As I predicted a few months back, this Murray cod season at Blowering Dam is shaping up to be the best ever.
There have been big numbers of small fish – a promising sign for the future – and there have also been plenty of monsters up to 149cm.
Although the majority of the big fish have been caught at night, there have also been quite a few that have let their guard down during daylight hours. That just goes to show that so long as you have a lure, fly or bait in the water you have a chance no matter what time it is.
Trolling lures of 90mm and bigger will give you a good chance of hooking up to a big Blowering Murray cod but casting similarly large lures, as well as large-profiled spinnerbaits and lipless crankbaits will also give you a good chance.
Bait anglers seem to do best on large bardi or wood grubs but large live yabbies or shrimp account for their fair share of good cod.
Golden perch have continued to fire well past their unofficial Spring season and are still being caught in good numbers.
Most have been accidentally caught on large lures destined for Murray cod but those anglers who have specifically targeted them with smaller offerings have done really well.
Jackall Mask Vibs always work well on deep yellas but the new blades have been accounting for a lot as well.
As with the Murray cod, best Summer results on golden perch come from fishing deep during the heat of the day, then venturing into the shallows once the sun heads down.
Redfin have also been caught in good numbers.
Most have been caught on the troll in fairly shallow water but finding big fish this way has been a little difficult.
I have been getting good numbers of big redfin on ice jigs, soft plastics and lipless crankbaits out in slightly deeper water.
Schools can be hard to find but once one is located the reddies have been pretty easy to entice.
The Tumut River trout action has been very variable due to the high water levels this season but there has been some sensational fishing in the smaller streams.
The Adelong, Tumbarumba, Yaven, Gilmore, Nimbo and Mannus have all fished well this season thanks to the good rain of Winter and early Spring.
The extra water at the right time encouraged the trout to spawn and there was also plenty of extra food, which has helped increase the average size of fish in most of these streams.
Fly fishers have done really well indicator nymphing but for those like me who are addicted to the surface, there has also been plenty of dry fly action in the slower holes.
In the higher flows during the beginning of the season fly anglers really struggled but lure chuckers were getting good action.
Any big flashy spinner seemed to do the job but now that water levels have dropped, it is best to downsize to the smallest of spinners, small soft plastics or small shallow-running hardbodies.
Bait drifters, particularly those who use grasshoppers, will also account for plenty of fish this month in the smaller trout streams.
This form of fishing can be rewarding and exciting with spectacular surface strikes very similar to those dry fly anglers get to experience. Simply rig a live grasshopper on a tiny hook and drift it down through a fishy-looking hole for exciting surface takes.
This form of fishing is often regarded as poor man’s dry fly fishing and is the next-best thing if you don’t own a fly rod.
Jounama Dam at Talbingo is a great place to head if you’d like to get away from the Summer crowds or water skiers. The lake does not permit any water craft at all so all fishing is land-based.
The lake has a large population of redfin and trout, both of which attain trophy size. The lake now also has a good population of Murray cod and golden perch which at times can be polaroided in freshly-flooded shallows.
Jounama’s water level fluctuates regularly and because it goes up and down consistently it makes for some exciting polaroiding opportunities for natives and trout in the freshly flooded weed tussocks and long grass.
Jounama is another of those dams where at this time of the year one could confidently expect to catch three or more species in one day.
Although the dam does not permit boat usage there is ample area to fish from the bank and almost 50% of it can be easily accessed with your normal family wagon.
Best techniques vary depending on your target species but if you’d like to cover all bases in one go then it is hard to beat lightly weighted live worms. All species present love a live juicy earthworm.
As with bait and fly fishing, it depends on your target species as to which lure is best but if you’d like to use one lure and have a chance of hooking all species then you can’t go past a good old lipless crankbait.
Fly fishos will do best on a slowly stripped Mrs Simpson.Reads: 2011