Thanks to the much-needed wet Winter Blowering Dam’s level is well up on the last few years and still rising steadily.
The extra water has flooded areas that haven’t seen water for a couple of years and these freshly flooded weedy bays have attracted plenty of golden perch and trout.
As Blowering rises and warms, catch rates of trout and golden perch will rise. In recent months there have been some really good catches of golden perch with heaps of fish around 4kg to 6kg and quite a few nice trout.
This time last year that the golden perch went off their nuts with 10 or more a session fairly common and if recent action is anything to go by, October is set to be another cracker.
Fishing from the bank is a good way of targeting trout and goldens because they both like to gorge themselves on any poor little critters swamped by the rising water.
Bait fishos should do well on grubs or PowerBait for trout and those chasing goldens will do best with yabbies on a paternoster rig or garden worms unweighted if conditions allow or on a running sinker rig with the lightest sinker possible.
Casting lures from the bank or from a boat towards the bank can be awesome this month.
There are heaps of lures that have their moments but it’s hard to go past the good old lipless crankbait this month because most fish are becoming very active and will normally attack noisy lures with gusto.
Every now and then you will get a slow day, when I find slowing everything right down can make the difference. I mean slow your retrieve down and, as the pros say, when you think you’re going slow enough, slow down some more.
On those super-slow when no matter how slow you retrieve nothing seems to work, I like suspending hardbodies like the 60mm suspending Custom Crafted Hammerheads or the shallow-running AC Slim Invaders.
You can actually work these lures down to the depth you think the fish are holding and then leave the lure sitting there right in the fishes’ faces for as long as you wish. Normally a couple of seconds is long enough but on really slow days a 10-second wait is often required to trigger a hit.
Trolling can be very rewarding and trout still spend most of their time near the surface and can be caught flat lining with Tassies, Stuckeys, Nilsmasters, Merlins, Trollcraft Frys and lipless crankbaits. These lures are also ideal for trolling at this time because golden perch love to hit them.
Note that I have not recommended any lures over 60mm, mainly because the smaller ones work but secondly and most importantly, the Murray cod season is closed and it is illegal to target them.
I have witnessed people over the years during the closed season using lures such as Jackall Doozers, large spinnerbaits, Mumblers, 90mm and even 150mm deep-divers, all of which are designed for big fish like Murray cod or barra. I don’t know who these anglers are trying to kid using such lures but do they really expect people to believe that they are targeting big golden perch, not Murray cod?
Goldens will attack large lures at times but they are much more commonly caught on those around 50mm to 60mm. While you will still catch cod on smallish lures, during the closed season they tend to be more territorial than hungry and a 50mm lure (or fish) may not be recognised as a threat, whereas a larger lure or fish may be interpreted as breeding competition and will be attacked.
Until people are prevented from using lures over 60mm during the closed season, it is up to the individual to use commonsense and keep lures smaller to decrease the chances of hooking a breeding cod.
A study on cod caught during the closed season and just prior concluded that if a large female fish is caught at that time it would not go on to spawn and would absorb its roe. So I cannot understand how anglers feel it’s OK to target these magnificent fish during closed season. Give them a break and they might actually get a chance to spawn.
The trout season opens October 4 and at what level the Tumut River will be flowing is anyone’s guess, but I’m tipping a high flow which generally means you will need heavy gear to get a fighting chance.
The local favourite Tassie Devil can be very productive in the high flows but it’s always good to try something different to increase your chances of catching those big trout which have seen hundreds of Tassies swim by in their lifetime.
Lipless crankbaits in trout colours work really well in the high flows, as do paddletail soft plastics like the Squidgy Fish and Ecogear Grass Minnows rigged on fairly heavy heads around 1/4oz.
Bait drifters do well in the high flows, weighted so the bait slowly drifts along the bottom but a float rig can also be deadly. Fly fishos get good results from a weighted nymph fished under a big dry fly and Glo Bugs also have their moments this time of year.
If the river is in low flow as it was at season opening last year, it’s hard to beat casting small spinners such as Rooster Tails, Vibrax and Celtas.
Experiment with blade colours and treble teaser colours until you crack the pattern. To achieve the best results with these lures it is best to jump in the river and walk upstream, casting as you go from the bottom of the hole to the top and everywhere in between.
Trout don’t follow specific rules and can be found anywhere from the fast whitewater at the tops and bottoms of holes to the still water in the middle and the outside edges.
Regardless of the level, the Tumut river fishes really well at the beginning of the season when post-spawn trout are keen to pack the weight back on.Reads: 919