Light rain over the last month has restored confidence in the rural townships. With early planted crops, Winter pasture flourishing and continued sowing of cereal crops all looks good for a financial return at the end of the year for our farmers and some of this water might even get to the rivers and dams.
Lure and bait anglers have seen quality numbers of golden perch and redfin boated over the last month at Burrendong Dam.
The main basin has had the clearest and warmest water while the upper reaches of the Macquarie have surface coverings of algae.
The Cudgegong arms are a smidgen dirtier due to some local storms washing sediment from tributary creeks.
With shrimp in short supply due to the cold weather, the best baits have been yabbies, worms and grubs.
There have been recent reports of a shore-based crew landing 15 goldens on yabbies up at Mookerwa while lure fishos struggled.
Some of the best fun has been tossing small poppers for redfin on light spin sticks around the many rock walls of Burrendong. Scores up to 50 from 10cm to 40cm have been recorded for a morning session.
The dam cod have been quiet compared with reports from the rivers.
The Hawk Crank and shallow Feral Catt seem to be working well trolled along the fringes of the dam in 1m to 4m.
Anglers fishing around the timber have still been scoring well on yabbies or slow-rolled Jerk Minnows or Gulp Shrimp in water from 5m to 15m.
Macquarie River cod have been firing along with the odd catfish and golden taken on bait in the warmer water towards Narromine and Warren.
The river is back to pools with small flows at the heads and tails of the runs but clarity is fine for luring.
The best options have been spinnerbaits, Hawk cranks and River King hardbodies with no particular colour standing out. Black, purple and bright contrasting shades have worked and will continue to do so.
Downsizing the lure just might increase your chances in hard-fished water.
Thommo and Bing slow-rolled 1/4oz Bassman Spinnerbaits in colours 15 and Bundy for over 30 cod and yellowbelly in the Warren region over a weekend.
They worked hard to achieve these numbers, covering more than 20km, and all fish were returned to the water. Great work.
The clarity of the water has been dismal except for a 3km stretch out of Louth where salt springs flow into the Darling, clearing the milky water and allowing the lures to work.
If you don' have access to that water, bait has been working in the discoloured sections.
Worms in the shallows and small yabbies or grubs bobbed or drifted around the snags will bring best results.
Best lures for last few months have been spinnerbaits from 1/4oz to 3/4oz in white, purple or black with green or pink trim.
One party from Mendooran landed 10 cod over 5kg and a few goldens on a mix of yabbies and grubs. All cod were released, with only few yellas taken.
All in all, the fishing will only get better in the coming months as the days get warmer.
Downsizing lures can be a good option in water that’s seen a lot of lures. Will Loudon caught this nice cod on a 1/4oz Bassman spinnerbait.Reads: 1553