The natives are restless
  |  First Published: February 2014

The Yarra River has been harder to pick than a broken nose over the last few months. This is all due to the weather and how it works for and against the old girl.

One thing’s for sure, the carp have been on the chew more this year than in the last 10 years. Many customers to the Compleat Angler Ringwood have been buying berley and worms and heading down to join in the fun with kids in tow.

Carp are a great resource for teaching kids the ins and outs of fishing. It also gives them a human nature and a biology class at the same time as you will need to dispatch these fish before you dig a hole to put them in!

The trout fishing in the upper river has been good all summer; although I wish that people wouldn't take as many as they do. People need to respect the waterway and realise that it’s quite fragile in its trout stocks and it’s not likely to be stocked with trout ever again. The last time it was stocked by the department was in 1966 and that was in a tributary!

I don't really care how much little Johnny likes catching trout, good on him, but I do care if he stuffs them all in a bucket with no water to take home to show mum – who will feed him Maccas for dinner and toss the trout in the bin!

The natives have been restless. Goldens and cod are on and off without really getting a chance to fire right up and any amount of time before it rains again. The water flow is critical for these fish to set up a feed station and be consistent. Some places do this better than others and the fish are more consistent but for the majority, it’s still hit and miss.

At this time of year the trout fishing fires up in some more localised areas, like Warrendite and Wonga Park because of the rivers slightly clearer moments. Keep the lure in the faster water and use brightly coloured bladder spinners like Rooster Tails and Mepps Black Fury or small hardbodies like Berkley 3B Puppy Dog and Cranka Shad.

Working the water is the key to catching fish in this river. You can’t expect them to come swimming at you and jump head first into your bucket. And I’m not talking about walking up the bank 50m or so, you have to put a good walk in. You probably need it after Xmas and New Year, fatty! So get on it and walk for a few kilometres.

You can navigate the edges of this river almost the whole way up and down in any direction so there’s no excuse, and beside the idea is to catch fish, not be within listening distance of the car radio (unless the cricket is on).

Casting everywhere and I mean EVERYWHERE is what will get you connected. Don’t always look for the long cast. The short cast along the bank or into the current can be far more affective.

Getting your tackle set isn’t as hard as it may seem. If you haven’t got the rods out for a year or two the first thing you’ll need to do is replace the line. Look for some 3kg, no heaver, lighter if you can. The hook will be the next concern; get some new ones and make sure they’re good quality. Ask the person at the tackle store to sort it out if you’re not sure. The next and most important thing is your knots and the only way to make them better is to practise them at home. Last but not least is to remember that you can’t lift any fish out of the water that’s bigger than your foot. Use a net or get to the water’s edge and grab it.

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