Autumn 2011 has seen some incredible fishing around the Ovens and King river catchment areas, with some memorable fishing sessions being had, especially in the trout streams.
The lower Ovens and King rivers are finally starting to clear and settle down, but are still much higher than usual for this time of the year.
Heading into June the water in these rivers will be starting to get quite cold, and the fish will start to become quite difficult to catch.
Don’t forget, the Victorian trout season closes at midnight on the Monday of the Queens birthday weekend in June, which this year is June 13th and remains closed until the first Saturday in September.
While it is open at the start of June, the brown trout are usually heavily into their spawning by that time of year, and are better off left alone.
Trout don’t spawn in lakes, so the lakes are still open to trout fishing all year round. The number one lake in the Ovens and King catchment for trout is Lake William Hovell, which should fish quite well right through June, trolling small hardbodied lures and Tassie Devil type lures later in the evening. I like to focus my efforts on the western edge of the lake when it becomes shaded later in the afternoon, and as the shadows grow longer, move out toward the centre of the lake.
Redfin can also still be caught in Lake William Hovell in June. Although not as plentiful, this can be the time of year to catch the big ones. Finding yabbies is always hard in winter, but if you can get your hands on some tiny yabbies, angling with them in the deep water of around 10m with a paternoster rig is the best starting point to target them. With the shorter days, I often fish for redfin during the day, and then switch over to trout trolling later in the afternoon.
Lake Buffalo is another great option for June fishing in this area. Unfortunately, Lake Buffalo is not a known trout fishing destination, and trout catches are uncommon in there.
As with Lake William Hovell, concentrate on the deeper areas in the cooler months, because that’s where the redfin will be. Water cools and heats much slower than air, so in winter, the warmest water is usually found deeper in the lakes, as opposed to the warmest water being on top in summer.
Away from the trout, Lake Mulwala has been fishing really well in recent weeks, and by June should still be fishing OK. Usually the cod start to slow down in winter, however, as with the redfin in Lake William Hovell, the larger models are usually caught in the cooler months.
I have just received confirmation that Lake Mulwala is going to be drawn down during late autumn and early spring to try and kill off some aquatic weed. The lake is to be lowered by 2.5-3m, which will render many boat ramps unusable, and expose new hazards, so care needs to be taken in the area effected, which includes a large portion of the lower Ovens River which is backed up by Lake Mulwala.
This lower section of the Ovens River, around Bundalong can be a great place to target the elusive giant June cod, with patience and persistence being critical. As I mentioned, with the drawing down of Lake Mulwala, this area will be harder than usual to access, so make sure you take care.
The author, Robbie Alexander with a typical small Lake Mulwala Murray cod.Reads: 1565