This year is shaping up to be very similar to last year’s conditions with rain, rain and more rain!
All the streams of West and South Gippsland are flowing hard and fast and in most cases over winter were also flowing dirty with the consistent downpours. The good thing that comes out of it for stream trout anglers is that dirty water holds an abundance of food for hungry post-spawn trout. This means that when the season reopens on the first weekend of September, the majority of fish will have gorged themselves giving them plenty of energy to put up a good fight and provide a lot of fun for anglers.
To give some indication of the amount of food being washed into the streams due to the regular flooding, I was recently at the Moe River observing the flood levels in the paddocks, which is quite a spectacle from the Princes Highway bridge. I took a walk along the rising waters and noticed hundreds of big juicy worms forced to the surface due to the saturation of the soil profile.
Accompanied with the worms were masses of beetles leaving the comfort of their dung home. As the water was rising at a rapid rate, these worms and beetles and other small invertebrate were being picked up by the strong current and taken downstream; no doubt many ending up in the bellies of carp, eel, redfin and the odd decent trout which occupy the Moe River. So this got me thinking that the same is obviously happening all over the region in such places as along the Tarago, Latrobe, Toorongo, Bunyip, Tanjil and Lang Lang Rivers which all have invertebrate-filled soil-rich natural flood plains for rising waters to spill into. You can only start to imagine the fun stream trout anglers will have this coming year.
Blackfish and eel reports have been very slow this winter with floodwaters providing little enthusiasm for anglers to get out. Blackfish and eel inhabit slow flowing water which is very hard to find at the moment so you’ll probably find these species feeding in backwaters and eddies behind boulders and timber debris.
Fishing off the bottom with a sinker capable of holding a worm bait in one place for a long period of time is the best technique at the moment as float fishing is next to impossible.
For those that read Will Thompson’s reports, Blue Rock Lake has lately been providing some interesting and different angling entertainment. Bass are the hot topic and since a photo was published a few months ago, reports are starting to come in thick and fast.
Blue Rock is a great option for those trout anglers still looking for a local fix when the stream trout season has closed. And now the lake is providing a second sports fish for winter. Recently a friend of mine, Nicole Driessen was out fishing the lake with her husband Matt when she joined the elite few that have successfully landed and provided evidence of a Blue Rock bass. They had just tied the boat up to a tree and literally just dropped the bait in when the bass struck. Nicole was fishing a scrub worm under a float with a 1m leader.
Minutes after catching and releasing the bass Nicole’s float disappeared again, this time to a carp. This shows that the bass and carp are learning to live together and fingers crossed that the bass in time will feed on the carp’s young; here’s to wishful thinking!
Feel free to send me a report or photo particularly if you have any success stories out on Blue Rock Lake or if you have been targeting eel and blackfish in the streams over winter. Please email me any questions for the upcoming stream trout season too. Happy fishing!
Nicole Driessen with a lovely winter Blue Rock bass caught and released using a worm under a float.Reads: 934