Winter in the high country is bitterly cold; however, the fishing can be ridiculously hot during the cooler months! Some champagne fishing action is on offer for those willing to rug-up and brave the elements– particularly for the shore-based angler. One location which boasts terrific opportunities for the shore based angler, is Buckenderra Holiday Village. Buckenderra is situated on Lake Eucumbene, and is roughly 30 minutes’ drive from Cooma NSW. The shoreline at Buckenderra has all the right stuff to attract feeding trout: and during the months of June, July and August, you’ll encounter good numbers of rainbow trout as they feed hard prior to their annual spawning run.
I like to walk the shoreline whilst casting lures at any likely feeding sight. The best areas to focus on are the yabby banks, as well as shallow points and bays. Rainbow trout love eating yabbies, and if you can find an active yabby bank, it is possible to catch multiple numbers of trout from that one area. Yabby banks are generally found amongst the clay, and small holes within the muddy banks are indicative of yabby activity in that general vicinity. I typically use shallow running lures that dive around a meter in depth, and cast my offering at 45 degrees to the shoreline to cover the best part of the feeding zone. I’ll place a few casts from a stationary position, before moving ten to fifteen meters along the bank and repeating the process. If I get a knock, hook a fish, or even see a fish rise, I’ll put in a little extra time in that spot. It’s not uncommon to trek up to five kilometres during a morning session; although, during my last few visits to Buckenderra, I have caught all my fish right in front of the camping ground adjacent to the boat ramp. My tip is to walk along the bank and fish into the direction of the sun. This will ensure you do not cast a silhouette which can spook the trout that prospect the shallow water.
The rod and reel I have been using lately is the Ballistic X Spin 702LS rod, which I’ve married to the Ballistic EX 2000 spin reel. My reel is spooled with 6lb J-Braid, and I attach a rod’s length of 4lb fluorocarbon leader to the braid before connecting my lure with a perfection loop knot. You could fish lighter than this, but I find I don’t believe it’s necessary. Lures that have worked for me are the Wise Minnow 50SP, and small metal blades. The ballistic combo is light and robust, and performs well above its price tag. It’s actually fast becoming my favourite “all-rounder” combo, as it covers most light-tackle situations in salt and fresh water!
Stealth is vital for success, as is an early start. Be sure to wear the appropriate thermal clothing, and a decent pair of thermal gumboots are a necessity as the banks are quite muddy and often frozen. Look for remnants of dead yabbies along the bank, which will indicate a yabby colony in the area. If you do not score results during the morning, try late into the afternoon. The wind-swept banks are my favourite shorelines to fish, and don’t be deterred from fishing the dirty and stirred up water.