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Cormorants have an effect, but good fishing still to be had
  |  First Published: December 2012



Amazingly the rains have eased for what seems the first time in about two years and the rivers have cleared up and are fishing well.

Traralgon Creek has been very disappointing this season and I’m not sure what has happened, but I would have thought it would have started firing up but now, but it hasn’t. A lot of anglers are blaming cormorants, especially considering when you go up the creek you see a cormorant sitting on every boulder.

Fisheries don’t like the word cormorant and if you bring it up, they just respond by saying, “well... if there are cormorants... that means there are fish” which is true I guess, but does that mean that when we go up the creek and don’t see cormorants, that means there are no fish! Then what is there response?

The other factor that gets blamed has been the floods. Traralgon Creek copped a beating this winter with nonstop rain and it has changed the course of the creek in some spots and dramatically changed the habitat structure and vegetation. Perhaps both factors together have played a part.

The fish that are in the creek are quite large and are averaging 30cm in length, but the problem is they are so far spread apart. You have to walk a lot of river for just a couple of fish. Like I said last month, it might be too early to start stressing and we might have to wait till after summer to make a firm judgement, but either way, not a lot of fish are getting caught in the creek at the moment.

Conversely the Morwell River, which is only 2-3km west, is fishing very well. It seems obvious that there is a hell of a lot more trout in the Morwell River this year so this is probably the place to go. The fly anglers are doing very well with dry flies such as Dads Favourite, Royal Wulff and Red Tags, but bead head nymphs are still working quite well too. The soft plastics guys are also doing very well, especially on things like Gulp 3” minnows fished on a light jig head.

The Macalister River has been fishing very well. There are a lot of fish up high towards the Barkley River and the good news is, there are heaps of brown trout getting caught and only a few rainbows. Hopefully this means the browns are making a comeback. The lower sections, such as Cheynes Bridge and Basin Flats are fishing quite well, and there are quality brown trout being caught up to 35cm in length and a few small rainbows as well. Soft plastics again are working a treat here, but the Celtas and Vibrax spinners are working well too.

Andrew Ketelaar has been fishing Blue Rock Dam lately and catching some monster redfin and monster brown trout as well, sometimes from the bank and other timers just trolling through the trees.

For more information, contact Will at Allways Angling in Traralgon on 51748544. You will get expert advice and some great deals on fishing bait and tackle.

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