About the author: Dean Brind is our new reporter for Burrinjuck Dam, a great waterway that’s located 90 minutes from Canberra and about 3.5 hours from Sydney. Dean, who runs the Burrinjuck Waters Holiday Park, has been contributing reports to www.reports.fishingmonthly.com.au for over two years now, and we look forward to his monthly constributions in NSWFM.
September 1 marked the start of the three-month closed season for Murray cod across most of NSW. Many cod are captured during this time at Burrinjuck, and I hear many reports from fishermen passing through the park. I made the decision a couple of years ago, after starting my weekly web reports, not to post any Murray cod photos or reports during the closed season.
Yellowbelly will be the main targeted species during spring as the water begins to warm. The yellows were quiet during winter, particularly for lure anglers. The best results have been coming from the bait fishers using small yabbies. Fishing late afternoon into the night while sitting beside a fire with a quiet one seems to bring the best results at this time of year.
Burrinjuck Dam, when full, has a surface area of 55,000 hectares with three river arms and the main basin. The Murrumbidgee River arm snakes for nearly 30km upstream from the dam wall towards Canberra. The top end of the dam, we shall call this, is usually the first to kick into gear as the shallow end begins to warm up from the spring sunshine. The magic mark seems to be 18°C on the sounder. Bait fishers generally target standing timber with small yabbies and shrimp, which are abundant in spring. A small running ball sinker above a 2/0 hook and 10lb line will do nicely. Slow rolling plastics, such as Berkley Gulp grubs, up through the submerged timber is also becoming very popular.
Shrimp are reasonably easy to catch with the correct with a legal shrimp trap and some bait such as old BBQ chook, cat/dog food left in a small can with the lid slightly opened or in a clip lock plastic bag with holes, or an old fish carcass. A few gum leaves still on the stems in the trap also entices the shrimp to stay in the trap. Opera house style nets are not permitted in Burrinjuck.
Trolling and casting lures will also come into its own. The old timers like to troll spinning blades loaded with worms on a trailing hook. The use of a sounder to locate submerged trees is invaluable. Early spring will find yellows holding in the top branches of these submerged trees, maybe only 3m down in 20m of water. Trolling over these trees or casting lures such as spinnerbaits, crankbaits and hardbodies is a good bet.
The dam level is currently at 52% (by the end of September 2014 the dam was sitting at 85%). Inflowing water from spring rains will see many of the creeks and waterfalls begin to flow. A well-placed lure or bait into these inflows can start an amazing session on the yellows.
Burrinjuck Waters Holiday Park is accessed via Burrinjuck Road. To get there, turn off the Hume Highway 4km north of Bookham and follow the asphalt road for 24km. The last 6km of road narrows after the Carrolls Creek Bridge and follows the windy path of the original train line, which was removed in 1929. It is a beautiful scenic trip however you need to keep an eye out for animals, other traffic and the drop-offs beyond the road edge. For more info visit www.inlandwaters.com.au or phone ph 02 6227 8114.Reads: 1143