With the heat of summer now a distant memory, it is transition time for most fish species. The trout are feeling the temperature drop and starting to think about their annual spawning run and will be out to feed hard.
Redfin are also gearing up to spawn now that the temperature has cooled, and will start to push deeper in our lakes, forming some massive pre-spawn schools that should get any redfin angler salivating.
The natives feeling the change will also be looking at getting as much tucker into their mouths as possible before the lean times of winter ahead. With all this going on, you might think it is hard to work out which species to target, but clearly my answer to that would be all of them!
With the natives at this time of the year and all the way through the winter months, the bigger the presentation the better. So if you’re bait fishing, use larger yabbies, shrimp or grubs.
Lure fishos will probably do best with big lures. In hardbodies either trolling or casting, I wouldn’t use anything under 90mm and I’d strongly suggest using lures as big as you can get, up around the 150-200mm mark.
As it is getting late in the season and most fish have seen a lot of fishing pressure already, it would also pay to try something a bit different to help those big, wise fish to let their guard down. Try any new lures you can get your hands on, or something as simple as putting a rear teaser on your favourite lure, either of which could result in the fooling of a trophy fish.
Right now and up until the close of the season will see the best trout fishing. Trout are also switching into spawning mode, so they are both hungry and keen to pack on condition before making lots of little trout. On top of this, they are super aggressive towards most other trout, regardless of size. What this means for the angler is sensational fishing, especially with lure or fly.
Lure anglers will do well on bright spinners, as well as any trout-shaped lure. Slim minnow style hardbodies in floating, suspending or sinking designs will all account for fish over the next month or so. Try using lures that are either trout coloured or anything with orange and/or red in the lure, as this triggers some super aggressive attacks.
Fly fishos may still have a bit of luck with big ’hopper imitations, but it is very hard to beat the consistency of nymphing and/or glo-bugging from now through to the end of the season. Simply rig up your nymphs and/or glo-bugs so that they bang along the bottom while drifting, and you should have a bent rod for most of the day.
I am super pleased to report that on the February 6 Mannus Lake had its official re-opening. The floods that wiped the impoundment out are now a distant memory, the wall has been rebuilt, and the major access area has had a major revamp. The now full lake looks even better then it did before the wall broke, and will be a second home to many an angler.
On the opening day, my other half and I were lucky enough to help out with the first native stocking into the lake, with over 5000 golden perch released. These goldens were the staple of the old fishery and they attained true trophy size in less then 10 years last time round, so it is possible that we may have another top golden perch fishery on our doorstep in the not too distant future.
After speaking with Fisheries, I was informed that there will be regular stockings of both Murray cod and golden perch into the lake, and I strongly believe it has the potential to have natural recruitment of Murray cod once they get to breeding size.
If you can’t wait for the natives to reach targetable size, I am also pleased to report that on February 7, Fisheries stocked 5000 trout, which will grow far quicker than the natives and should be catchable by this winter.
On top of that, there was already a strong redfin presence, so they will probably take off in numbers and be a viable option until the trout and natives get to size and start picking them off, keeping their numbers back in check.
It has been a long wait for anglers, but Mannus Lake is now officially open and it is only a matter of time before it returns to being the sensational fishery that it once was.
I will keep you regularly posted about how it is coming along.
One final piece of good news from Fisheries is that in late February they stocked Murray cod into Adelong Creek just above the township for the second year running. This is amazing news for anglers and it will be an agonising wait to see how successful it will be. On top of the great trout fishing to be had in this creek, we may soon have native action as well, and not just in the very lower reaches.
I can’t wait, and thank you Fisheries.
Some of the 5000 golden perch being released into the newly re-opened Mannus Lake in early February. The next day, 5000 trout were liberated, and should be catchable by this winter.
Gav Williams with another big fish fooled by an Insanity Tackle Slap Walker. Giving big fish like this 460mm redfin something different to have a go at can be just what the doctor ordered when it comes to fooling big, wise fish.
Mannus Lake is now open for fishing again. As you can see, it has had a major revamp during the rebuild and now looks even better then it did before.
Looking back towards the new wall of Mannus Lake.Reads: 903