Daylight savings comes to an end on April 1 so this is your last chance to make the most of longer daylight hours to sneak in an after-work fish.
The rivers and streams are flowing well with plenty of fat trout swimming around after gorging themselves on late-summer grasshoppers so now is the ideal time to get out and wet a line.
Drifting baits downstream is a top method for catching these hungry fish at this time of the year. One of the simplest live baits to gather up is the trusty garden or compost worms. Using a size 4-6 baitholder hook, thread 4-5 worms on to give you enough weight to flick into the stream flow. Add a split shot sinker about 5-10cm above the hook to give you that extra weight if needed for casting.
Another live bait that is easy to collect are scrub worms. These are big worms growing to 15cm and can be found under leaf litter at the base of gum trees. Generally you would use one scrub worm per hook if fishing under float or off the bottom but you’ll have more hook-ups if you cut your scrub worm in half when drifting downstream. Other live baits include maggots/gents, mudeyes (dragon fly larvae) and grasshoppers.
Lure fishing continues to work well with most anglers having success on spinner bladed lures, floating hardbodied minnow-styled lures and soft plastic wrigglers fished in the evening. If fishing from the bank, use bank side vegetation to hide behind when casting downstream. If casting upstream you can get away with being a little more exposed providing you are not standing too high on the bank.
In these small streams, most fish are facing upstream awaiting feed to drift towards them. In larger wider streams, trout can be facing up or downstream depending on if they are positioned in stream flow or back-currents behind rocks or bends. Wading upstream is the preferred option in shallower small streams, as you are less likely to spook a feeding trout.
March is also a great time for fly anglers with water levels and flow ideal for casting beaded nymphs with dry fly indicators. Black or natural coloured brass beaded nymphs are a popular choice amongst local fly anglers. Using a brightly coloured dry fly instead of an indicator doubles your chances.
The Lang Lang River has been the latest surprise packet of the summer. The recent floods have pushed a lot of food through the system that has resulted in some big brown trout and redfin swimming about. The Lang Lang River historically holds some big trout and blackfish and every now and then I’ve been privy to some of this information.
I was told recently that only a few years ago a brown trout was caught in excess of 2kg using garden worm fished off the bottom at night! The more I talk to locals about it, the more information you find out about the river and its success. It’s not that people are keeping this river a secret, it’s just that access to the river is quite difficult.
Most anglers simply take one look and move on. The water is generally pretty dirty too and if it is flowing clean due to lack of rainfall, it has that bluey-green tinge to it so yes, it doesn’t look too inviting; particularly if you’re used to the crystal clear waters of the Toorongo or Loch rivers.
There is some key entry points off the Western Port Road so if you’re feeling like an adventure to somewhere different over the coming months then the Lang Lang could be the way to go. Just remember, less angling pressure equals big fish and the Lang Lang has plenty!
All your favourite rivers like the Tarago, Toorongo, Loch, Latrobe and Tanjil are flowing beautifully for this time of the year and full of trout between 300-600g. Remember to contact me or the Baw Baw Shire Council for a free fishing guide to the region; we have heaps to give out!
Feel free to send me a report or photo and happy to answer any questions too. Happy fishing!
Joel Pauly with an impressive redfin perch caught recently in the Lang Lang River on worms.Reads: 2643