Bring on the river fishing
  |  First Published: September 2015

This time of year can be joyous for many freshwater anglers, especially those trout ‘diehards’ who have been waiting for the Victorian streams and rivers to open up ever since they closed back in June.

We have had a properly cold winter this year, with a decent amount of snow melt still to work its way into the rivers during spring, so all signs are pointing to a good river season ahead, which will officially open after midnight on September the 4th.

The rivers and streams that source from the alpine plateaus will mostly likely be running too cold this early in the season and the fish will be there, but they can also be very doughy and unresponsive. Concentrate your efforts on either the lower ‘downstream’ sections of these rivers, or head to some that aren’t flowing straight off icy ranges. Generally most of the rivers will be up and flowing this early in the season, with a slight bit of discolouration.

Lure choice in these conditions can be a critical factor in getting fish to strike. Good options for typical runs and glides can be hardbodied minnows and bladed spinners, with options like Daiwa Double Clutch 60 and Blue Fox Vibrax both good options. Both of these lures ‘work’ as soon as you pull tight to them, which means you’re effectively covering every inch of moving water. Colours like gold/orange, pink and black can be good options to give the trout a ‘reactive’ bite.

For the anglers who would prefer to stay a bit closer to home and catch their trout in a stillwater environment, many of the stocked urban lakes have continued to produce fish. Rainbow trout in the 25-30cm size are the mainstay, with multiple methods working on these fish including bait, lure and fly.

Undoubtedly the most effective method has been to berley and bait fish using coarse fishing methods. Specialist ‘stocked trout’ berley worked into a fine mix has been a key ingredient in keeping active fish around, and baits of dough, Powerbait and maggots have all worked in conjunction. One of the keys to being successful with this method is to make sure that you don’t move locations once you have found a spot. By moving around you end up breaking your berley trail and sending the fish out of your area, possibly to another angler.

If you are unsure of the nearest stocked lake close by to you, there is a list of locations on page 43 in the current Victorian Recreational Fishing Guide 2015.

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-- and 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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