Time to get serious
  |  First Published: March 2010

With the weather slowly starting to cool and the crowds dying down, it’s time to break out the gear and do some serious fishing.

At this time of year most fish species feel at ease to cruise and feed in the shallow margins of the dam, making them accessible targets for all anglers. Just about every species can be successfully targeted in the shallows this month.

While big cod won’t readily feed in the shallows during daylight hours, they can still be successfully targeted once the sun goes down.

Golden perch love to bask in the warmer water around the margins and lie in thick pockets of grass or weed, waiting to ambush any easy meal that swims or crawls by.

I target these fish with lures such as spinnerbaits, lipless crankbaits or soft plastics but active bait fishing can also catch them.

By active bait fishing I mean use your bait in a similar way you would use a lure, the only difference being you should move your bait a little bit slower.

Cast your bait, preferably an unweighted yabby, and allow it to sink to the bottom. Wait between five and 30 seconds, then fairly sharply lift your bait around a metre or so off the bottom then let it free-fall to the bottom. Repeat all the way back to the bank or your boat.

You can vary this technique slightly with a double or triple lift, depending on the fishes’ mood, but the most important thing is to get it up off the bottom where the fish can see it.

A free-falling bait, particularly a yabby, will entice far more strikes while it is free-falling through the water column than one that is fixed on the bottom.


Blowering redfin over the past couple of months have been a bit hit-and-miss, with lots of small fish but bigger specimens few and far between.

Most of the better fish have been caught in fairly deep water by jigging with soft plastics, ice jigs and bait. Plenty of smaller specimens have been caught trolling in shallower water.

The majority of these smaller fish will move out into the deeper water with their bigger friends this month and will be best targeted by jigging.

Look for most schools in 30’ to 60’ in most areas of the lake.

A quality sounder makes finding these schools quite easy but if you don’t have one, I recommend trolling small extra-deep diving hardbodies to locate the schools.

Lures that get down to 30’ to 40’ like the AC Slim Invaders are ideal when searching for redfin schools.

Reddies can still be caught from the bank at this time of year but they are best targeted with small baits such as worms, maggots or tiny yabbies. Try off steep points and around any timber, particularly standing timber.


As I mentioned earlier, the best results come at night when targeting cod at Blowering, particularly if you’re after one of the really big models. The majority of these fish are nocturnal.

The odd small to medium cod is still being hooked during the day, mostly as great by-catch for anglers targeting golden perch.

But if you use bigger lures, flies or baits you’ll increase your chances of nailing a cod. Bait fishos will do best on large yabbies, wood grubs, bardi grubs or big scrub worms – the bigger the better.

Lure fishos have accounted for the majority of Murray cod captures, mostly on trolled large hardbodies.

Quite a few also have been hooked while casting large lipless crank baits, spinnerbaits, Chatterbaits and shallow-running hardbodies.

A few nice cod have been landed on large soft plastics, with the 5” and 6” Bozo Mullet very successful, especially in purple/black and red/white. These same plastics when rigged on a spinnerbait instead of a skirt are ‘big cod’ magnets.


Burrinjuck Dam will host one of six rounds of the inaugural Australian Yellowbelly Championships, on October 23 and 24. The AYC will be a catch and release tournament similar to the ABT and NSW Bassin’ tournaments.

Hopefully the series will be the beginning of bigger and better things to come for dedicated golden perch fishos. A well-organised professionally run golden perch series is long overdue but now it is up to us anglers to support it.

With around $3000 cash for first place, this is big news. There are few tournaments run at Burrinjuck and certainly none of this calibre. So grab yourself a partner and be part of what looks like being a sensational tournament.

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