Reds and brown stars of autumn
  |  First Published: May 2015

Trout and redfin are the main attractions for local freshwater fishing around Melbourne in autumn and winter, and now is an excellent time to be out there in search of a few.

One of the best times of year for fishing is throughout May. While it can be a cold start in the morning, normally calm overcast days provide the perfect backdrop to some freshwater fishing. Most of the local streams and creeks are at a good level to access, and are running cool enough to keep the trout happy.

Up in Melbourne’s mighty Yarra River, the trout fishing has been good – whether you’re a bait, lure or fly angler. The upper reaches of the river above Warburton East right through to Reefton are a good bet for lure and fly anglers – and also ‘active’ bait fishers. The use of waders to creep around the edges and shorter, pokey graphite rods are needed for fishing the pockets effectively. The river starts picking up some gradient above here, which can make static bait fishing a bit tougher. Brown trout to 350g are the norm, with Strike Pro Smelta and Pygmy hardbodies both very good options to twitch around boulders and eddies.

Down on the Mornington Peninsula, Devilsbend Reservoir has been producing the odd rainbow trout on Powerbait and also small trout worms fished near the bottom. Redfin to 400g have been a bit more active towards lures and soft plastics, and once a patch is found you can normally get a few fish out of the school before the rest spook. Shallow running hardbodies are a very effective lure style for the redfin here, with a wide variety of colours proving effective. Natural minnow and redfin patterns work very well, along with bright attractor colours.

You can open up a Melways type map and find a local dam or wetland on just about any page around the outer city suburbs of Melbourne, and most of these will hold fish. A lot of the wetlands and retarding basins fill up with a good dump of rain or after local creeks flood, and quite often this carries fish from one to the other. For keen anglers wanting somewhere close to go to test out a new outfit or lures, these can be perfect.

While the main species of fish between them would be carp and eels, redfin would be the next fish in the list. Redfin are able to fish their way from system to system, and in some of the wetlands they grow quite large, gorging themselves on frogs, tadpoles and aquatic insects. These fish are perfect to hone your skills on, as they will take a wide variety of lures and baits – just make sure to pack some ‘weedless’ style jigheads and hardbodies, as a lot of the dams and wetlands have lots of reeds and weed under the surface to foul your lures up.

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.

Photo courtesy of Don Smith.

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