Get up at sparra’s
  |  First Published: January 2010

I’m not sure if everyone would understand the term ‘up at sparra’s’ or know that I’ve left off the last part of the term. I could dig myself a pretty big literate hole by trying to explain myself; basically it revolves around getting up early and I will leave it at that.

It’s a scenic and productive time to be on the water fishing as the sun pokes its nose over the hills in February.

By that time you could already have accounted for a couple of fish and by sunup there’s a big chance the bite will then fade rapidly and it will be time to head for home.

Murray cod use the pre-dawn period to great advantage at this time of year.

Surface water temperatures are at their coolest and most oxygen-rich.

Light levels are low, which means the cod can use their camouflaging to great effect, blending in with objects that surround them.

The sky has just enough light to silhouette anything that swims above them.

The strike zone for the cod is possibly the biggest it will be all day so casts can be a little wayward and still get hammered.

Surface lures can be great to use at this time. Paddlers, poppers, fizzers and walkers all work well; the size of your offering is possibly more important than what you use or what colour it is.

Something 60mm to 100mm long is about right, anything that’s bigger that can be made with crafty rod work to look like it’s struggling can sometimes create interest from a larger fish.

Spinnerbaits with large blades, worked fast so they just disturb the surface, can also be very effective, especially if the cod are very active.

When the sun gets up over the horizon the cod withdraw back into cover and the strike zone becomes much smaller, so we should change lures.

Casting accuracy becomes much more important.

Lures that have inherent snag resistance, such as spinnerbaits, skirted jigs and buoyant bibbed lures, come into their own.


It’s a generalisation, I know, but I think you will find the majority of golden perch in dams such as Windamere, Burrendong, and Wyangala will be much deeper and wider than they were in Spring.

Water temps at depth and the movements of baitfish will generally position the fish in these places.

Low light levels and some cooler days can bring them in shallower, so keep that in mind.

Large submerged trees out in deep water can be really productive areas to fish in all three dams.

Bobbing yabbies (lifting them up and down slowly) is a real winner. Match the hook to the size of the yabby’s tail.

Have your sinker, about the size of a marble, running free right down onto the yabby’s tail.

Try different depths until you get some action. That depth may be 3m or 4m down in 40m of water; your yabby does not have to be on the bottom.


February is possibly one of the quieter months as far as trout go.

Warm water pushes the trout deep. Lakes that have an aeration system (bubbler) such as Lake Lyell and Ben Chifley could be worth a try, just remember to keep the exclusion zones in mind.

Fly fishing during the night can still produce some good fish, especially those big old brown trout.

Mudeye (dragonfly larva) patterns are especially popular, along with some large beetle patterns.

During the day the water traffic on Lake Lyell and Ben Chifley can drive you crazy so keep this in mind.

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