Make the most of good weather
  |  First Published: October 2014

With the rivers having been open for a month now it seems that people have taken to the upper end of the river for a spot of trouting.

This is coupled with the fact that the river is in pretty good condition at the moment. This of course can all change in an instant and generally does at this time of year with heavy rainfall, so make hay while the sun shines!

With the sun comes a slight warming of the water and this only needs to be 1/10 of a ºC for the fish down stream to start getting excited about summer.

With the warmer water comes higher metabolism and more active food sources, so expect some of the native fish species to be on the go very soon.

Also, keep in mind that there is a closed season for Murray cod and Macquarie perch, which runs from 1 Sept to 30 Nov and 1 Oct to 31 Dec respectively. These are two fish you’re likely to encounter if you bait fish the middle section of the river (Yarra Glenn to Kew). If you plan on fishing this middle section of river over the summer months, you had better prepare a small box of tackle that is essential for making it happen.

All you really need are the bait fishing essentials; hooks, swivels and sinkers. Getting the right sizes and having them on hand is the key. With the hooks, you'll need a good selection of sizes. The size will depend on which one of the various baits you use. From the humble flat tail worm dug up from under a cow pat to a tiny maggot and even a whole, live yabby! All these baits are very successful in their own right at the right time. Below is a guide to matching baits types with appropriate hook sizes.

Bait type to hook guide

Maggots size 12 - 14
Corn cereals size 10 - 12
Small garden worms and PowerBait nuggets size 8 - 10
Medium night crawlers or flat tail worms size 6 - 8
Scrub worms medium & large size - 2 - 4
Whole yabby or bait fish size 2/0 - 1

The size of the hook is sometimes relative to the particular shape of the hook and also the manufacture. Some hooks also have bait keeper slices on the shank to keep a soft bait in position and some are designed more like a circle hook. In any case, it's always best to check with a professional and visit your local tackle store for more details.

Some more points to remember are fresh bait is best but if you plan on digging it up beside the river, expect to go home hungry. You need to get your bait in advance and in all the years I've fished this river, digging worms from the bank has been a bust every time! Also don't forget the berley!

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