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Nuts nights on natives
  |  First Published: April 2015



The Full moon in early March was much anticipated for many local fishos. It was almost perfect fishing conditions both weather and water wise around the full moon.

Rivers

The full moon saw plenty of local anglers heading out to the river for full night sessions and those who put the hours in were not leaving disappointed. Dozens of reports of 10-15 fish being caught in a night session both on topwater lures and deeper running lures such as hardbodies and spinnerbaits. The Broken River from Benalla to Shepparton produced good fish and many caught 2-3 legals a night and to my pleasure all reports I received were from anglers practising catch and release, which is great.

The waters upstream of Caseys Weir produced the most numbers of fish in March with the biggest reported to me being 85cm.

The Goulburn River ran a bit faster than the Broken in early March and this made bait fishing harder but anglers just up sized there sinkers and still got good fish. Yellowbelly on scrub worms or trolling the new Old Mate Lures were the most successful methods reported to me and to local tackle shops.

The Goulburn is a relatively easy river to troll if you launch at the main ramp and head upstream, you can find nice straights of 10-12ft, which turn into 18-22ft bends. In the past, trolling right down the middle with green, black or purple lures has been dynamite.

The catch rate of yellowbelly has been a bit of a surprise as they normally bite well prior to Christmas and drop off around the summer and autumn months. The average size yellowbelly is now hitting the 40-45cm mark in our rivers, which is a great sign. There is a lot more anglers releasing fish so that could be a reason why we are now seeing a lot more larger fish being caught.

There was one report of a 54cm yellowbelly caught on shrimp in late February, which is a cracking fish.

In April the number of fish being caught may start to slow down but I think this will depend one how much rain and how warm the weather stays. The summer didn’t produce as much heat as I expected and it may cool off quicker than usual.

Hopefully the weather’s good and we can all get some late season fish before the winter kicks in, we also hope the weather’s good for the upcoming Toolamba Fishing Club Fishing Classic to be held on Friday 3-4 April.

If you’re not heading away over the Easter weekend I suggest you get out to Toolamba, the fishing club out there put on a great event aimed at family fun. There are heaps of prizes up for grabs, plus a live band and plenty of yummy meals to have while enjoying a fish on the Goulburn River.

For more info get onto the fishing club via there website and let’s all keep supporting our local fishing events. Go to www.toolambafishingclub.websyte.com.au

Kialla Lakes

The lakes are still very frustrating and exciting at the same time, one day you may not even look like getting a fish and the next you will get non-stop hits and land one or two nice fish. This has been the pattern the lakes have taken for the last couple of years.

The water clarity is still very dirty and hopefully the council will do something about the lakes as they are fast becoming a swamp like waterway. The only positive was a rare catch for some with two catfish being reported caught on live shrimp in lake number 2.

Craigmuir

I have not received many reports in the past month for Craigmuir, but the fishing is really good from what I hear and everyone who fishes it is keeping it a secret or its just having a quiet patch. If you fish the lakes and you are not a lure fisher, try to get your bait as close to the willow trees as possible. Fishing from a kayak will be the best bet but sometimes it’s hard to baitfish from a yak. I have seen people bob or jig yabbies or shrimp under the willows and having success. This method could work with the Mask Vibe Jackals or any type of vibe as well.

Shepparton Lake

All the talk about the Shepparton Lake has not been about fishing but a massive art gallery, I am not sure if it’s worth the cost but hopefully whatever they do does not affect the fishing.

The trout will now start biting a lot more if the weather cools off. The trout are fun and easy to catch, just be patient and wait for them to rise either early morning or late afternoon. Once you see the small boil, cast your small hardbodies or vibes in that area. The trout will take lures up to about 60mm if they’re in the zone, but I tend to try matching the hatch and using smaller lures. Anything with a bit of gold or silver works great in the Shepp Lake.

If you’re not after trout, then there will still be redfin and yellowbelly on the target list. Trolling the rowing lanes has been producing good numbers of fish but be careful, as the rowers don’t like to turn and they move pretty quick, so if you’re in a kayak you may have to keep clear. If you’re in a boat you will be bigger than them so they normally move to the side.

The council are holding their fishing nights in the park in coming weeks so keep an eye out for this and get down there. It is a free event and is normally held on a Friday night between 6-8pm.

Waranga Basin

The wind has died down and the fishing has picked up, the redfin are again schooling up and feeding on large schools of baitfish.

There has been plenty of reports of Rushworth locals getting out to the Basin during the middle of the day and bagging out with 40-50 redfin in a 3- 4 hour session. The key is locating the schools and once you have done that almost anything will work. Bait, lures or even tinfoil wrapped around the leader has worked.

One report was from a local resident who ran out of bait but had some aluminium foil from lunch, so he wrapped the leader in a inch or so of foil and jigged and bounced it off the bottom with great success.

Trolling metal lures like you would for tailor in the salt is the cheapest and easiest option when the redfin are so aggressive. The only lures I would be using is TN50 Jackalls or a 10-15ft Codger in a red or pink colour.

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