Only the strong survive
  |  First Published: April 2010

Now the path is set for shorter days, falling temperatures and a long lean Winter ahead for fish but this in no way means it’s time to put the gear away.

In fact, in many cases for a lot of species, it’s a great time of year to target bigger specimens.

Brown trout will be in full spawn or pre-spawn stage and will be looking to head upstream to gravel runs in the Coxes and Fish rivers.

They show very aggressive attitudes towards just about anything that gets in their way. Large, slender, minnow-style lures up to 100mm long can be used to bring out this aggression.

Quite often the fish can be seen chasing other fish in the backwaters of our lakes and dams. This is the right time to be throwing such large offerings.

Rainbow trout will spawn later in the year but will be in pre-spawn mode and will be moving and feeding on the leftover remnants of Autumn’s abundance.

On the rivers and creeks of the district there can still be some good insect hatches and the good part is, it’s an office-hours bite, from about 9am to 3pm – how good is that?

The main ingredient is sunshine; the rest is up to you – stealth, presentation and fly selection.


Put the little gear away, it’s time to get serious.

Big cod don’t get big eating small baitfish, tadpoles and shrimp.

When it comes to the appetite of some of the district’s cod I have had reputable reports from honest anglers across the Central West and beyond of some quite incredible examples.

Like sizeable redfin being crunched when brought half-way back to the boat in Ben Chifley Dam.

Like good-sized cod in the Macquarie River with nasty scars half-way around their bodies, or golden perch being followed to the boat by large dark shapes from the depths.

Such as coots and ducks not keen to paddle across pools in the late afternoon light.

I remember catching a cod in Lake Mulwala a few years ago. It was only around 60cm but it had just eaten a mid-sized coot whose legs were still sticking out of the fish’s mouth. How greedy is that?

The point of the story is, don’t muck about with lure size this month. Get serious and you may surprise yourself what wants to jump on.


Lure fishing for golden perch can be a little quiet this month. Maybe they’re hiding from the cod?

Baits of small yabbies, shrimp or worms can still produce a few fish. Try the trees out in deeper water in Burrendong and Windamere.

Silver perch and catfish can still be caught from the banks, especially if using worms on the bottom.

Redfin will be schooled up in Burrendong and Ben Chifley dams, although the larger specimens may be out on their own or in loose groups. A sounder will be able to help you out there.

Hope to see you out on the water soon. It might be a good thing the water is too cold to swim in now; in any case I would be encouraging your kiddies to stay away from the shore near cod water!

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