With winter well and truly knocking at the door the fishing around Melbourne tends to slow down. Most people find themselves inside with the heating on, staring out the window wishing it was warm again. But not the diehard freshwater fishers! They are out there braving the wind and rain, and catching fish because of it.
While the Yarra River is off limits for targeting trout until September, there are still other species to be caught. Most commonly are European carp, especially in the middle reaches of the river. While a lot of anglers regard carp as a pest, they grow large in the river and can be fun on light line. Baits of corn, maggots and dough work well, especially when the same baits are used to create a fine berley trail.
If carp don’t quite do it for you, there are also numbers of redfin, Macquarie perch and Murray cod to test your skill on during the cooler months of the year.
Lilydale Lake is normally a good lake to hone your skills on some big wily trout during winter, with plenty of rainbows over 5lb in weight caught from here in recent times. While the lake does warm up in the summer months, most of the year the water temperature is suitable for these trout. Powerbait is a solid performer here and would probably be the undoing of most of the trout in the lake, with the rainbow colour being the pick of the bunch.
Lilydale Lake trout also seem to be partial to cast and retrieved Tassie Devils in the 7g size. The lake is normally fairly discoloured so take this into consideration when choosing colours.
Emerald Lake is another stocked lake close by for some family fishing. Situated only a few minutes out of Emerald, the lake and surrounding park is popular for picnics, walks and also has the iconic ‘Puffing Billy’ track running through the park. On the fishing front, Emerald Lake is normally stocked with around 500 rainbow trout during the school holidays. These fish make great sport on light line and can grow to reasonable size in the lake, which has plenty of food items such as mosquito fish and yabbies. The best method for catching the rainbows here is to use a suspended Powerbait rig, where the bait is able to hover above the muddy and weedy lake floor. Lure anglers will catch a few fish by using small insect imitation soft plastics, along with small floating hardbodies.
Out on the South Eastern edge of the suburbs is Casey Fields Lake. This small lake is situated towards the rear of the Casey Fields sporting facility, in Cranbourne. The lake is stocked with rainbow trout during the school holidays and many young anglers enjoy catching a fish or two from here. As these trout are artificially stocked, dough and pellet type baits work the best. A bag of Zealcol’s ‘freshwater pellet berley’ works wonders on stocked trout – and can be used as both bait and berley. An ideal rig for this lake is a small weighted stick float, which will keep the kids amused as it bobs under, while keeping the bait away from the scattered rocks on the bottom of the lake.
• If you have had some success in these areas lately send me a photo and go into the draw for your chance to win a store voucher valued at $100. Email it to: --e-mail address hidden-- Include, angler’s name, species, and the area you were fishing. For up to date fishing information, contact the guys at Compleat Angler in Dandenong on 9794 9397 or drop in and see us at 241 – 243 Princes Hwy, Dandenong, we are open 7 days a week. For our other latest fishing reports and to download information sheets, go to www fishingcamping.com.au.Reads: 810