Yellow belly the prime target
  |  First Published: October 2013

With October upon us we can see Mother Nature starting to do her work with some beautiful spring days constantly warming up the water and getting those fish more active.

It’s time to start chasing yellowbelly in earnest. Traditionally they will appear in strong numbers around the channels at Kow Swamp, Gunbower Creek and Torrumbarry, so everybody’s got the opportunity to walk the banks casting lures such as Jackalls, Hammerheads or Predators.

I like to use a baitcaster loaded with 20kg braid and fluorocarbon leader but if you prefer a spinning reel set up you will get similar results. Don’t forget to check your leader regularly as it will get damaged on rocks and snags and better to keep replacing it than to lose the fish you have been waiting for.

If trolling, just downsize your lures slightly from your large cod lures and try a variety of colours depending on weather and water conditions, changing every 20 minutes if you have no results.

For those wishing to bait fish I would be trying scrubworms or yabbies and shrimp as they should start to appear around this time. Try a running sinker rig with the smallest sinker you can hold bottom with about a 2/0 hook or if using shrimp downsize slightly and put on a few as I find better result presented in a clump.

Soft plastics are always a good option, but invest time adjusting your techniques and observing what the plastic is imitating and using the rod action to accommodate it.

Other spots I would target in our area would be the Goulburn especially now we have had that flush from recent rains. This system can produce both yellows and redfin at this time of year, and the Campaspe always produces fish with its great holes small straights and some very interesting snags where the fish hang out so be prepared to walk the banks and you will access parts that people wont get to in cars.

I managed to get a couple of hours on the water with Shaun Clancy of Humminbird fame the other day and while Shaun’s boat has a huge sounder and all the latest technology he showed us the massive advantage in side imaging and the view it gives of structures and a great insight to where the best spots to troll or angle.

You don’t need to go to top of range to get this type of technology so it is now affordable to all anglers and this is a great time of year to update that type of gear.

So enjoy the spring and get out and get amongst them.

The author caught this great 47cm yellowbelly at Torrumbarry and released after the photo.

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