Head to the tributaries
  |  First Published: August 2014

The last few month’s cold weather has really slowed things up in the Yarra River’s freshwater fishing scene. A little discouraging I know, but that’s fishing Melbourne in winter!

Luckily we still have some pest species from a cold climate part of the world that revel in this freezing water and love to eat worms, maggots and lures.

Carp and roach are cold water specialists and don’t mind mooching about and snaffling down a well prepared bait. A few issues ago we talked about berley and the effective ways to fish it in a river situation but preparing and gather bait can be just as important!

When you fish with worms for bait, do you put just one or two worms on, or a whole bunch? I would always go the whole bunch. A big chewy ball of worms not only looks more appealing but in the situation where the Yarra is so discoloured, you want that bait of yours to smell like Christmas dinner - so the more the merrier!

Somewhere new

For something a little different this time let’s talk about where else you can fish that’s not the Yarra River but is still the Yarra Valley.

The thing is, most of the fish you’ll find in this entire system only need a metre or so of water to live in their whole lives, so that brings in a lot of the smaller creeks that never get fished at all. This can be some serious fun let me tell you - running up and down a small creek with a 7kg carp on the other end of the rod is oodles of laughs for you and all your mates (more so if you fall in doing it).

Also in these creek you’ll find good population of baitfish and where you have baitfish you have redfin. Redfin are great lure fishing targets, so walking and casting are still well and truly on the cards (providing the water has some clarity). One of the good things about these little creek is that they are little. This means that if you get rain, the dirty, fast flowing water is gone in a day and you can get back to fishing sooner.

These are some of the Yarra River’s tributaries that are worth a fish during these slightly colder times: Merri Creek, Darebin Creek, Plenty River, Mullum Mullum Creek, Brushy Creek and Olina Creek.

So don't cry about rain and dirty water. Head to the small stuff and bag yourself a creel full of fun. A simple bait drifting rig, a running sinker rig or a small bladed spinner will have you into fish and not missing out on your fishing fix.

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