Cracking trout season for stream anglers
  |  First Published: September 2012

Over the last couple of months Lake William Hovell has produced quite a few modest sized trout.

I have not heard any reports of big fish coming from the lake however I have been receiving reports quite consistently. This good fishing should continue throughout September as the water surface temperature remains quite cold.

Some of the small creeks that produced nice redfin for me all last summer have been ticking over slowly during the depths of winter as well. I have been working hard for my fish however persistence has paid off and I have managed a few. Some of the creeks I usually fish have been untouched all winter because of the trout closure, so these redfin await our lures come September.

The family friendly lakes in this area of Stanley Ditch Dam, Lake Sambell and Fosters Lake have all been a big hit with the kids during July and August as they always are following their winter stocking of yearling rainbow trout. Many kids and adults alike have been enjoying these great waterways and having good results.

These waterways should continue to fish well throughout September, with Lake Sambell being the pick of them as it is significantly larger and receives a lot more trout. Lake Sambell is not only a great family friendly waterway, but is also a fantastic place to take the kayak for some kayak fishing. The water level has been lowered almost 2m due to the dam wall needing repair work, but despite this there is still plenty of water in there and it will be well worth a trip in September.

September 1 is the opening of the 2012 Victorian trout season that will see many keen anglers on the rivers and creeks in the area.

Towards the second half of September when things slowly start to warm up I often find myself sitting on the bank of the Ovens River here in Wangaratta just drowning a bunch of worms. The water is usually still pretty high, however a few fish start to get active and it is a very relaxing past time provided the river is not flooded.

Just sitting on the bank in the Frank Garth reserve in town angling with bait you can expect to catch quite a few carp, possibly an undersized Murray cod or trout cod, and if you’re really lucky maybe a yellowbelly or redfin. By using worms for bait you are pretty much eliminating the chance of catching a large Murray cod and interrupting its spring spawning, while still being able to relax on the riverbank and soak up the sunshine and fresh air.

If you do accidently catch a cod just remember that it is the closed season and the cod must be returned to the water immediately and unharmed.

Native Fish

As far as native fishing goes, in the Ovens River catchment during September, it is all about golden perch, otherwise known as yellowbelly as the cod are off limits. We do not have the best population of yellowbelly in this area however there are a few located in a few places.

The far lower Ovens River towards Bundalong usually produces a few yellowbelly each year, and should do so this spring provided the water conditions are OK. In September the fish will be slow, but dropping a bait such as a shrimp or bunch of worms next to some standing timber in the lower Ovens River where the water is backed up by lake Mulwala may produce a fish for you.

Lure anglers should try casting towards similar structure with a lipless crank bait such as an Asari Karasu or a Jackall TN60. Just let the crankbait sink to the bottom then slowly bounce it off the bottom giving short sharp lifts of the rod tip to make the crankbait really rattle. Yellowbelly find these crankbaits irresistible .

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