Worms are the best approach for young and old
  |  First Published: June 2013

Whoever asked for the rain should have stopped at one please - not five!

The wind and rain are back as it was for most of the last two years and the Yarra River is looking high and coloured. This will put an end to the lure casting and the flyfishing, which stopped pretty much last month with a whimper!

But all is not lost in the valley of dreams. Worms, worms and more worms! It's time to get your worm on and get in amongst some great fishing right through the system (before the trout season closes that is).

After long period of dry weather worms make their way underground to wet areas such as river banks from where they can continue to move about doing wormy-type things. Being in close proximity to the river (right on the bank and about 1-2m down) the worms enjoy the wetted soil but when the water level rises quickly, they have to scraper or drown. To do this best, they come to the surface because trying to dig through dirt is a time consuming thing to do and even more so if you’re going to drown in it! So up they come to hopefully crawl across the ground to a higher vantage point. Unfortunately for the worm they don't come fitted with a GPS and will often come up out of the ground straight into the waiting beak of a bird or (this is the bit we like) straight into the water. So down the wash and can you guess what happens next?

So all the fish in the river a keyed into this happening as it does every year - trout, black fish, eels, redfin, carp, cod, golden perch; they all know it’s coming and wait, sitting right up against the bank, ready for the feast!

One of the best ways to catch these edge hugging fish is to cast a lightly weighted scrub worm upstream and let it drifted back towards you. This method presents the most natural of offerings and will be taken up in a flash by the hungry fish. The tackle you'll need to get this right is a light spin outfit spooled with 2-3kg line, some BB sized split shot and some #4 bait holder hooks. The split shot goes about 15cm above the hook and you can use either a good bunch of normal worms or one good-sized scrub worm as the bait. Cast many times in the same spot as the water will be discoloured and the fish might not see it the first few times. Trout can be found right up in the shallows, high in the water and will be spooked by ham-fisted anglers.

One other method is to find a nice slow pool, get a thermos of pumpkin soup, and bait fish them out. In this scenario, you need to be re-casting your bait every 5-10 minutes into a different part of the pool. This gives the fish many more chances to find your bait.

This type of fishing can be down from one end of the river to the other. Be aware that trout season ends on midnight Monday 10 June and open again midnight on Friday 6 September.

Happy worming!

Single worms are a deadly bait at this time of year.

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