Go west for school holiday fun
  |  First Published: April 2014

There are numerous West and South Gippsland fishing destinations to take the kids over these school holidays.

Stream trout are very active this time of the year and will take basic baits like garden worms presented on a small size 4 or 6 hook, either fished under a float or off the bottom of the stream bed in the slower flowing pools. Drifting baits in moving water or flicking lures amongst structure and moving water also works a treat!

All rivers are flowing well at the moment and the water is nice and clean as we wait for some decent rainfall to flush out the system. Blue Rock Lake, 30 minutes north of Warragul, is also a great place to take the kids if river fishing is not your thing.

With daylight savings over, the fishing pressure of these streams is lifted, so more and more trout feel comfortable cruising around for a feed. For the weekend angler and families looking at wetting a line, the streams around the Drouin West, Neerim and Noojee districts will play host to a lot of nice sized brown trout with the odd rainbow trout making an appearance. Please remember these rivers are not stocked by any Fisheries programs so this region relies heavily on natural spawning stocks. The bigger the fish the more eggs it can lay come spawning season so keep this in mind when deciding what fish to take home for the plate. Releasing a healthy stream trout is often just as rewarding as catching it.

Some great family friendly fishing spots worth trying over the school holidays are:

Picnic Point is off the Old Princes Hwy in Drouin West with the Tarago River flowing through the reserve. Some great fishing can be had here with the odd brown trout reaching up to 1.5kg, but most around the 300g. There is a deep hole perfect for bottom or float fishing and upstream from the hole are a number of good runs ideal for casting a lure, drifting bait or practicing your fly casting. Picnic Point has a large rotunda and free BBQ facility, toilets and a playground, which is good backup if the fish are not biting on the day.

Fisher Road Reserve is upstream from Picnic Point, also on the Tarago River. This reserve features a constructed fish ladder between two deep pools. The pools suit bottom or float fishing. Downstream of the fish ladder is a section of river that can either be fished from the bank or waded. Popular with beginner anglers, this stretch of river once again suits the lure, bait or fly angler and holds a lot of good fish, especially this time of the year. There are no toilets or BBQs here but there are picnic tables and a small rotunda.

Rokeby Reserve is a small reserve located just outside the township of Rokeby on Brandy Creek Road. Park the car up the top and it is a short walk down to the river where there are some picnic tables and a nice grassed area. This section of stream suits drifting baits, casting lures or flicking nymphs with a short fly rod. The lack of fishing pressure means there are some very nice fish swimming about.

Latrobe River Reserve is in Noojee and spreads itself for quite some distance along the Latrobe River offering great fishing and picnic access. The main picnic ground is off Loch Valley Road just up from the shops in town. There is a large rotunda with free BBQs, toilets and a playground.

Upstream from here, there is another stretch of picnic tables off McCarthy Spur Road and offers great access to pull the car up alongside the river. The fishing here is always good with plenty of trout moving about feeding. Baits, lures and fly are all successful techniques and this stretch of river suits both bank anglers and those who want to slip on a pair of waders.

Feel free to send me a report or photo and happy to answer any questions too. Happy fishing!

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