After seeing a sign on the way up to Lake Windermere the other weekend we decided to do an exploratory weekend. The sign was labelled “Lake Lyell”. I had never heard of it, so asked a few friends who commented that you catch Bass and Trout there but no one as such ever raved about the fishing.
It only took 2-1/2 hours to drive to the dam from Wollongong. Located at Lithgow, the dam is only 8km drive from the turn off. We drove over the dam wall and were very excited at the site of water.
We were roughing it for the weekend in swags on an unpowered site – it is only a small dam so bookings do fill quite quickly. We were lucky that another group cancelled that they allowed us in to the camping area. There are only powered and unpowered sites folks, no cabins for those that want a bit of luxury.
When heading to a new area, if possible it is always good to ask the Manager for any information that may help produce fish. The fishing didn’t sound red hot just yet, with one nice brown trout caught the week before and a tip to troll for trout in the middle when the sun is up. No tips on the bass at all, trout were the prized trophies in this dam.
I expected it to be a little warmer but the wind chill was freezing. Water temperature was 14 degrees up to approx 16 degrees and through the peak of the day the surface temp would rise up to 21 degrees in areas. We sounded around for that warmer water change with the Lowrance HDS at the same time looking for schooling fish. We started picking fish on the structure scan around the trees.
We decided to stop and cast around some of the trees. I threw my lure in a gap between two spindled trees and just as my lure swam past I hooked up. I was using a Daiwa Generation Black Rod – “Pinster” rated light action, capable of handling 2-5kg line and a casting weight of 1–10grams coupled with a 2000 Freams Reel capable of handling 4kg of drag. A relatively light combo – I was hoping for a trout or a smaller bass. This fish wanted to drag me back to the tree. I just managed to keep its head out of the tree and Scott landed it in the net for me. I was shaking and my adrenalin was rushing – what a thrill! It was a 47cm Bass and weighed approx 2kg. I placed it in the live well and just couldn’t stop lifting the lid in awe of what I had just achieved. This bass was like a football, rounded on all sides.
It wasn’t long before Scott then hooked up. The hook up only lasted a few seconds; it was over before it began. He got absolutely towelled up amongst the trees. This fish won its battle.
I can’t think of anything more rewarding than exploring a new area and achieving a quality fish such as this.
I will be honest; the fishing on this particular weekend wasn’t red hot. We had approximately 6 missed hits, some of them trout. We had hooked a trout and Bass and lost them both and achieved one quality Bass for the weekend. The achievement of at least one great fish is a reward in itself.
We will be back to try again. What a rush.