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Paint Blowering red
  |  First Published: February 2010



Blowering Dam’s redfin are well and truly on the chew, as is usual every March.

There have been millions of these tasty critters about and although the majority are fairly small, there are still plenty of big ones out there and the odd trophy-sized one to keep spirits and expectation levels high.

The usual method of trolling small hardbodies is effective but those who opt for something slightly different and try that little bit harder are getting the best results.

Trolling suspending hard bodies with a constant stop-start technique is arguably the best way to target the bigger, wiser Blowering redfin.

Constantly stopping the lure for up to 10 seconds at a time can be the undoing of a lot of big redfin. They just can’t let an easy meal sit there for too long or those pesky schools of little redfin will get in and eat it first.

The other bonus of this technique is that when you do hook a fish, you can simply leave the other rods in their positions, which gives you a good chance of multiple hook ups. One hooked fish can ignite the school into a feeding frenzy and lures sitting in the strike zone get hit even though they’re not moving.

Those suspended lures that don’t attract a strike will often be attacked as soon as you start trolling again.

Another great little trick to increase your catch rate is to add a 1” or 2” soft plastic or a flashy saltwater fly a metre or so above your trolling lure. This also gives you a great chance of multiple hook-ups. Especially when they’re both around 2kg, two on the one rod can make for some interesting battles.

Another great way of getting good numbers of fish under your belt is to pull up after locating a good school and cast to them with lipless crankbaits, soft plastics or metal spinners.

GOLDEN PERCH

Targeting Blowering’s golden perch at this time of year can be quite difficult, particularly during the day when high temperatures push them into deep water or deep into snags until it cools down.

When the sun goes down, however, it is a totally different game.

Most fish are rested from their day of sulking in the deep and are out swimming just about everywhere, particularly in the shallow margins in search of a good feed.

More anglers have clued onto this and have started fishing at night. I even know a few blokes who simply will not fish during the day at this time of year and their results show they’re onto something.

These night feeders can be caught a number of ways but the best techniques are to troll small to medium hardbodies and lipless crankbaits or to casting lipless crankbaits, spinnerbaits or soft plastics.

If you have to fish during the day then seek cool, deep water that has structure of some description.

Standing timber provides shade through the entire day. Fish these areas with bait or lures.

Slow rolling soft plastics up the sides of standing timber adjacent to a drop-off or in 5m to 15m of water will put you in with a good chance.

Minnow-style plastics such as the Ecogear Grass Minnows and Bozo Smelt are deadly on shut-down goldens. Slow rolling spinnerbaits and lipless crankbaits in these same areas can also be rewarding.

MANNUS LAKE

There are some very large golden perch and some good-sized Murray cod.

If you believe some of the older locals campfire stories then there are also some really big Murray cod that were apparently there before the lake was formed. True or not, the possibility helps to keep you interested.

Locals seem to do well on small yabbies or grubs. Trolling the old creek bed with small shallow-running hardbodies is another good way to cross paths with one of the natives and will also account for plenty of redfin.

Baer in mind the lake has a maximum horsepower rating of 9.9hp. Because the lake is only a few kilometres long, half a kilometre wide and only a few metres deep, fishing from a small tinny or canoe is ideal anyway.

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