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Dive into diversity
  |  First Published: March 2014



The far north east corner of the state has been producing some excellent fishing throughout these stinking hot months. The diversity of the fishing has been fantastic with people catching all kinds of species including Murray cod, yellowbelly, trout, redfin, blackfish, tench and even the odd trout cod in the Kiewa River.

Trout

The trout fishing has been slow all season, but has kept ticking over throughout the extreme heat in a few waterways. I lost one about 3lb directly under the spillway at Mt Beauty in the Kiewa River on a stinking hot day. I was standing on the bridge and could see some massive carp. I was dangling my soft plastic in the carp’s face trying to hook one of them when from out of nowhere, a large brown trout grabbed the soft plastic and took off like a madman. Therefore the fish are there, and the spillway is a regular producer of trout as they swim upstream and cannot swim any further.

Towards the end of March as things start to cool down, some trout will begin their annual spawning run upstream and get stuck at this spillway, so this particular spot can be a real hot spot in the autumn.

The rest of the Kiewa River will be well worth fishing as well, especially as the nights get longer and the water begins to cool down a bit. March can be a red hot month to fish for trout in the Kiewa Valley, and anywhere else in this corner of the state really.

The Mitta Mitta River will be worth fishing during March, particularly around the township as the water cools and the trout start to become more active. Upstream of the township the river will also be well worth a trip. There are some very deep rocky holes in that region downstream of Lake Dartmouth. It can be hard to access, but can really be worth it as there are some truly massive trout in some of those deep holes.

The Snowy Creek upstream of Mitta Mitta may also be worth a shot during March. I have fished it a few times recently. There are a few fish in the creek in patches, but like so many trout streams this season, it has been very tough going. I can't put enough emphasis on catch and release fishing in the Snowy Creek at the moment while the creek has such a limited number of fish in it. Those few trout can turn into a lot of trout if they are afforded some protection now, especially leading up to spawning time.

Yellowbelly

The yellowbelly have been biting well at Lake Hume all summer, with anglers trolling deep diving lures close to rocky outcrops having the best results. I have also had reports of nice yellowbelly around 5lb being caught on small yabbies under the trees near Ludlow's boat ramp.

As much as I am an advocate for catch and release fishing, lakes such as Lake Hume are stocked with thousands of yellowbelly each year. Yellowbelly will not spawn up there, so it is a put and take fishery so keeping a feed of yellowbelly for the plate is perfectly fine. As long as the DEPI continue to pump the yellowbelly into Lake Hume it will continue to be sustainable, making it a great place to catch some for the table.

Allan's flat waterhole has also been producing a few yellowbelly, some of which have been quite a decent size. I recently caught a 45cm yellowbelly there on a soft plastic while fishing for redfin. About 10 minutes later the kid fishing close to me caught himself a tench around 30cm long on a bunch of worms.

Redfin

Lake Hume has been producing plenty of redfin all summer. I have been heading up there a lot this season just flicking soft plastics from the bank while I wet wade and swim. The redfin have all been tiny, but I have been catching up to 100 in a few hours and it has been a wonderful way to beat the heat, particularly later in the day as the sunsets.

Anglers heading out in boats targeting the bigger redfin have been doing quite well. Redfin to 30cm are quite a common catch around the submerged trees in the Mitta Mitta arm of the lake, and also in the Bowner area up the Murray arm.

Cod

The lower reaches of the Kiewa River have been producing some fantastic Murray cod all season. As is always the case, the cod fishing tends to fluctuate with the water. Every time water is discharged into the system to generate electricity the Kiewa River rises suddenly and the water temperature drops quickly. This usually tends to slow the cod down.

So the Kiewa has been fishing really well for cod, and will do throughout March, you just need to make sure you time your trips well!

ATTACHMENTS:

1

Brett corker snared this tiny redfin (possibly his smallest ever) on a Metalhead 40mm soft plastic minnow. Lake Hume is teeming with these tiny redfin at the moment.

2

After catching heaps of small redfin at Lake Hume recently, Brett Corker thought he had finally hooked onto a better fish until he got it in and realised it was just a stinking carp.

3

Allan's flat waterhole has quite a few yellowbelly, which should bite well throughout March.

4

A nice Snowy Creek brown trout caught on a 40mm soft plastic.

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