being recognized till fairly recently as a native fish
proposition, the Peel River has a great population of
natives, more specifically Murray Cod, Golden Perch, Eel
tailed Catfish and the protected Silver Perch. The Peel
starts its winding fast flowing path up in the ranges
above Nundle where pre drought days saw decent numbers
and sizes of Rainbow Trout targeted by a few in
the know anglers. Since the recognition of Native
species, heavy and positive impact on the rabbit
of the rivers and despised feral introduced species
the European Carp, stocked numbers have been increased
and with a great survival rate.
one time the Bowling Ally Point and Hanging rock areas
around Nundle were recognized for another pastime in the
form of Gold panning with some nice shows
still turning up in pans and slush boxes of those with
a good back and patient personality it is an option for
when the fishing slows a bit.
headwaters the Peel can run clear, and fish can be spotted
4 and sometimes 5 meters below the surface when conditions
are good. Even though the natives are relatively
uncommon in the headwaters, the scene changes once you
hit Tamworths water supply Chaffey Dam.
heavily stocked with Golden Perch and Silver Perch, and
to lesser extent Murray Cod has seen a dedicated and extremely
competent group of anglers using specific techniques to
great effect. Apart from baitfishing with live Shrimp,
Yabbies and worms, without a doubt trolling is the number
one most used year round technique and with good reason,
it works. Tilsan Bass and Halco 50mm Poltergiests
are at the top of the lure choice list, particularly now
that the new 8 meter bib 50mm Poltergiest has been released
and opened up previously untouchable water without the
aid of a down rigger. Another underutilized method is
to cast the shallower western weedbeds with shallower
divers where the Goldens move in to hunt in the fading
afternoon sun. Some spectacular fishing can be had as
the visual aspect of an attack on your lure in clear water
can be amongst the biggest rushes in sportfishing.
the waters of Chaffey take the fall of the spillway and
resume the path of the Peel once more, more natural landscape
from that of the Dam will allow anglers to make daytrip
kayak journeys and if possible, pre approved private property
access trips where walking the banks and casting can produce
some incredible fish. Even though the idiot factor
of some irresponsible anglers has left a sour taste in
the mouth of property owners, there are still a few which
will allow strict access. Never ever sneak onto a property.
Apart from being illegal, the response when caught will
no doubt be an aggressive one and rightfully so. There
are stock routes and some public reserves made available
for the general public access between Chaffey and the
junction of the Peel and Namoi rivers below Keepit Dam
not far from Gunnedah. The further West the river winds
the more suspended sediment accumulates in the water column
and a more traditional Cod water color becomes apparent.
Still with reasonable water clarity lures are still the
most effective way to target native fish with catch and
release in mind.
that work are as normal for any Cod water, with spinnerbaits
being at the top of the list for consistency. A proven
pattern in the spinnerbaits is a 3/8 Bassman spinnerbait
in the purple and brown, natural greens and black and
green tips. A stinger hook will always increase the hookup
ratio and turn more strikes into hookups. Surface fishing
of a night with lures such as the Halco Nightwalker delivers
the ultimate rush in freshwater fishing and persistence
is the secret here. Deep diving lures in the form of Halco
Rellick docks, Oargees and Jamie Fletts Mudeye lures
all work at times also.
Cod are still regularly taken in the Peel and as already
stated, stocking will help the numbers keep on increasing
and the dreaded Carp numbers will continue to subside.
on the subject of Carp, why not make the best of a feral
pest and target them for sport with light tackle and fly.
Carp fight hard and will put any angler to the test on
light gear. They can be sight fished as they feed in the
shallows and a small Wooly Bugga or shrimp pattern will
have the desired response. Learning to stalk Carp in the
shallows is a great challenge and aids in the reduction
of Carp in our waterways as all Carp should be killed
as soon as they hit the bank.