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The silly season is upon us, time to get fishing pre or post celebrations!

Friday, 19 December 2014

During the month of November, the NSW/ACT region received less than optimal rainfall periods, well below average.

According to the Bureau of Meteorology this made last month the driest November since 2002. It's amazing what a difference a week or two can make in the scheme of things.

In some areas of the South Coast over 200mm fell in one week alone. Estuaries such as Tuross flooded with tidal influences causing havoc with the iconic boatshed. Scattered debris with a side of chocolate milkshake have turned once pristine clarity into a turbid soup. Flotsam and jetsam such as large logs will abound so if your boating coastal this holiday period it literally pays to keep a lookout as these hazards can turn an iconic holiday into one filled with treachery for the unwise.

It's not all doom and gloom though, mother nature flushing systems brings out the best in people and the water born critters they chase. As conditions clear dirty water lines of fresh and salt mixing are ideal hunting spots for larger estuarine predators such as Flathead and Jewfish. Use the conditions to dictate your fishing, align the negatives with positives such as tidal phase and depth.

Contrary to popular belief, in my opinion searching for an edge bite is best done after a few days of periodical rain. Once the fish get used to the cloudy conditions they tend to slip up more than the average angler. The same can be said for targeting drop offs and sand flats, the shallower water often brews to tea first. Some cracking Flathead have been caught in the shallows recently down Tathra way and knowing the rivers upper reaches the Bega would have been dirtier than ever.

While the rain keeps falling along the coast Canberra and its surround have received a constant soaking. Rivers like the Murrumbidgee heave water and due to the downfall have played early seasonal havoc with Cod Anglers. Those that managed to calm the storm early reported some quality fish taken on surface lures and XO spinnerbaits in the wider sections of the river.

The new township of Googong had its runoff facilities tested numerous times with numerous drenchings equating to the overflow of new control ponds and general 'Googonian' hysteria. The good news is Googong Dam remains at 100% coming into summer, providing not only decent bank side access for anglers but also well-worn terrain for Golden Perch haunts.

The hordes of Redfin become almost unbearable in Googong over Summer with 3-4 fish hooked on the one lure on many occasions. Being the troublesome pest gives them a reputation as a rubbish fish but any angler worth their salt (or in this case, fresh) knows they are tasty on the chew. While Canberra's urban lakes don't have the world's best water quality I highly recommend keeping a few out of Googong for the table. Fillet, skin, toss in a bag of crushed up Salt and Vinegar chips and BBQ.

Speaking of Redfin many kids will receive rods and reels from Santa so expect to see areas such as Black Mountain Peninsula, Scrivener Dam and Weston Park being frothed with parental consent in search of some striped beasties. Kids are quite impressionable at this age (The age of Santa) and efforts you make now in regards to fishing with family and friends are where the pastimes are set. If you are a seasoned angler and bump into young parents and their kids enjoying the art stop and say hello, offer encouragement to the father and some tips to the child.

Don't forget anglers are reminded that Yerrabi Pond in Gungahlin remains closed for any waterbased activities including fishing. While the Cod death investigation by the ACT Government is still ongoing the pond remains closed and is being patrolled by ACT Police enforcing compliance. For all up to date advice on environmental status and closures of urban waterways in Canberra visit the TAMS website -

Stay safe on the water this holiday period and enjoy wetting a line or two.

Derek 'Paffoh' Steele



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