It’s an ill wind…
  |  First Published: July 2010

The cool winds of August can blow quite hard at times and waterways such as Thompsons Creek Dam, near Wallerawang, can really cop it.

The dam runs north-south and when the southerly wind comes in, it pounds the wall end of the dam.

Although difficult to fish when it’s really pumping, it’s the time straight after a big blow that yields the best results.

The wind and wave action creates high oxygen levels and concentrates food, bringing in hungry post-spawn brown trout.

They can be spotted during the early mornings mopping up along the edges before beating a hasty retreat into the depths.

Most of the rainbows will still be in spawning mode and may still be attracted to the wave-worn rocks of the shallows.

Staying out of view can be difficult in such an exposed location. Wearing drab clothing that blends in with the rocks and staying low can make a real difference.

Having someone spot for you higher up on the rock face is also a good option.


August also offers the last chance for a Murray cod before the closed season from September 1 to November 30.

Not many anglers are inspired by the closing date and they tend to let it pass by, choosing instead to get keen about the opening weekend in December.

That’s to far away for my liking, so I cram a bit in before the end to tide me over for those lean months ahead.

I reckon you’re a better chance of a good-sized fish in late August, anyway.

Nearly neutrally buoyant lures can be deadly on the cod at this time of year. I work them slowly and deliberately around solid structure with the odd stab down on the rod tip.

I tend to drop down in the main part of most pools, although the next cod caught while out sunning itself in the shallows at this time of year won’t be the last.


Burrendong has been producing some great redfin lately and this should continue into August.

Ben Chifley Dam has been busy on weekends over the Winter, with a dozen or more boats on the water most Saturdays and Sundays.

Bathurst council has to be congratulated for its efforts and forethought with the work and promotion of the dam in the past few years.

It’s no doubt paying dividends for the local district in the form of payments for fuel, food, boating and fishing gear.

The fishing in Ben Chifley has improved and with continued stocking will only get better.

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