Shocking season improves
  |  First Published: June 2014

This current trout season is about to end, and what a shocker it was for so many of us! The good news is that towards the end of April I started to see signs of improvement in one or two waterways.

This season I have been reluctant to give details as to exactly which waterways have been fishing okay for trout, and that is due to the poor season and low numbers of fish. Fingers-crossed that next season we see some kind of an improvement across the board and I can go into more detail on exactly which rivers are fishing the best.

What I will say though is that during June make sure you head as far as possible upstream if you are targeting trout as many of the trout, particularly the larger ones will be moving upstream to spawn. Also, don't forget that the trout season closes at midnight on Sunday 8 June.

If you are heading out, try using fluorescent orange bladed spinners if you are lure fishing, or even a minnow style lure as the trout may be quite aggressive and hit a minnow out of anger. Don't be afraid to use a larger lure than you normally would either, as this may make the trout just that little more aggressive than usual.

Alternatively you could head to Lake William Hovell which fishes well for trout at this time every year. Lake William Hovell is not known for its large trout, however the odd monster up to 4lb or even a little bigger does turn up.

By far the most popular method for catching trout at Lake William Hovell during winter is flatline trolling winged lures such as Tassie Devils. Flatline trolling means just tying the line to the lure and trolling; no paravanes or downriggers or anything fancy. The above mentioned techniques will work well, especially during the bright daylight hours when the fish move down deeper in the crystal clear water. At the low light periods of the day flatline trolling is the best option as the trout will often be up close to the surface feeding on anything that may have fallen into the lake and drifted such as dead insects, spiders, and tiny minnows that usually hang around the shallow edges of lakes.

Winged lures are not the only successful technique in Lake William Hovell, you can also troll minnow style lures, bait fish with worms (best after heavy rainfall) in the top end of the lake near the King River mouth or try using mudeyes suspended under a float over the shallower areas at the southern end of the lake.

My favourite technique up there is to cast blades, such as the 7g TT switchblade. These blades, otherwise known as vibes, are a dynamite way to catch trout in lakes, and are very under-rated for this type of fishing. Most of my success in Lake William Hovell has come from casting 7g blades.

The family friendly waterways in the region will be stocked with yearling rainbow trout for the school holidays. Lake Sambell in Beechworth, Stanley Dam in Stanley and Fosters Lake in Glenrowan are all very popular fishing spots for the kids during school holidays thanks to these stockings. These lakes will be stocked closer to the end of June as the holidays start on the 27th June. If I was a betting man I would say they will be stocked around the 25th or 26th of June.

Away from trout and things will most likely be pretty quiet everywhere else in June as the water in the Ovens and King rivers gets very cold and very rainfall dependent. If we don't get too much rainfall the rivers may look OK. If this is the case and you really must go fishing then by all means head out, but be very patient and be prepared to work very hard for your cod. I have caught Murray cod in the Ovens River in June, but it is not easy.

If you are targeting cod your best bet would be to head downstream to Lake Mulwala, which usually fishes pretty well during the winter months.

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