Freshwater Fishing Specialist And Fishing Videographer
Romen has been Yellowbelly fishing in Googong Dam, for over a decade and specialises in catching very large fish – he’s developed some very effective vertical fishing techniques too. When Romen isn’t fishing he’s producing fishing DVD’s such as the “Googong Green and Gold” series and his current project “Green and Gold on the road”.
Romen’s Googong Dam Yellowbelly Fishing Tips
- Yellowbelly like warm water. During early spring the strategy for finding them in Googong Dam is to find warm pockets of water (above 17C), which is usually in the shallows. As the season wears on and the water warms up they are found in the shallows around dawn/dusk but may utilise deeper structure at other times.
- Water temperature can be like a switch for yellowbelly. They can be lethargic and inactive and suddenly switch on when the temp hits a critical point.
- Googong and other dams in the area are experiencing unusual conditions at the time of publishing this podcast, as the water levels have risen quickly from 40% to 100%, so weedbeds are now 10m below the water surface.
- Look for fish by zig zagging back and forth along the contours until you find the depth they are feeding at. Then figure out how they respond to different lures presented in different ways. Once you’ve cracked the code you’ll probably find most fish are hanging at the same depth and responding to the same tactics.
- A little colour to the water is a good thing and encourages more aggressive activity. However, heavy muddiness can shut things down.
- Romen likes to vertically jig to yellowbelly using his sounder, but casting and retrieving also works very well.
- Early in spring Romen suggests not wasting too much time on an individual fish, and prefers to move on to a new target if the fish he’s presenting to doesn’t respond within a few minutes.
- Changing lures is a good strategy for figuring out what’s working, but Romen recommends giving each lure plenty of opportunity. Just because one fish doesn’t take a particular lure doesn’t always mean another fish won’t, so put them in front of multiple fish.
- Switching out treble hooks for assist hooks is a great way to fish for yellowbelly around weedbeds without getting constantly fouled.
- It’s important to work your lures very close to the bottom and to pause and let the lure sit on the bottom. Usually fish take the lure on the pause. Romen likes to start with a pause of 1 second then gradually extend the duration of the pause, even up to 15 seconds.
Romen’s Yellowbelly Fishing Tackle
- A lighter outfit is used for smaller, lighter lures, especially if the fishing is slow and hard. For Romen this consists of a spin combo with 10lb Suffix 832 braid and 12-15 lb fluorocarbon leader.
- A heavier baitcast outfit is used for bigger, heavier lures and is usually loaded with 20lb Suffix 832 and a 20lb fluorocarbon leader.
Romen’s Top Yellowbelly Fishing Lures
- The 50mm Rapala Rippin Rap is Romens choice of hardbody lure, which he usually fishes vertically. The technique is to find the fish on the sounder and drop the Rippin Rap down to it, working it with vertical hops in close proximity to the fish. Watch the sounder as the combination of noise and vibration will either cause a strike or will spook the fish. If the fish are spooked, try switching to the Storm SX soft vibe instead.
- Storm SX Soft Vibe is fished in the same way as the Rapala Rippin Rap and is a great option if the fish are being spooked by the noisier Rippin Rap.
- Any fish style blade in a 30-40mm size class is a good option for casting through weedbeds and prospecting the shallows for fish without having to risk spooking them by sounding over the top. The vibration attracts fish from a long way off. Unlike Windamere and some other storages, black vibes aren’t the best option in Googong, Romen has found that dark, natural colours that imitate yabbies work well, just not black.
Rapala Australia imports an astounding range of lures and other tackle into Australia, including Romen’s favourite and most productive vertical cod fishing lures, the 70mm Rippin Rap.
Lowrance Australia produce the sounders and other marine electronics so critical to the style of fishing that Romen does for cod in Googong Dam. Watch Romen’s recent Sonar Masterclass Livestream here.