Things are definitely looking positive for the New Year. The lake levels are still good for both boating and bank angling, and temperatures of the released water is at an acceptable level for the Eildon Pondage and Goulburn River system. This can only mean one thing – the fishing is going to be great in the New Year!
Conditions are all pretty good out on the lake. Golden perch are being caught at Goughs Bay and Big River, on a selection of lures ranging from spinnerbaits and soft plastics to lipless crankbaits.
The Delatite Arm and Bonnie Doon areas are not to be out done, with solid fish being hunted down on the gravel banks. Redfin seem to be a little hard to come by, with only limited reports coming in. There have been no real thumpers yet, but the holiday traffic will drum up a few, no doubt. These areas are good destinations for families bait fishing from the banks.
Trout fishers are dowrigging to get to the cooler water, or targeting the dawn and dusk run. Both techniques require a sharp eye to dodge the timber.
On a sour note, I would like to remind anglers that springers are illegal, and have been for several decades, so the inconsiderate poacher who set one in Woolshed Inlet should remove it immediately.
Water temperatures are good in the Pondage. Stockings are good too, and the results are there for those anglers who put in the effort. The Pondage is far more productive at dawn and dusk.
There have been solid fish reported from a selection of baits, with the humble worm taking a full bag for one lucky angler. It was probably harder to dig and find the worms than catch the fish! Gents, mudeyes and Powerbait have also claimed their fair share of fish. Lures such as Tassie Devils and Wonder Crocs are proving the most productive, with two thumping brownies taken at the bottom gates on the Fire Tiger Croc.
Recently a mate of mine, Graeme, and I polarised the upper section of the Goulburn River towards Eildon. Perfect conditions provided us with high hopes. Over a stretch of 200m we spotted at least 15 fish. Ten were actively feeding, and five were well over 1kg.
We only caught one fish on our trip, as we were fishing a black beetle fly that was bow and arrow cast between the willow branches. This is an extremely hard way to fish, but would have to be the most rewarding form of trout fishing that I have ever done. To spot the fish, learn the ‘beat’ of the fish, match its food, stalk, cast and hook them in inches of water is no mean feat.
Daniel Bouma has also had a ball catching some really healthy trout. He is one of only a few guys I know that is visionary enough to actively chase trout with soft plastics – but look at his results.
In both the Rubicon and Acheron rivers, low clear conditions are making fishing a little tougher. Angling pressure is high and these trout see a lot of anglers. They probably know more about fishing tackle than most of us! With persistence, you will find a few that will take a bait or lure. There has been a few redfin come out of the lower reaches of the Acheron too, in the newly cleared area near where the river meets the colderwater of the Goulburn.
Recently, I fished a stretch of the Rubicon where I polarised a cruising blackfish. I know, I know, we don’t normally get them this side of the Black Spur, but I’ve spent a lot of time fishing areas such as the Tarago River, so I know what a blacky looks like. This fish was just shy of 1kg, and I would love to hear from anyone who has seen one too.Reads: 684