd golden perch and catfish. Limited water releases from Burrendong Dam over the past month have produced some shallow water to be navigated.

The remaining accessible deep runs or weed beds now house a big proportion of the fish as their once submerged homes are now dry. Bassman spinnerbait of 1/4oz to 1/2oz in colours 12, 15 and Hodgie's have worked on the weed fringes and will continue so in months to come.

Size and numbers of cod will improve as the nights get colder. Reports of some fishos using life shrimp scoring over 50 yellas and taking the lot could have something to do with the reduced catches.

A keen group fishing close to Dubbo recently scored fish over 80cm casting spinnerbaits to heavy timbered water. These fish were photographed and released, which is great stuff.

Sandy beaches have been producing for those using worms and live shrimp, if you can get them. Boaters will score well in the coming weeks casting small lures like baby Feral Catts to shallows around ribbon weed and structure. Redfin and yellow or green frog patterns work best this time of year.


Clearing water has seen catch rates improve with 60mm to 110mm lures working as well as bait.

Those drifting small yabbies under the willows are doing well on cod around 45cm, with the old golden. Remember, the legal size for cod is 55cm.

Down towards Warren, the fish have been active on bait and Lures. Worms, shrimp and yabbies cast from the bank around structure work a treat.

Some healthy 60cm-plus green fish have been caught on the relatively new 1/2oz Bassman Mumbler in colour 12 between 11am and 4pm on a mild, sunny day.


After strong flows from Queensland in past months, the Darling has settled down to respectable fishing levels although the water clarity is nothing to write home about and lures have been average compared with bait.

A small yabby or shrimp cast close to some form of structure will increase your chances of a tussle with a scaled friend.

All in all, the following months look promising for those willing to brave the colder nights and sunny days that the Outback is famous for.

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