Yarra River delivers
  |  First Published: December 2013

The Yarra River is a good spot for catching a Murray cod close to Melbourne in January. Water temperature in the river is just about at its peak and this will entice the cod to feed a bit more actively, although the better bite times are around first and last light.

The region around Eltham is worth a shot as there are some decent rock bars and snags for the cod to hold up near. If you are going to try bait fishing here, some medium-sized freshwater yabbies fished lightly weighted are a good option, as normally eels will leave the yabbies alone.

Scrubworms are also effective but can be more attractive to the prevalent eels in the river. Casting 3/8oz spinnerbaits in around the timber and rock can also be an exciting way to hook up to a cod.

Sugarloaf Reservoir has been fishing well for yellowbelly this summer. Most of the fish being caught from the reservoir have been in the 3lb mark, which are nice chunky little fish. At this size, smaller bream and trout lures work better than the normal larger offerings.

A good technique has been to add a gold coloured Colorado TT jig spinner to your favourite soft plastic and slowly work the lure back to the shoreline. The subtle flash and vibration of the blade will attract the interest of most yellowbelly; and while they can be suckers for short striking a lure, the natural appeal of the soft plastic will convince them to hang on long enough for a hook set.

Another good option is to retrofit an Atomic Semi Hardz vibe with weedless double hooks and work it slowly with lift and drop retrieve around timber and drop-offs.

Devilbend Reservoir has still been producing the odd large trout this summer. The most productive times to fish the reservoir are around low light. There is also less concern about snakes during the cooler period of the day.

A few local anglers have been catching brown trout to 4kg out of the reservoir during the early hours of the morning, with large hardbodied lures taking most of the bigger fish.

If the passive form of bait fishing is more your thing, consider rigging up with a good quality sliding float with baits of mudeye (if you can get any) or even frozen glassies. By using a sliding float rig you can easily cast your rig out without it tangling, and your bait will sit at your chosen depth every time.

Lakeside Pakenham is another option for anglers out in the districts’ southeastern suburbs this month. The lake is situated within the Lakeside estate, just off the Princes Highway. While the lake is only small, it does hold some quality redfin, and has been stocked with rainbow trout in the past.

The lake has plenty of aquatic weed, which can be difficult to fish around, but the weed also holds lots of food for the redfin. Small minnow and aquatic insects are very common during the warmer months, and this is where lure fishing works well. Small soft plastics like Squidgy Critters and Berkley Nymphs fished on weedless style hooks are effective at drawing out some of the larger reddies, along with small hardbodied lures. Small lures such as Bullet Minnows are very effective on the redfin in this lake, especially in the Christmas beetle and mozzie minnow colours.

If you have had some success in these areas lately send me a photo and go into the draw for your chance to win a store voucher valued at $100. Email it to: --e-mail address hidden-- Include angler’s name, species, and the area you were fishing. For up to date fishing information, contact the guys at Compleat Angler in Dandenong on 9794 9397 or drop in and see us at 241 – 243 Princes Hwy, Dandenong, we are open 7 days a week. For our other latest fishing reports and to download information sheets, go to www fishingcamping.com.au

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