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Mudgee Gold


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Happy New Year fellow Raiders. I normally lurk around the saltwater lure fishing section of the forum but have something to contribute to this section now.

Just got back from a family camping holiday inland for a change. Stayed at a tourist park in Mudgee and made the half hour trip to Lake Windamere for fishing sessions when we could manage the time. I called into the local camping, 4WD and fishing tackle store to get some local advice on how to fish the lake and got some general advice from the staff there. Dark coloured bibless crankbaits and purple coloured deep diving hardbodied lures were the recommended lures. However, no general locations or time of day were given to help me target the local species the lake was known for - Golden Perch.

Early morning on New Year's day, I launched from the Cudgegong Waters Park boat ramp ($6 gate fee) and made the fifteen minute trip to the north eastern shore of the lake. Armed only with some general spots on the AFN map of the lake, my youngest son, my Father-in-Law and myself began our first freshwater lake fishing session ever! Anticipation was high. We had an olive coloured twin blade TT spinnerbait (against local advice), a bright coloured lipless crankbait (against local advice again) and a matt black lipless crankbait which we cast toward the shore in a quiet looking bay. It wasn't too long before my FIL on the spinner bait was calmly saying he was on! A short fight later our first Yellowbelly was in the boat thumbup.gif

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We were in awe of the size of these fish - it measured in at 48cm.

Further down the same shoreline, I came up tight on one which felt heavy and fought in a similar way to a big flathead. It was soon in the net and my first Yellowbelly came in at 58cm 1yikes.gif.

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After some pics and admiring this beauty, I swam her next to the boat for a few seconds and let go when it began to flick its tail. A matt black Kokoda lipless crankbait was the lure that was its undoing.

My youngest son who accompanies me on most trips was feeling left out at this stage and was anxious to catch one himself. He did not have to wait long before he too was playing tug-of war with a Windamere Golden Perch. It came in at a respectable 52cm and fell to a bright yellow and orange lipless crankbait.

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All fish were caught within 1 hour of sunrise and as the sun rose, we struggled to catch any fish. We had some fish follow our lures right up to the boat only to turn away without eating the lure. By 10am, the sun was beating down on us so we pulled the plug and headed back to Mudgee.

A similar plan of attack was put in place for the next day, this time with my eldest son in tow to see if we can put him onto a fish as well. We fished the same bay at the same time but it was eldest son's day with the only fish for the session at 51cm yahoo.gif.

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The fish was caught on a bright yellow lipless crankbait again within 1 hour of sunrise. As the sun went up and as we cruised the edges, we could see fish holding to the edges of weed beds and against tree branches only metres from the boat but were impossible to catch!

I woke up on the third day to strong morning winds and decided against going out . However, by the afternoon, the winds had calmed down a bit and I made the call to fish in the late afternoon just before sunset in the belief that the fish might come on the bite then. With my wife and father in law coming along this time, I was hoping to get my wife onto a fish as well. It was not to be. We were back in the same bay right on sunset but could not get a bite. As we were packing up, my FIL says, one last cast and sure enough he pulls a 38cm fish in this time from the deeper water away from the bank. Thinking that the deeper fish are a schooling fish, I took the lure out from his fish and told him to fish on. Sure enough, he has on again immediately and after an extended fight, pulled in a 53cm fish. Both fish took the matt black lipless crankbait. He had time for a third 'last cast' and had a hit but failed to hook up. Light levels were dropping fast and we did not have time to take any pictures as we high tailed it back to the ramp. It was a nervous trip back to the ramp in low light conditions at full speed but I had the benefit of my GPS track that I could follow.

I was cautiously optimistic before going to Mudgee of finding some fish but the trip exceeded my expectations. I really glad that most of us caught a fish and those that we did keep tasted fantastic!. We had daytime temperatures in the high thirties when we were there which led us to fish early mornings or evenings only. When not fishing, we lazed in the pool where we had camped and also visited the wineries in the area. Other than the extreme daytime temperature, Mudgee was a great place to visit and the great fishing made our holiday even better. I'm quite liking this freshwater fishing now ...

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