Winter is here and it is the season to be fishing. There is very little that compares to that splash as the fish are rising on a crisp misty morning. We have been stocking the dams with 50kg of live fish every 2 weeks to build up a health population of fish and now with the first frost we see a rapid decline in insect numbers and we hope that the fishing will improve dramatically. We aim to stock fish that are between 1kg-1.5kg as they have a better chance of surviving against predation and also it’s much more fun to fight a 1.5kg monster compared to a 400g fry. Please keep in mind that there are some really large fish in the dams that survived from last year so use thicker tippets and barbless hooks to reduce the risk of breaking off and leaving the tippet in the fish’s mouth. Also please remember we practice catch and release to help build a sustainable fishing experience.
Tactics to try
Firstly the fishing times are really important here, during the day the light intensity and the heat are both going to drive fish to deep water, the best fishing times are going to be very early just before sunrise (6am) until about 11am latest and from 4PM through into the evening. Please do not however fish at night with car headlights or spotlights etc. as these practices tend to bother the other non-fish crazed guests. Cloudy weather or light drizzle is also a good time to be out and the rule of thumb is the colder it is the better the fishing.
Fly’s that work well during this time are the Papa Roach, Damsel fly (Red eye damsel), various weighted nymphs such as a GRHE or copper John and the blood worms. All these imitate insects that you would find crawling around in the mud and on the weeds at the bottom of the dam were the fish would lazily slurp them up to maintain their bod weight. If the weather is cloudy try a white pattern as they tend to stand out better in the deep water when the light levels are low, a White death, Muddler Minnow, white/black Woolybugger and Blood Worm will work well.
Please be careful about releasing the fish as the stress makes fatalities more likely. If possible do not remove the fish from the water, always handle the fish with wet hands, never press or squeeze the fish on its sides were the lateral line lies and move the fish back and forth a few times in the water to get some water over its gills to help revive it faster.
We wish you a happy fishing season with many tight lines.