The water level in Lake Eildon is currently 13-14%, which is an improvement from 5% at this time last year. For boat users, access to the Lake is still good with the public ramps at Fraser Park, Jerusalem Creek and the main wall all operational.
The boat ramp at the main wall now has a user pays system in place, with a ticket machine installed at the top car park. The launching fees range from $2 per day to $50 for an annual pass. I would like to stress that 100% of the money collected go back into the facility for upkeep and upgrade purposes.
The lake is producing good catches of trout around the main wall and along the main arm. Gazza at Eildon Bait and Tackle reports plenty of rainbow trout being caught between the new and old walls on orange, pink and chartreuse PowerBait.
Spud Debono of Eildon had a couple of good day’s fishing. One Saturday he hooked nine trout, then went out again on the Sunday and hooked another seven. All the fish were rainbows and were caught in the main arm. Trolling either mauve or fluoro pink Tassie Devils was the successful technique. Rainbows seem to be plentiful around the old wall, with another report of rainbows caught on Triton lures around the old tower.
A 45cm rainbow trout was caught by an angler trolling a CD7 Rapala in brown trout pattern at Jerusalem Creek. Other trout of 2-3.5kg rainbows have also been reported.
The native fish and redfin catch rates have started slowing up as the weather cools, but there are still a few reports of some good numbers of redfin being caught in Woolshed Inlet by anglers using baits of a cocktail of scrubworms and yabbies. Golden perch are also still being accounted for, with a 3.8kg version caught at Fraser Park on a yabby, and a 4kg golden caught in the main arm on No 1 StumpJumper.
Recent falls of both rain and snow indicate that winter is well and truly upon us. The irrigation season has ended, so hopefully we can see the lake level start rising.
In my experience, the winter months have usually produce bigger trout in the lake. Sure it might be a tad cooler, so rug up, take plenty of food and a thermos of soup or coffee. The big bonus about trolling in the lake in winter is that you don’t have to put up with the ski boats and jetskis that torment all of us anglers over the warmer months.
In the Eildon Pondage, a 5kg rainbow trout was caught on a fluoro pink Tassie Devil at the cemetery. Another rainbow of about 2.5kg was landed at Bourke Street, also on a Tassie Devil lure. There are a number of smaller rainbows being caught on PowerBait around the footy oval. Some of these were no doubt from amongst the one hundred 1kg+ rainbow trout that were recently.
The height of the Pondage has been fluctuating recently. If you are at the Pondage and the level is down, make a mark on that level and keep an eye on it. If you notice the level rising at all, put a couple of hours of solid fishing in, as the rising water tends to stir the fish up considerably.
The Goulburn River is producing good catches of trout. On a recent guiding trip I did with Ray, a visiting Englishman, we caught numerous brown and rainbow trout, all on CD5 Rapalas in brook and rainbow trout patterns, between Thornton and Alexandra. The biggest was a brown trout of around 2kg, which we caught just above the crusher near the Breakaway.
Other trips I’ve done have netted similar results, with the most productive area being around the Breakaway. Peter Weir, of Alexandra, and myself caught a few nice brown trout, this time on the fly gear using caddis emerger and Royal Wulff patterns.
The feeder streams of the Goulburn are also producing nice trout on fly and lure. Ken from Totally Trout in Alexandra reports good catches of pan size trout in the Rubicon River by flyfishers using black nymphs.
Don’t forget, trout season closes for the rivers and streams at midnight on the Monday of the Queens Birthday long weekend (June 9), and doesn’t open until September. Lake Eildon and the Pondage remain open all year round.
Until next time, happy fishing!!
For further information about fishing around Eildon, call Wayne at Hooked on the Goulburn Fishing Tours (03 5772 2626).
Peter Weir of Alexandra holding a rainbow trout he caught in the Goulburn River near the Breakaway.Reads: 1201