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Golden opportunities in the shallows
  |  First Published: August 2008



During August the water level in Blowering dam is generally on the rise, slowly flooding new weed beds and snags – fantastic fishing.

These conditions normally draw fish to the edges to hunt for food that has just been submerged and these fish are normally very active and can be quite easy to catch at times.

I cannot wait for this time of year because the action is as visual as you can get at Blowering: Watching trophy golden perch cruise the shallows looking for easy pickings sure gets the heart pumping.

These shallow goldens can be targeted in a number of ways.

My preferred technique is to cast spinnerbaits and lipless crankbaits but these fish will attack most lure presentations.

The key is to use something that doesn’t dive too deep because most of these fish are in 2m of water or less. Shallow-running hardbodies are definitely worth a chuck and shallow suspending lures work brilliantly and can turn on even the most shut-down fish.

Trolling is another good method but it pays to stick very close to the bank and it to have your lure a long way back, especially if you don’t use an electric motor.

Bait can provide sensational catches because not just the goldens take advantage of the smorgasbord on offer in the shallows – trout, Murray cod, big hybrid carp and even the odd redfin get game enough to come into the shallows for a feed.

Best baits are definitely soft ones like worms, grubs, maggots and PowerBait, depending on what species you intend on targeting.

MURRAY COD

August is your last chance to head out and target Murray cod – the season closes at the end of the month.

Bait fishing for cod can be a bit of a hit-and-miss at particular time of year so most anglers prefer to take advantage of the Murrays’ territorial aggression by trolling and casting oversized lures (if there is such a thing when chasing cod). Lures need to be at least 90mm long to have any real chance of making a big cod strike out of aggression.

Big-profiled spinnerbaits with a thumping action are ideal for casting and trolling and it is hard to beat the new big cod series from Murray River Spinnerbaits, which have extra deep-cut Colorado blades which throw out an unbelievable amount of vibration.

Big lipless crankbaits like the Jackall Doozers and the No 3 Prism Murrins can be cast or trolled with equal success for cod.

Blowering has been very kind to cod anglers over the last couple of months with many fish over 1m landed, lets hope they behave and stay on the chew for one more month.

TROUT

Casting lures for trout from the banks is always worth a shot in August, as is polaroiding. Look for banks that have been stirred up from rising water and wind and boat activity and target the edges of the dirty water.

Most trout lures are worth a chuck but many locals prefer Tassie-style winged lures, Rapala 30mm to 90mm minnows (floating and sinking), Celtas and Rooster Tails. I have been having a lot of success with lipless crankbaits and small paddletail soft plastics in trout colours over recent seasons. These really seem to prove their worth when the fishing is tough.

REDFIN

Redfin have been the main target species for most anglers recently and although that will change this month, there still will be plenty of redfin on offer.

This time last year I was having a ball jigging for fairly large redfin schooling in about 13m with those weird-looking ice jigs. They have an amazing action very similar to a shrimp or yabby trying to flee.

If the ice jigs aren’t working, you generally only need to change to a lipless crankbait like a Jackall TN50, which normally stirs them into a feeding frenzy.

If this fails, I find the softly, softly approach with a Berkley Gulp or Slider Grub or similar tied to a 1/2oz jig head retrieved very slowly with long pauses can get them happening.

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