April can be a magnificent time of the year to fish the far north east part of the state. The cooling water and reliable flows in many of the region's waterways can often lead to good trout fishing.
Throughout summer the Kiewa River has fished quite well for trout. When I say well, it has fish about as well as it has in recent years. The Kiewa has for a long time been one of the best and most consistent trout fisheries in the area as it has a very well balanced number of self sustaining trout. It is not one of those waterways where you can catch 30 or more pan-sized trout a day; catches of 10 or more a day are quite rare. The upside to this is that the average size is usually a bit bigger, and there are some very large fish in the Kiewa River, which will be starting to push upstream in April ready for their annual spawning run that usually starts around late May.
Over the hill to the Mitta Mitta River it is a similar story with fewer, but larger trout, which will be starting to move upstream in April.
One of the best things about April, as the trout are moving upstream, is that you can fish at the popular picnic spots and access points that see a lot of fishing pressure and still be in with a good chance of catching a decent fish. Just like in the more remote areas at any other time of the year.
Try using brightly coloured bladed spinners in April if you are targeting trout. I have a preference for the fluorescent orange Super Vibrax with the gold blade by Blue Fox. I am unsure why this colour works so well for me in autumn. Whether it is because the bright orange resembles a trout egg or for some other reason, I do not know, but for years it has been my favourite autumn trout spinner.
Some of the regions smaller tributary creeks will also be worth fishing in April provided we have had enough rainfall to keep them flowing well. The small creeks that run into the larger rivers are the places to head as the larger resident trout from the deep holes in the bigger rivers make their way up into these smaller tributaries to spawn. Even creeks that have fished poorly all summer may be worth a try as the entire dynamics of stream trout fishing change at this time of the year.
Lake Hume will be well worth a visit if you are chasing a feed of redfin. In autumn as the nights get colder and the water cools right down, it is common for the redfin to push down deeper where the water temperature is usually a bit warmer. I like to fish around 25-30ft in autumn as I have had a lot of luck at that depth.
Redfin tend to school up in autumn as well, so you may need to move around regularly and be prepared to fish at many fishless locations. The key to redfin fishing at any time is to persevere. Once you find a decent school of redfin you may just be in for the fishing action of a lifetime. Try using small soft plastics, especially vibrantly coloured ones rigged with a 5-7g jighead. These can be bobbed up and down directly under the boat. Baits of small yabbies and worms will also catch plenty of April redfin, as well as the odd yellowbelly and, of course, a carp!
Murray cod anglers should head to the lower reaches of the Kiewa and Mitta Mitta rivers. Both waterways are regularly stocked with decent numbers of Murray cod and both now have great populations of this species. For a long time the Mitta Mitta River was stocked at Pigs Point, so this area is well worth a trip in April. In recent times the DEPI have began scattering their stockings to multiple parts of the river so that the Murray cod fishery covers a wider area.
The Kiewa River from Tangambalanga downstream to its junction with the Murray River near Albury is always worth fishing for cod. April can see the cod fishing slow down in both of these rivers, however a few cod will still be on the chew, and surface popping after sunset is a great way to entice a strike from a hungry autumn Murray cod.Reads: 1279