As those of you that have read my previous posts about trout fishing in Jindabyne will know trolling Tassie devil lures on lake Jindabyne is a very productive way to fish, or at least that was what I thought until this week! ! !
Friday morning, up early and on the road from Sydney heading south at 6.15am. Traffic was good and had a great run down to Jindabyne, stopping in at Macas for breakfast and at the Alpine Angler for some intel on what the fish were up to in Jindy.
Rolled into Jindabyne around 12.00 and popped into SMS and Lakeside Lures and Tackle for further updates on conditions. So far all sounded very positive.
Launched the boat around 2.30 and started trolling lures shortly after. OK, where are the fish? 2 ½ hours later and I have not had a touch. By now I had changed lures more times that I care to remember, changed locations on the lake, changed lure depths, speed of trolling, length of drop back… Nothing seemed to work…
Finally at 5.30, sun had just gone down but still some light, I was in Sid’s Bay and off went one of my 2 rods. Picked it up and could feel that I was connected to a solid fish. About 30 seconds after picking up the first rod off went the second… I mean really, after 3 hours of nothing I suddenly have a double hook up… I left the second rod in the holder and worked the first fish to the boat, out with the net and in comes a nice 43cm Brown. Picked up the second rod and fortunately the other fish was still connected, so a few minutes later into the net goes a lovey Rainbow.
Now I feeling a little more confident that the fish are here…. So much for that thought. I trolled well into dark and not another touch, however for my first session of the trip I was quite happy to have 2 fish on ice.
Up early and on the lake at 6.00am, before sun up. Yet again I tried all sorts, all to no avail. Finally around 9.0am I got my first hit and boated a respectable 35cm Brown.
Kept at it till around 10.30 and after nothing else decided to call it for the morning.
3.00pm had me launching the boat again, around an hour later I hooked a small Brown, small as in under 30cm so threw him back to fight another day. Then followed 2 ½ hours of slowly cruising around the lake waiting for another bite…. Nothing. So that was it for Saturday, 2 fish with one being a keeper.
Again up early and drove to the lake in the RAIN! ! ! ! On the lake at 6.00am, this time I was joined by Ollie, a Jindabyne local who I would describe as a gun trout fisherman. We decided to work the area around the front of the Clay Pits and the 2 islands so off we went. Fortunately the rain stopped. Around 7.15 we got the first strike on a lead line being trolled off planer boards. Ollie got the fish to 15 foot behind the boat where we could see that it was a good size and bang, it spat the hook…. Grrr
15 minutes later I hooked up on the downrigger and boated a small Brown, threw him back, then at 8.10 hooked another Brown just under 35cm so on the ice it went. A short while later Ollie picked up a nice Rainbow so we put him on ice.
So the morning session for Sunday had not been too bad, 4 strikes and caught 3.
Then it was off to the Jindabyne Fishing club weigh in. Turns out that fishing mudeyes was the way to go with biggest Brown and biggest bag both going to a shore based bait fisherman.
Once again I got lucky at the weigh in with my Brown winning secret weight so got $50 towards my fuel and a nice Jindabyne Fishing Club polo. 😊
Sunday afternoon launched again around 3.00pm and stayed out till a bit after 6.00 for only 1 fish…
However Arthur, a member of this forum, had arrived in Jindabyne and had better luck them me, he caught a couple of nice fish.
I launched around 6.00 again… Headed over to East Jindabyne. Then followed the fastest hook up that I have experienced. I was running flatlines to start so cast out the first rod, put it in the rod holder, picked up the second rod and as I cast that out the first one got hit. That lure could not have been in the water for much more that 30 seconds. Boated a nice 35 Rainbow.
Around 7.30 got another Rainbow and a bit later lost one after a very short fight.
Pulled the boat out and heading into town to catch up with Arthur for a lunch of pie and chips, fisherman’s health food, with a mug of coffee. Great catching up, we swapped fishing tales, compared areas where we had been fishing and talked about what was and was not working.
Having another member there and being able to talk on the phone during the day about what was happening was great and added an extra dimension to the trip.
Mid afternoon launched again. And spend another 3+ hours cruising the lake for only 1 fish..
Heading to the ramp at 5.45am and the temperature had gone way down, the car was telling me that it was -1, then it went down to -2… Nearly went head over heals climbing into the boast as when I stood on the mud guard it was covered in frost and as slippery as hell… Second problem was when I went to open the live bait well, it’s where I throw my bung to save losing it, and the damn thing was frozen shut. Fortunately I carry a spare on the boat so got that one out.
Finally got the boat in and headed off wearing ski jacket and ski gloves. Not the most comfortable outfit for fishing..
The cold bought with it a lot of mist across the lake. It even managed to shroud the town in fog with looked quite spectacular from the lake.
Another quiet morning with only 1 small Rainbow.
Caught up with Arthur for lunch again, burger and chips today with a big mug of coffee. Accompanied by lots of fishing and even some golfing conversation.
Then after an afternoon nap in the car it was back on the water for the final session of the trip.
Sounding like a broken record here but it was another quiet session. Although I did catch a nice 35cm Brown on my Skeleton lure. Was rather happy about this as the lure was a plain white Tassie which I drew a pattern on, so to actually catch a fish with my own ‘designer’ lure was most satisfying.
Another thing I tried on this trip was using a pair of ‘assist’ hooks rather than a single. To be fair it is hard to say which worked best as I caught fish on both set ups, but Brian from Lakeside Lures and Tackle does reckon that it you get ‘territorial’ hits rather than ‘I want to eat that strikes’ the swinging hooks will hook the fish around the gill area. For me the jury is still out on that one all of my hook ups on both rigs were in the mouth. I would add that the way the hooks swing behind the lure does look rather enticing as well.
So that was that. I spent around 33 hours on the water over 4 ½ days for a total of 12 fish, 8 keepers… The reason I titled this post ‘A Tough few days on Lake Jindabyne’ was how this trip compares to others. During the Trout Festival last year Ollie and I had one session where we boated 9 fish in around 1 ½ hours. On my trip in March I had a session where I boated 7 fish in 1 hour. The last trip every fish I caught was well above legal, 4 from this trip, although legal, were to small to be worth keeping. Biggest fish this trip was around 43cm caught on the first day, yet on previous trips I have boated numerous up around 45cm and bigger.
Not that I am complaining, I had a great 4 ½ days fishing on a beautiful lake and catching up with a fellow Fishraider.
Hope you enjoyed the report.