Central West fishing report

WE’RE in the last few weeks of winter and spring is poking its head around the corner and I’ve got to admit that fishing’s been pretty tough in the Central West.

The great fishing that can usually be experienced in Lake Lyell didn’t happen for us this year.

Looking in the Cox’s River arm we couldn’t work out why there were high levels of algae in the water and the schools of fish that would normally be there were just not showing on the sounder.

Now it’s come to light Lithgow City Council has been fined $38,000 for breaches of its Environmental Protection Licence, which ended up with high nutrients from a sewage treatment plant being released into the Cox’s River catchment. A few fish were to be caught in the Farmers Creek arm where the water quality was a lot better. These fish all fell to flies fished deep on sinking fly lines.

Bait fishers score really well in Lake Lyell over the winter with good numbers of bass falling for worm baits.

Thompsons Creek Dam (TCD) again proved its title as a trophy fishery with an incredible “false spawning “over the winter months.
False spawning is the term given to the actions of trout trying to spawn in the wind whipped shallow edges of the dam amongst the gravel.

These fish have no large streams or creeks which they can access to naturally spawn but their natural urges are so great they are forced to false spawn.

Some anglers advocate for the stocking of triploid trout (sterile female trout) rather than diploid (normal trout) into TCD, and still the debate rages each year around “false spawning time“.

I recently took two mates to TCD to hopefully see the false spawn in full swing and we were not disappointed!
Reaching the edge of the wall we could immediately see a dozen nice rainbows to about 6lbs cruising the shallows in front of us. As we moved around the dam edges we found much the same over any patch of gravel.

The trout were everywhere, and in some places, in big numbers, I sat and counted 38 trout in front of me on one patch of gravel.
I fished fly using glow bugs, small nymphs, woolly buggers and only had one take, and my mates fished Rapala minnows in spotted dog patterns as well as soft plastics for only one hook-up.

We would have seen close to 200 trout for the day with the average going 5 to 6lb and the odd one pushing double figures.
We left TCD and made the short drive to Lake Wallace, or as the locals call it, “Wang “ Dam and hooked a few fish there that were dark in spawning colours

An earlier trip to Tantangara Dam in the Snowy Mountains produced some good conditioned brown trout that had yet to spawn and were still sitting in the main basin waiting to run.

For those who can endure the cold winds of the Alpine regions early winter can produce some excellent fishing for trout.


Above: A fat TCD false spawner trout.


Back in the Central West the recent blue moon saw a terrific fish bite with a lot of big Murray cod and large numbers of golden perch reported.

As always the way during winter, the quantity of cod caught drops but the quality of the few fish increases. It’s not uncommon for the metre plus cod to be caught in the icy winter months.

The last weekend in August sees the annual Grabine Classic held at Wyangala Dam, this being the last opportunity to target Murray cod before the season closes until December 1st.

Hopefully we’ll see a few big winter cod caught at the Grabine comp along with golden and silver perch along with a few catfish.

The metabolism of the invasive European carp will begin to increase with the coming of the warm weather and it will be these that dominate the catch for many anglers, especially those fishing bait.

This month of August also sees the start of post spawn trout cruising the warming edges of the lakes and can produce some excellent sight fishing for anglers using fly, lure or bait.

It’s also in the coming weeks that the spring time golden perch bite will get under way and big numbers of fish can be caught and released in one day.

One of the absolute best ways to target these schooling golden perch amongst the drowned timber is slow rolling plastic grubs vertically amongst the trees.

I’ll spending a lot of fishing time between Burrendong, Wyangala, Windamere, Chifley and Lake St Clair dams, as well as a few other small bodies of water, from now until Summer.

Personally I can’t wait to see the end of the frost and snow of this Winter and get back to warm weather bass, cod, goldens, silvers and the edge cruising trout of spring .

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