Following on some encouraging reports of catches, many anglers headed to the big mountain lakes last weekend hoping for some good fly, lure and bait fishing. They were disappointed.
After what looked to be a perfect start to the weekend, a huge alpine gale developed and most fishing became near-impossible. The wind was so strong it was difficult to stand up, much less cast a fly or lure.
One group of intending fly fishers at Lake Eucumbene tried launching a boat at Buckenderra but only travelled a short distance before realising it was too dangerous to continue and returned to shore. Another boat group which also returned quickly were lucky enough to have caught one large brown on a Rapala Spotted Dog lure. But that was it for the day.
Fly fishers trying to polaroid the shoreline also were frustrated by the weather. Waves whipped up by the wind made spotting fish almost impossible, with murky water extending for 4-5 metres out from the shoreline.
The only success for the weekend was a group of bait fishers at Seven Gates. They put up with the atrocious weather long enough to land three rainbows and one brown, using Power bait and bardi grubs. The fish were all large and in excellent condition.
At Jindabyne the story was much the same, although one group landed two large rainbows on Gulp Salmon Eggs at East Jindabyne. They said they chose this particular bait because it is the only thing the resident goldfish won't pick at.
In Jindabyne goldfish commonly turn up in large numbers soon after berley is thrown into the water and they are adept bait stealers, taking Power Bait, bardi grubs and scrub worms with great skill, hardly moving the rod tip.
There have been some excellent reports of fishing in Lake Blowering, which always seem to fish better than other regional lakes during winter. Catches this week included two large Murray cod weighing 43 kilograms and 45 kilograms.
The larger fish was successfully released alive but the smaller fish was accidentally killed. Other catches included good-sized golden perch, some outsized redfin and even a couple of trout.
Catch and release tournament
The 14th annual Grabine Classic fishing competition to be staged at Wyangala Reservoir on August 29-31 will be catch and release only. To be eligible for a prize all fish must be measured and photographed on an approved brag mat.
They can then be released to grow even larger. This is a great step forward in fishing competitions, which in the past have been criticised for unnecessary killing of fish.
Entry is $20. There is a multitude of prizes, including a fully equipped Brooker boat and trailer worth $13,500. To register phone 48352345 or email email@example.com.
Coastal anglers found better weather and more fish than their inland compatriots. At Mossy Point one group fished in pleasantly sunny conditions for a feed of bream and flathead, using fillets of carp caught previously in Lake Burley Griffin.
Another group at Broulee landed 20 salmon, some large tailor and a couple of pike, on pilchards and lures.
At Kianga one group tried beach fishing but were defeated by a plague of crabs which consistently stole the bait. They went through a whole block of pilchards without landing a single fish.
Crab activity often mars a beach fishing session and there is not much anglers can do to beat them. Lifting the bait a bit higher with a polystyrene float sometimes helps but even then the crabs can swim up and take the bait. Fishing in rough weather often is better, as it seems the crabs don't like the stronger wave action.