Getting deep this summer
  |  First Published: February 2014

With the summer heat well and truly kicked in, the water temperature is at its peak, which means a lot of the sports fish are holding in deeper water. Working in close along the edges is no longer the most productive method of choice for chasing natives, or trout for that matter.

Redfin are in full swing and with the limited amount of structure within Bonnie Doon it's a matter of finding a school, but when you do there are plenty of quality reddies to be caught. Fishing baits, such as worms, yabbies and shrimp, off the bottom around structure is ideal. Move from tree to tree in 20-30ft of water spending no longer than 10 minutes per tree.

In the process of chasing redfin don’t be surprised to tangle with a golden perch as they are more commonly found around structure at this time of year.

If you’re sounding up quality fish on your sonar, an absolutely deadly method to employ on goldens is a lightly weighted bait loaded with worms that is allowed to sink right to the bottom and slowly wind it right up against the main base of the tree; if there are goldens present on the structure they cannot resist this method. This is also works really well with lightly weighted plastic worms. I find it terribly hard to sit still and find this method great for keeping engaged while waiting for a bite.

If you’re after a big native then lure fishing after dark is a great way of targeting the bigger fish. Under the cover of darkness cod come out from their lair to search for a feed, and if you’ve got the right presentation you can be in for a real treat. If you’ve fished during the afternoon pick yourself one or two banks for later and when it does get dark head back to these banks and fish the bank heavily.

It is well worth employing a number of different methods, including casting the banks with lipless crankbaits, big hardbodies, spinnerbaits as well as surface lures. If there is an active cod roaming the bank for a feed it will have no problem engulfing a surface lure off the top.

Surface fishing after dark is something else, you can hear the boof and all you can do is hold on and wait to feel if the fish has hooked up. The feeling of anticipation between hearing the strike and waiting to feel the weight is an unbelievable feeling.

If you haven’t had any luck casting the bank then it’s time to start trolling large hardbodies. Start in close around 3-4m for a run, move out to 4-5m for the pass on the way back and so on until you get to 8m. Dark lures like blacks and purples create a silhouette against the top of the water, if a fish is looking up towards the surface then a darker profile is easier to see.

If you’re catching fish you can be out on the lake well past midnight, if you get to midnight without any luck it’s time to call it a night. And when you’re selecting a night to do a night troll, try and time it so that you will be fishing one hour either side of the moon rise.

It's a great time of year to be out on the water, as always it’s all about time on the water. Lake Eildon can be a challenging waterway to go for one afternoon and bag out on fish. It takes time to work out your spots, and either when you have it takes more time to catch the fish on a sharp bite.

If you have any photos or reports from Bonnie Doon I’d be delighted to hear from you.

Our Balista range of lures feature LED technology and are designed specifically for natives. View the range at www.balista.com.au or join us at facebook.com/balistalures

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