Bait fishing best
  |  First Published: December 2010

December saw some steady rainfall, one could even say tropical, throughout Melbourne and our Yarra valley area along with our major catchments areas.

The days following the rain, the water clarity was dirty but flow levels where excellent.

Areas higher up such as Warburton and Reefton had a good ‘wash through’ with much of the debris from winter being cast aside as well as new food sources swept into the flow. This has made fishing closer to home, such as Chirnside Park and Warrandyte the best it has been in sometime.

I tried my luck at Reserve Road in Wonga Park and sighted three good-sized trout and landed one around 750g. With the water running faster, you need to cast into the edge of the current and let your lure drift into the quieter flowing section.

Scrubworms the reliable bait

Scrubworms have been working very well around this area for both smaller trout and the occasional Macquarie perch. If you are targeting perch, remember that these fish get spooked very quickly so approach the edge of the river quietly.

Allow the fish to take in the bait; however do not retrieve until you feel the second pull on the line. These fish will generally knock or tap at the bait the first time and watch if it retreats. If it seems to stay in the water without retreating, the perch will attack again, taking it deeper into their mouth. Hook up is then just about guaranteed.

Murray Cod Season Firing

Now the Murray cod season is in full swing, there have been a lot of good local reports of fish being landed in both size and numbers.

For the bait angler, cod will generally take yabbies in preference to scrubworms. It is preferred to run your ball sinker all the way to the hook when fishing around snags, this way you will be able to bounce the hook off the snag if it gets caught up. When using yabbies as bait, either hook them through the tail or in the back by sliding the hook under the shell, this will keep them alive longer and making them a lot more appealing to the fish.

Cod on lures

If using lures, here are a couple of suggestions. The Jackall TN50 work best if retrieved very slowly and keeping the rod high. Too many anglers work their lures too fast. The fish will react best to a subtle noise rather than it loudly rushing past them. Another popular lure is the Bassman Spinnerbait. There is a huge variety of colours and blade combination, come in and see the guys about what’s working best.

Lilydale Lake

Lilydale Lake had been busy with lots of Christmas Parties and Family BBQ’s, but remember to always pack the rod as well. This is the time to go spinning with 7g Tassie Devils or Pegron lures.

Work slowing through the bottom 1/3 of the water around the old creek bed or the steeper deeper banks. Early mornings before too much sun is on the water is the best time. If you are a morning person, fishing mudeyes under a bubble float is one of the most effective ways to catch trout here.

Emerald Lake

Emerald Lake continues to fish well after being stocked recently, however it will slow down as the temperatures rise and summer takes over. Early mornings or late evenings when the water temperature is lower is when you will find the fish are more active. The better fishing spots are opposite the swimming pool and the other side of the bridge.

The rain has also made conditions improve for the fly angler with beaded nymph pattern flies still working with most success. Conditions up around Woori Yallock are reported to be the best.

For up to date fishing information, both fresh and saltwater, contact the boys at Compleat Angler in Ringwood on 03 9870 7792 or better still drop in at 92 Maroondah Hwy.

Please come and visit us at our new Dandenong store, 209 Lonsdale St– we’re open 7 days a week with plenty of top quality bait and a great selection of freshwater and saltwater gear.

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