An easy day trip from the heart of Melbourne, Lake Eildon is one of the best native fish impoundments and, of course, trout lakes that the country has to offer.
Chock-a-block full of trout, it's the natives such as the iconic Murray cod and golden perch that really draw anglers from all around the state to this pristine waterway. The fishing here is already good, I can't imagine how it's going to be in 5 years time – unbelievable!
For natives, the warmer months are defiantly the go, if it’s consistency you are after. October though to December is prime.
Trout prefer the cooler water and, just before they spawn and close season, you can see some very large fish upwards of 12lb+.
Light to medium spin gear is ideal, as you can still cast light plastics and lures. When casting spinnerbaits and heavier lures, a 4-8kg rod is best. 2000-4000 sized reels with 10-20lb braid will be more than enough for most things encountered in the lake.
Bobbing for redfin, natives and trout, then a simple bait holder hook and a ball sinker running straight down to your hook is best when vertical jigging the timber with baits and lures.
Lure fishers use a fluorocarbon leader of about a rod length. The species you are targeting will determine the breaking strain you will use.
Bait fishers like scrubworms and yabbies, and will catch just about anything that swims past one.
For the native lure casters, lipless crankbaits, such as Jackall TN50 and 60, spinnerbaits and 3-4” plastics are a good place to start, and all take their fair share of quality fish.
Trolling for trout, Tassie Devils and Rapala F7 are like jellybeans to both browns and rainbows and are a must-have lure in the box.
For anglers who are looking to catch their first native and have never visited Eildon, it can be a very daunting place to start as it is such a large waterway.
Point fishing is a good method. This involves fishing any rocky point along the shoreline that goes out into the water. Fish like to hang around points, and as mentioned before, a very good place to start and catch fish if you are just learning the lake.
Just be careful when navigating the lake as there are a lot of submerged trees that can be more than 300m out from the banks. Some can be seen, but it's the ones that can't be seen that can really do damage to boats and motors and cause harm. So just remember, take your time and get to really know the lake first before getting in the boat and going flat knacker around the margins of the banks.
Try to find warmer pockets of water. The natives seem to be more active and feed where warmer pockets of water can be found.
Generally where you can see carp milling around on top they are a good indication that the water is a good temperature to find cod and yellas. So keep an eye out for carp, they can be useful for one thing.