Check all your gear before the trout season starts
  |  First Published: September 2013

The late winter rains, although quite light for Yarra Valley standards have given much needed flow to the river.

Over the last few years the water has been high and flushing well but this year the short sharp amounts of water has not been treating the fish very well at all! Having said that, you can expect to see some Macquarie perch well on the move from now on and its not long now till the trout season gets back into full swing.

I always find this time of the year to be a good time to check that all your gear is good to go for the months ahead.

Things like refreshing your line and checking that your drag is smooth are two of the most over looked things an angler can do. If you use mono fishing line for your bait fishing (as most people do) then you should change it every season. It costs peanuts and can save you loosing that big cod in the Yarra this summer that snaffles a bunch of scrub worms intended for a perch!

It’s one thing to have good line on your reel but its another to have it put on correctly. A tackle store is by far the best place to get this done! The people that work there do it on a daily basis and know exactly what tension to put it under whilst spinning it on.

The drag system of your reel is another massive consideration and if it’s not smooth, you might as well pop it into the bin! The drag on your reel is paramount for landing a good size fish. Any 2kg+ carp in the Yarra will give you a run around the place so your can imagine what a 6kg Murray cod could do! To self-check your drag, start by doing the drag knob up to a medium to firm tension and then while holding the body of the reel, turn the spool with your other hand. It should ‘tick’ off slowly and smoothly. If it shudders or jerks when you try to turn it slowly, then you need to get it looked at. That’s where having a local tackle store comes in handy!

Getting your reel serviced and drag adjusted by someone that knows what they are doing. There’s nothing worse than hearing that spring bounce off three walls and then the dog and end up lost, leaving your reel useless and all for the sake of a 5c part.

Once your gear is back in the good books and your ready to hit the water, try a bunch of worms fished close into the bank and near a snag. This time of the year in the Yarra the fish have been eating worms for mouths and really do know what they smell like and how to find them...and fast!

Keep a close eye on your rod and try to use a ‘real’ bank stick (push in bank rod holder) instead of a branch of a tree or your outfit could end up swimming with the fishes!!

An eye on the prize

September will see anglers do best by continuing to fish with worms as bait but as the water clears, the fish will start to hit lures. Look to catch trout in the upper reaches and redfin, golden perch in the middle Yarra.

Berley will be a staple for all bait fishing activities and be sure to put in your berley what you have on your hooks! September also coincides with carp breeding in the river so don't forget to fertilise the bush with a few of these critters!

Be mindful of where you put the dead carp, as one left on the bank will only end up feeding another Pommy pest, the common fox!

So make sure you dig a hole to put them in once dispatched or take them home and fertilise your garden.

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