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EXAMPLE – Report Blowering Dam – October 2020

Includes: Blowering Dam, Tumut River

This Months Rating:

Current Water Levels: 

Blowering Dam: 79.5% and rising

Tumut River: 3815mg (0.7m @ Tumut)

This Months Go-To Spot

Area #1 & Area #2

I have just returned home from a morning session on the lake… and even I was surprised with what’s happening at Blowering Dam. It has changed so much compared to my last report and in a nutshell, things are looking good for the next few weeks. The fishing should pick up over the next two weeks and casting the edges will be ideal.

Blowering Dam is looking full with water not sitting far from the 100% mark.

Dam Variables:

Water Level: the dam is quickly on the rise and this is usually ideal for the Golden Perch in spring (this year the water clarity has been very poor, more on this below). The level will most likely continue to rise with the predictions of heavy rains over the next few weeks.

Water Clarity: The area received a large amount of rain over the past few days and this has caused the top section of the dam to become incredibly dirty. Only a week ago the entire lake was crystal clear and now it has changed completely. Any of the areas that were affected by the fire (south of Hume Crossing) have less than 50cm visibility. The water has turned brown due to the runoff, and this is something new we are seeing with Blowering. Clarity is better towards Main Basin (Area #2) reaching 2-3m in spots. The inside of the bays were dirtier than the outer banks.

Water Temperature: During the session on the water I saw water temperatures at 12 degrees (first thing in the morning) and right up to 17.5 degrees (before I left at 1pm). I couldn’t believe the variation, but this is due to the cold snap over the past few days and then the cold night, followed by an extremely warm day. Last night the temperature was 2 degrees with a top of 25 today. The western side of the lake was by far the warmer, especially in the morning and this is where I’d be targeting Golden Perch first thing in the morning. The water temperature will continue to rise and with the warm weather ahead the Golden Perch will really start to feed. Average temp was 14-15.5 degrees during the first half of the day.

Tip: Structure & Cover

If you are going to fish Blowering, there are incredible amounts of cover/structure along the edges. As the lake is high there are endless amounts of sticks, logs, floating twiggy trees, and even thick weed growth in the gullys that has been submerged. This can make for a pain when casting the edges, but it is something we just have to deal with. This cover holds fish and trying to work out the bets way to fish through it is key. Single hook lures like soft plastics work well, weedless options and even trying to keep your lures just off the structure are all goo options.

Recent Session Casting for Golden Perch

As you already know, I spent this morning doing some research on the lake to help put this report together. I launched at Bowlers Creek with the plan of trying to sight fish for Golden Perch in the Middle Section (Area #3), but this plan was not going to happen, with the terrible water clarity.

I cast a shallow suspending hardbody at some of the standing twiggy trees in the shallows but had no luck. I decided to head towards the dam wall to explore and seek the clearer water, hoping that it would get better. It started to get clearer once I passed Browns Bay (see water clarity above for more info).

I decided to fish a bay we like to call Middle Bay (Area #2, Spot #6). This spot always fishes well for Golden Perch and doesn’t receive pressure like many other spots. I worked my way in along the left-hand bank towards the back of the bay, casting my shallow suspending hardbody. Water was much clearer here and I could see the bottom in about 2m of water.

Changing Tactic

I had no luck with this technique after half hour in this bay and I knew it was time for a change. I decided to tie on a soft plastic (Berkley Gulp Minnow Grub with a 1/6oz #1 jighead), with the plan of working out a little deeper. I sat the boat in 4-5m and cast parallel across the small gully beside me. I started to spot a few fish on the sounder so I thought it would be good to work here before moving on. I wasn’t sure of they were carp or yella but they were sitting tight to the bottom which was a good sign.

Working across gullys like this are ideal in early spring. The sounder image is a shot of Carp swimming along past the boat.

I wasn’t sure if this technique would work at this time of year, but only five casts in with the plastic, on the first hop my lure got hammered. I was onto a proper fish and after a long fight and questioning whether this was a cod or yella, I managed to boat a big Blowering Yella that measured 59cm! I recorded all morning and this fish is all on camera and will make a good video (out soon).

Stocked! This big Yella put up an incredible fight and well and truly makes for a successful morning session!

I was stocked with this catch for early spring! Wondering whether I’d worked out the technique, or I just lucked the fish, I continued to cast.. Only 5 more casts and I was on again! This fish went even harder and buried me in some dense structure below and made short work of my light leader. I was running 4lb with the plan that I was going to sight fish for the Goldens. If I had of changed to 8lb I may have had a chance of landing this fish… but that’s how it goes.

I continued to fish till lunch time before I headed on home. The lake was glassed out and the fishing is always tough on the lake during the middle of the day in these conditions. The two hits came before at 9:30am. I find the best time to fish on the lake is from sunrise till about 10:30am and then after about 2:30pm as the sun starts to fall.

The Month Ahead

Golden Perch

The month ahead is going to be unreal chasing Golden Perch at Blowering from now till mid-November! The fish are just starting to feed and will really switch on within the next few days as we have some cracking warm days forecast for this week ahead.

The fish will still be sitting shallow, especially in the morning, but sight fishing is only possible at the wall end of the lake. Once the sun is up the best technique is to fish the gullys and small bays. You can fish from right against the edge and down to that 6m mark. I like to cover all depths and fish right across the gullys.

In the back of the gullys you’ll also find twiggy standing trees. Make sure you cast to all of these as the Golden perch will usually sit in tight against them.

Jack Flanagan with a sight casted 63cm Golden Perch he landed before the water turned dirty in the middle section of the dam.

Key Lures: A range of lures will work, I will stick with plastics after my success already. Any curl tail plastics, yabby imitations and paddle tails will work well. Diving hardbodys will work in close to standing twiggy trees and lipless crankbaits slow rolled will also work.

Murray Cod

The great part about Blowering is the fact we can target Murray Cod as well as Golden Perch. With the climbing temperatures the smaller cod will start to feed, as well as the larger models. Again, the Bottom End and Main Basin (Area #1 & #2) are the pick of the spots for chasing cod over the next month.

With the fish becoming more active, they will feed well in low light periods and its worth fishing a few hours before sunset and after sunrise. Working 4-7m is the optimum depth along any of the banks with rock in the areas mentioned above.

Any points that are wind-blown during the day or banks that lead into bays or gullys. The back of gullys are also worth fishing as well. The more open rocky banks will be easiest to fish with less structure to snag on. If you do fish in the back of the gullys in the heavy timber (still a great technique) use snag resistant lures like spinnerbaits, or even throw surface lures.

Note: I spotted three cod in the shallows during my trip to the dam, they were all sitting on structure in 2-3m of water in the back of gullys. A good technique if you know there is structure close to the edge, is to get out of the boat and cast surface from the bank. This technique is well worth a shot this month.

Night sessions will still be the best option and it won’t be uncommon to get numerous hits if you time the weather a barometer right. Downsizing your lures will help you stick the hits from smaller cod.

Key Lures:

  • 1oz mumblers
  • 150-200mm soft plastics
  • 1-1.5oz spinnerbaits

If you are chasing larger cod, throw your big lures like you would in winter, just be ready that you might miss some hits from the smaller fish.

That’s it for this month’s report and as you can tell its going to be an exciting month ahead. It’s going to be busy over the long weekend, but the fishing should be good and will continue to get better right through into November. If you have any questions, please put them in the comments below and I’ll be more than happy to help.

Rhys Creed

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