The 2018 season started off with very high water levels – the highest since of 2012. The water has been flowing at a rapid rate and been dropping relatively quickly (30 centimeters every few days). Predictably, the past month of May has seen a lot of water draining from the flood plains into the main river, hence banks and lagoons being formed. While this is happening, a lot of feeding frenzies occur as all the bait fish is pushed with the current from the plains into the main river. Lots of grey headed gulls, cormorants, egrets, and kingfishers are diving into balls of bait fish. We will eventually see all of the water from the flood plains flow into the river and banks will be formed on either side.
Fly fishing works like a bomb now as the flies are a great imitation of the bait fish. Red and black, plain black and black and purple clousers seem to be working wonders with a 14 pound Tiger being our biggest fish on fly so far this year. Obviously the smaller fish will also keep you very busy on fly during this time too!
When the water is like this, it is also a great time for conventional fishing with artificial lures. The early hours of the morning before the wind picks up and the water is as calm, any action on the surface is an attraction. This is the perfect time to use an X-Rap Walk 11 and attack any sort of structure. Once the sun and the wind comes out, the common 30g copper double bladed Effzetts’ work when trying to target the fish deeper down the banks as well as structure. We have also had a lot of fish being caught trolling with 6ft red head, crawdad, parrots and fire tiger rapala and storm lures targeting the deeper water (8-12foot depth). All lures should be fitted with single, short shank inline single VMC hooks. We prefer this to the normal treble hook as we feel it is a lot stronger and easier to set the hook.
This May has produced our best ever catch returns which means the rest of 2018 is highly likely to follow suit with incredible fishing. This is most likely as a result of the higher and later than average rainfall and water levels which have allowed both the tigerfish and baitfish longer time in the sanctuary of the flood waters in an environment of better than average food source…in other words, you should be packing your kit to get up here sooner rather than later!