2017 FISHING UPDATES FOR NORTH PINE DAM
By Dennis Pearce
Since the previous articles on the basics of fishing from a boat and land based fishing there has been quite a few changes, mainly about the lures used these days. First let me say that a lot of the lures being used are old ones that have had a facelift and new colours and now sell at inflated pieces. If you mentioned to a non-fisherperson that you caught your bass on gangbangers, maggots, spoons and crazy deeps they would think that you were the one that was crazy.
Fish don’t seem to care what the lures are called or how much you paid for it. You can catch plenty of fish on a $5 lure. (Or much to my wife’s disgust, don’t be afraid to get into the partners nail polish and reinvent a few of the ones you have.)
Everyone has their favourites, it’s what gives you confidence that counts. Oh, and it helps if you are catching fish with your favourites. A few years ago, no lures were over $15 and now we have them over $40. For every expensive lure, there is usually a cheaper spin off.
Some of the lures that appear to be working out at NPD are doing so because of changes in the structure. Before the droughts a few years back we used to have plenty of weed beds along the edges and some of these went a long way out into the water. As the water went down so did the weed edges. This caused the edge bite to die down quite a bit but we were lucky because the fish just moved out to deeper water. We have had to make a few changes ourselves to the way we fish.
Shallow and Deep Trolling
This was always an option when the bass schooled up in deeper water or shallow trolling over the top or close to the bushes that grew up along the edges when the water was low. By the time you have travelled the first few 100 meters you should be able to see what depth the fish are sitting at and choose a lure that is going to be in their face or just above them.
This has always been around also but has become very popular again with a few revisited and a few new lures
There are more colours and some new shapes. These are a go to lure when the fish are sitting down deep out of reach of trolling lures. Weight depends on how deep you are fishing and how quickly you can get back to the strike zone. ¼ or ½ ounce are okay.
Also back in vogue with some new colours and shapes and a bigger price tag
These have also taken on a new profile with different sorts of blades on the tail. All of the above can jigged vertically off the bottom or hopped and slow retrieved after casting out away from the boat.
Small Minnow Lures
Are used along the edges and there are a lot of different varieties on the market.
Jointed Minnow Spinners
Have made a comeback on the market, smaller ones being used for bass and yellows and the larger ones for cod.
Vibes. Hard and Soft
These are still working well along with the new ones on the market.
Can be jigged off the bottom in deep water using a high or low lifting action.
This has been a bit slow over the past couple of years, due to the lack of lilies or weed edges. There are still bass, yellows and togas hiding in amongst the tobacco bush on the edges.
Spinnerbaits, chatter baits, small hard bodies cast to the edges amongst the tobacco bush is still finding a few fish.
Recent catches on fly gives encouragement to the fly fisherpersons that fish NPD.
At the time of writing, July 2017 there have been some terrific catches coming out at the dam. These are due to most of the elements aligning, wind, rain, temperature of water, barometer, sunny or overcast conditions etc.
Successful stocking by PRFMA is a prime reason. A good sounder is essential to find the bait schools that the larger fish are chasing. To get good results you still need to be dedicated and open to new ideas. Golden perch, Mary River Cod, Saratoga and Silver Perch are residents all the time.
So good luck and hope you find a few. If you want a couple for a feed go for it but remember the quota rules and only take YOUR limit. Release fish carefully and quickly.