Lakes still fire for trout
  |  First Published: July 2011

The Queens Birthday weekend was the last weekend of the season and we saw some good-sized trout landed from the upper Yarra.

The areas above Warburton were fishing better with only the occasional reports filtering through from around Warrandyte and Templestowe areas. With the rivers now closed to all trout fishing, anglers are targeting redfin, roach, carp, eels and the last of the Murray crays.

Keep in mind, although the rivers and streams have closed to trout fishing, you can still fish impoundments such as Sugarloaf Dam, Eildon Pondage, Rowville Lakes, Emerald Lakes as well as Lilydale Lake, therefore there will be no excuse not to still get out amongst the fish.

Some customers reported having a couple of successful days before the season closed while fly-fishing the area above Warburton. Most success came from Olive Nymphs and small Black Woolly Buggers. Fly fishers will now focus on targeting trout in the lakes, and with the cooler weather now here, mostly wet flies will be used to search out fish and entice a few strikes.

Sugarloaf Dam has been fishing very well since late May for redfin, with fish being taken up to 1.5kg. Early morning up to midday seems to be the most active time. From reports received, success is coming with Bushys Devilfish Vibes and the new Damiki Monster Miki soft plastics. You will get the most action from the plastics by using a slow, subtle pausing style retrieve.

Lilydale Lake has been stocked for the school holidays and with 1500+ trout released recently, conditions have certainly improved the action of this local fishing spot. Our suggestions for fishing Lilydale Lake would be Powerbait in Pink or Lemon Twist colours or medium-sized Scrubworms for bait angler.

For the fly angler, try small wet flies such as the Woolly Worm and mudeye imitations. The lure angler will have most success on 7gm Tassie Devils with my suggested colours being 50 and 63.

Berley is very important at Lilydale Lake as well as scents and Ultrabite Stimulate providing most success. Fishing around the mouth of the Olinda creek area and near the boat ramp should provide some good results.

Carp are also in good numbers this time of year. Fish areas where the smaller creeks and drains enter the main river. Look for the stirred up mud that betrays the fishes whereabouts. I have sighted some extremely large carp specimens behind the Warrandyte Bakery. The feeding of ducks and the leftover food source is obviously attracting these feral fish.

If targeting carp this is a time of year when you can use garlic scent maggots. All you need to do is to add crushed cloves of garlic to the soil and over 24 hours the maggots will consume the garlic and the scent will be emitted via their skin on contact with water.

Warrandyte is also been good for eels: those keen on catching their own eels for shark bait, or for the table, have been doing well after a bit of rain on sunset and into the night. Best baits are scrubworms and chicken dipped in tuna oil.

Native blackfish

Many anglers have never tried targeting blackfish, but this species provides a lot of fun and if targeted correctly you can get some great results. July is the best month of the year for targeting blackfish as they like the cold dark water.

Blackfish hide in small dark deep holes within narrow streams. Areas that also have a lot of exposed roots with undercut banks will also increase your chances. These fish feed mostly at night, with increased frenzy around a new moon. Use a medium-sized scrubworm on a size 6 Baitholder hook with a running sinker rig and a 6lb leader of approximately 15-35cm.

Use a shorter length for slow currents and increase the length as the current strengthens. Ideal outfit would be a 2500 sized reel combined with a 6’6” rod. Because these fish live in small narrow tight locations, a quiet hunting style of approach is required. Best locations are the upper reaches above Launching Place and Woori Yallock.

Had some success? Send me the details to; --e-mail address hidden-- Include the anglers name, species, the area you were fishing and a photo if you have one.

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. Come and visit us at our New Dandenong Store, 209 Lonsdale St– both stores are open 7 days a week. We offer plenty of top quality fresh bait, lures and a great selection of freshwater and saltwater gear. Information sheets are also available to download at www.whatsbiting.com.au

Some great trout were landed just as the season closed on the June long weekend.

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