This article is aimed at the complete beginner angler who wants to travel to Lake Coleridge for High Country Opening weekend
and hopefully catch a trout or salmon, but has absolutely no idea where
to start. Here is a list of step by step instructions that you can
follow. If you follow this plan there is a very good chance you will
have Opening Weekend success!
Spin Fishing Rod
we are going to be spin fishing. Spinning is easier for the complete
novice than fly fishing and is better suited to fishing in deep lakes
like Coleridge. You will find that the majority of anglers fishing
around the shoreline of Lake Coleridge will also be spin fishing.
are not going to be casting anything heavier than 20 grams at most.
However when fishing this type of large high country water most anglers
fish with what could best be described as light weight salmon gear that
would otherwise be used for river fishing. In other words heavier gear
than you might use if spin fishing for trout in smaller streams. The
reason for this is because we want to make long casts with ticers
weighing up to about 17 or 20 grams. We also want to be able to fish
into a strong head-wind if need be. The slightly heavier ticers are
also needed to get down deep where the salmon are schooling.
you need is a spinning rod designed to cast weights between about 10
and 40 grams. It is best to select a rod at least 2 metres (7 feet) in
length as it will be better for distance casting. Don't let the bloke
in the shop talk you into anything shorter or lighter. Keep in mind you
will be fishing a big deep lake.
Spin Fishing Reel
you'll need a fixed spool spinning reel - also called an eggbeater. Get
something like a Shimano Aerocast 4010, or the equivalent in size.
Spool it up with 6 lb monofilament. A reel this size will hold several
hundred metres of 6 lb (2.7 kg) mono. This set-up will allow you to
cast a good long distance even into a head-wind. The light monofilament
will help your lure to sink quickly.
nowadays fish with braided line on the lakes instead of monofilament.
Braid has almost no stretch so you will be able to feel your lure
touching the bottom and most importantly you will be able to feel the
slightest touch from a fish. It also casts further. If you decide to
fish with braided line you will need to add a leader of monofilament or
fluorocarbon to the end of the braided line as fish don't like braid!
The leader needs to be about two rod lengths and joined with a special
knot that won't slip. Most anglers use a double uni-knot. But there are
other knots you can use. You might find filling your spool with 6 lb
monofilament to be the cheaper and simpler option. It's up to you.
A 17 gram silver ticer with red tag is an excellent lure when spinning for salmon from shore at Lake Coleridge.
we are going to be fishing in Lake Coleridge I suggest you spin with
ticers. These are cut from hexagonal brass rod and then painted or
silvered. The weight to use as mentioned above is 17 or 20g. The salmon
are most likely to take them in silver. I suggest you get the ticers
with the small red plastic tag. Refer to the picture for the right
ticers to buy. These will sink down quickly to where the fish are. When
your lure gets close to shore wind faster to prevent it from getting
stuck behind a rock. The extent to which this is likely depends where a
bouts around the lake you are fishing. Avoid having to cast over
shallow water if you can thereby avoiding these sorts of losses.
I would get about 6 of these silver ticers. You may loose none of them but it pays to have some spares just in case you do.
quickly take a look at what you don't need. You don't really need a net
when fishing around Lake Coleridge because the shoreline is generally
shallow and rises up a gentle slope. So you can just slide your fish
along the stones.
You don't really need waders
either. Neoprene waders are nice to have especially when it is very
cold. But you can spin fish around Lake Coleridge
without getting your feet wet. Some anglers like to wade out into the
water - in particular when fishing river mouths. A pair of gumboots
will be good enough.
What you certainly do need is
plenty of warm clothing. If you don't have waders wear two pairs of
pants. Wear plenty of layers over your upper body as it sure can get
cold at Lake Coleridge for Opening Day! Finally don't forget a woolly
hat or beanie. A balaclava is even better when its really cold. You
loose a lot of heat from your face and ears. If you can stretch to a
pair of neoprene fishing gloves you disguise will be complete. As the
day warms up you can always take a few layers off. This is way better
than trying to fish while shivering and shaking from the cold.
Where to Fish
suggest that your best spot for spin fishing on Opening Day is the
mouth of the Harper River. This will be your best chance of hooking a
fish! Most likely a salmon. The salmon school in Lake Coleridge. So if
you just keep casting out from the river-mouth sooner or later a school
of fish are going to come in range. A constant supply of food items are
washed into the lake so the fish will be waiting beyond the drop-off.
Harper River mouth fans out for several hundred metres so there will be
plenty of space for you to fish. Don't worry if you aren't right in the
middle of the main flow. It won't matter. Remember those salmon will be
schooling so they are going to come within range of your lure sooner or
later. Its just a case of being ready when they do by having your lure
in the water.
Get up early. You are allowed to start fishing at 5.00am. I know that's
very early - too early for some! It means you have to wake-up around
4.30 - 4.45am. Get a hot drink down and head to your fishing spot that
you will have reconnoitred the day before. This all implies a certain
degree of organisation on your part including getting to the lake early
and retiring for the night so you will be fresh in the morning. I
suggest you try out the new TrustPower Freedom Camping Area which is about a kilometre back up the road next to the Harper River Diversion.
reason for the early start is so that you can be fishing for the first
couple of hours before the sun hits the water. This is the best time to
fish. It is when most of the fish will be caught. This is the time when
the "experts" will catch their limit and be back at camp before 8.00am.
Tip 2. Cast straight
out. When your silver ticer hits the water wait at least 20 seconds
before you start winding. This is important. Unless its raining the
salmon will mostly be deeper in the water. If you start winding too
soon your lure will just be zooming past way over their heads.
Don't wind too fast. You want your lure moving at walking pace. If you
retrieve too quickly your lure will plane up top the surface. You can
try retrieving quickly for a few winds of the handle then slowing down.
This can trigger a following fish to strike!
Keep fishing. Sometimes you can start early at 5.00am only to find most
of the salmon are caught between 7.00am and 8.00am. Particularly when
its raining and the sky overcast the fish may continue to take
throughout the morning.
There you have it. If you
follow this simple plan for Opening Weekend at Lake Coleridge I'm 99
percent certain you will catch a fish. - Allan Burgess