See, but don’t be seen

2010-12-11 00:00

WITH our larger dams continuing to disappoint, I have been in no hurry to retreat from my farm dam quest.

Many other anglers are relying on similar sentiments and the results have been nothing less than expected. I am receiving good reports from anglers fishing the private dams, as well as numerous requests for advice on how best to fish them.

If any anglers or farmers know of or have waters accessible to the public for a fee or not, please let me know so I can pass the information to anglers in search of venues.

Garth and I recently put our skills to the test on a few Bulwer dams on a misty, miserable day. We had mediocre success on the larger of the dams and eventually made our way to a smaller deeper dam.

I am often asked what to do when you can see fish that won’t bite. The first and most important thing is to take cover yourself. If you can see them, they can see you.

Hide behind a tree or crouch down to lower your profile. Don’t cast madly, rather observe for a few minutes and see exactly where the fish is relating to.

Staying as low to the ground as possible and putting some distance between you and the fish, cast with a lightweight plastic bait, either rigged weightless or Texas style and see how the fish reacts. If the fish shows interest but does not commit, this means your bait is either moving too fast or is too bulky. Change up your bait to a smaller profile worm and fish it slower.

Don’t startle the fish, rather cast beyond the fish and retrieve your bait towards the fish. If the fish still won’t commit, change to a spinning rod with light line and downsize your bait even further. If the fish moves toward your bait repeatedly it means he will eat, you just need to find exactly what he wants to eat. If the fish swims off each time the bait is presented, you are pretty much wasting your time so keep on looking.

This is the approach Garth and I took and we caught a few good-sized fish from one deep corner of the dam where a school of resident fish were hiding out.

The bigger of the fish eventually succumbed to a four-inch, finesse-style worm fished on spinning tackle. After all was said and done, there were still a few fish that would not react to the plastic baits so Garth fired a Spinner bait past the school and burned it towards them, igniting a solid bite from a good fish and attracting an unseen giant from the depths.

I tied on a Jerkbait and ripped it past the school raising a fish from the depths that was close to 4 kg. The fish mouthed the bait but was not quite sure of its intentions so changed its mind just before I set the hook.

With heightened emotions and nerves on end I fired the bait back and picked off another good fish. We never caught the two resident giants which is okay, because we now know where they live and we have them trapped underwater.

Getting these fish to uncontrollably react to fast moving bait is good to remember. Once you have tried the slower approach, change things up and rip a reaction bait past the fish and hang on.

Remember to release your catch alive to prolong the sustainability of our resource.

E-mail me with reports, pictures and questions at

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