Cold and frosty weather tests anglers’ skills
  |  First Published: August 2012

Winter has started off very dry in this area, and almost a full month of frosty nights saw the fish really shut down.

Lake William Hovell has been fishing OK for trout, but very slow for redfin. This pattern should continue into August with the low light periods of the day producing the best results trolling small Tassie Devils and casting blades.

The small streams that fished so well for redfin during the warmer months completely shut off during in early winter when the frosts became severe. After a few fishless trips I decided to leave them alone, but then in the middle of winter something gave me the urge to head back out and chase a few reddies and to my surprise they had come back on the bite a little bit.

My stream selection was limited to only a couple of creeks due to the closed trout season, however I found that by persevering I was able to catch a few redfin in the icy cold water. I ‘cracked the code’ so to speak by trial and error. My normal summer techniques were not working so I decided to rig on a soft plastic, fish it with a tiny jighead to allow for dead slow retrieve speed, and on top of that I coated the plastic in some Dizzy’s lure scent. I have never been a big fan of lure scent, but after getting results in the middle of winter I have changed my opinion of the stuff and will not head out without it.

During August the redfin fishing in the small streams should be pretty much the same. The water will not get any colder than it is now, so try using a soft plastic and downsizing your jighead, and coating the plastic in lure scent and you may just have success. All of this is dependant of the weather and waterway conditions. During winter it can go either way. In August the creeks could be low and very clear, or they could be raging torrents

On the native fish front the Ovens River has seen a few Murray cod being caught around Wangaratta. The fish have been few and far between but a few have been showing up.

In August, provided we do not get too much rain, the lower reaches of the Ovens River around Bundalong could be well worth a look as the big resident Murray cod that live down there start to get active in preparation for their spring spawning run. August can be a red-hot time to catch the really big fish just before the season closes.

As mentioned earlier, this is all dependent upon the weather. The Ovens River is a naturally flowing river so if we get a lot of rain the water may be high and dirty. If this is the case it may be worth angling with bardi grubs to get that late season cod fix before the season closes. If the water is too high and hard to fish, Lake Mulwala is only a short drive down the road from the lower reaches of the Ovens River.

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