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Rivers low but bass are an alternative
  |  First Published: April 2013



It’s been hard to scrape up enough words to describe the fishing in our local rivers at the moment, but I guess “not good” word describe it pretty well.

I hate writing this, but it’s true. We just haven’t had any rain here yet and as soon as we do I’m sure fishing will resume to its norm. Close by, our local Traralgon Creek and Morwell River are terrible. A lot of anglers are saying it needs to be restocked and at the moment the way it is, I couldn’t agree more, but... maybe it will return to normal once it gets a good flow.

I think maybe we have to wait a little longer until we start fearing the worse. I can tell you though, a lot of anglers who know these rivers well including myself, can’t even find a fish letting alone catch one. If you saw the state the rivers are in, you would straight away see why. There’s not enough water. The worrying part is that the expert local anglers were seeing lots of cormorants during the spring indicating there were numbers of fish.

Due to the floods, we had no cover in the river for fish to hide, nothing to slow the river down and hold the water either. Maybe all these three things have played a role. Did the cormorants have an easier picking this year than ever before due to the lack of protection for the fish after the floods? Did the floods kill and large proportion of the existing stock after the black Saturday fires?

These are the questions that need answering before a definitive answer is given and I don’t think we can honestly say until the end of this season or perhaps the end of next season. So I can’t say for sure yet, whether our local creeks need stocking.

So where has everyone been fishing? Mostly on the other side of the hills, in the Tyers and Tanjil rivers. They have been holding nice flow as they usually do and have been producing good numbers of small brown trout and some nice little rainbows in the upper Tanjil. Some anglers are drowning worms and doing quite well in getting half a dozen fish, but the lure anglers casting shallow diving hardbodied lures or small plastics are catching even more. The down side to this is these little streams are now copping the full force of all the anglers around and some anglers are now having days even in these rivers where they are not catching much, due to the fact that the river has just been fished before them. That’s why we need all our rivers in the area fishing well, so that it keeps the total fishing pressure off one particular stream and I think fisheries are sick of me saying this, but it’s true!

Bass

Another alternative to trout has been to chase bass. Fisheries Victoria are doing monumental things to get some of our Gippsland streams a good bass population and although this hasn’t been happening for long, we have some numbers of small bass ranging anywhere from 12-21cm. These fish have mostly been caught in the Macalister catchment below and even above Glenmaggie.

A few are in the Thomson around Cowwarr and of course everyone knows a good number have been put into Blue Rock Lake. Some have spilled into the Tanjil and I have heard of a couple below the dam wall, but most are being caught amongst the timber in the lake itself in not too deep of water. Fish are getting caught on small hardbodied lures in the 3-5cm range.

Some are getting caught on the surface, so you can use stick baits or other floating lures. But also divers are good when the fish aren’t surface active. Use dark coloured lures as well.

For more information, contact Will at Allways Angling in Traralgon on 51748544. You will get expert advice and great deals on fishing bait and tackle., Turn in to Rex Hunt and Lee Rayner’s “Off the Hook” on 1242 to hear Will’s Report on what’s going on in Gippsland!

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