Winter fishing in snowy Jindabyne
  |  First Published: July 2017

Welcome to July and a very wintery Jindabyne. By now snow on the top of the mountains is attracting plenty of people to come to the Snowy Mountains area and this makes getting accommodation in town difficult. There is plenty of accommodation nearby in Cooma if you want to come up for a trout fish.

Winter is the very best time to fish for trout from the shore of the lake. Already this winter season we have seen some huge fish caught on both lures and bait. Winter fishing is always good, as there is less terrestrial food about for the trout and so the fish are more likely to be cruising all day looking for something to eat.

There are also those very big ex-brood Gaden Trout Hatchery Atlantic salmon and brook trout that were released late last May still to be caught. With lots of winter fishing still ahead, grab a good pair of boots and a warm jacket and come down for a winter trout fishing experience.

Spinning from the shore of the lake is a method that works well during winter. Try lures in the middle of the day in pink, yellow and brown with a slow retrieve. This is also the time of year that big minnow lures will attract big trout, as winter spawning trout are very aggressive towards each other and the bigger lures are better.

A variety of soft plastics also work well. It’s best to use natural or gold colours when fishing plastics around the inlets and weedy bays. Orange or pink colours are better for open water.

Bait fishing is a very productive method of fishing in winter and simple rigs work best. Worms and artificial baits have always been favourites for winter fishing and they always brings results. When worm fishing, use plenty of tiger worms or a single scrubworm and fish them off the bottom using a running sinker. You can also suspend a bait under a float. If you want to use artificial bait, try a little split shot on the hook to keep the bait down.

As the fish move about the lake so much over winter, there is no particular spot that stands out. A hint is to fish shallow water early and late, and slightly deeper water in the bright sunny parts of the days. Don’t go too deep; a few metres of water is as much as you want!

Trolling is one of my favourite ways to catch trout in winter. Sit back, relax and wait for the fish to bite. It’s a bit like marlin fishing; some days it’s fantastic in winter and some days it can be slow.

If you’re out in a boat on the lake over winter, trolling lures a lot slower than you would in summer is the way to increase the number of trout you catch. The best lures to use when trolling the lake for big trout in winter are the big minnow lures, even as big as 13cm.

July is also the time when we get most of our snow on the mountains and the weather can change very quickly, so always check for any major changes before heading out in a boat. It only takes minutes for the lake to go from mirror flat to 1m+ high waves and 100km,/h winds.

Just remember that when you’re on a boat all rugged up, sometimes with waders on, you’ve got a death wish if you aren’t wearing a life vest. If you were to fall into the water, which is getting colder by the day, once you get wet there is a very good chance that you will die. If not by drowning when all your wet clothes drag you to the bottom, or your waders fill with water, you won’t last long before hyperthermia gets you.

Trolling flies off fly lines (harling) is also very productive in winter and trolling flies on lead core lines during the middle of the day produces some big browns, if you stay just over the weed beds.

We have some flies in my shop that are designed for trolling and can be dynamite over the weed beds on the lake. The good areas for trolling this month are Creel Bay at Waste Point, the Snowy Arm, East Jindabyne Islands and Hayshed Bay.

Flyfishing has been very good and you will see fish cruising if you have your polaroid glasses on. Polaroiding trout is best done on the sunnier days. That’s when I like to flyfish the lake anyway. I’ve never done much on flyfishing when it’s snowing or during the cold winter nights.

A well-presented fly, something like a brown nymph, a Mrs Simpson or a well-presented shrimp pattern will get good results during the winter months. The best areas for winter polaroiding in Jindabyne are Creel Bay, Hatchery Bay, Sids Bay and the Kalkite end of the lake.

Good areas to try at this time of the year after rain are also the Snowy Arm, Creel Bay and Wollondibby Inlet.

Best of luck with your winter fishing and if you’re coming down to Jindabyne over the next few months, why not call in and get the latest fishing information at Steve Williamson’s Trout Fishing? It’s shop 1 at the Snowline Centre, Kosciuszko Road (next to the Shell Servo). My shop is also open seven days a week during winter with extended hours over July and August.

July roundup – the best of the best!

Best method Bait fish with local scrubworms or use artificial baits.
Best lake trolling lure Tasmanian Devil in pink 55 or big minnow lures up to 13cm.
Best Lake spinning lures Orange and pink soft plastics or big minnow lures up to 13cm.
Best lake area Waste Point and Creel Bay
Best fly method Use a fly that represents the food the fish are feeding on.

*Rivers are closed and reopen on October long weekend.

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