Bass continue to be the star of the show
  |  First Published: November 2015

This month the fishing really heats up for both stream and lake anglers in the region. The streams of West and South Gippsland will start firing up with late-spring insect hatchings that will excite stream trout and fly anglers alike. Blue Rock Lake is fast becoming a bass hot spot for sport anglers and with insect hatchings and warmer waters bringing bait fish to the surface, there’s no doubt there’ll be some hot bass surface action over the coming months.

The streams around the Noojee District have been fishing well with plenty of small stream trout keeping fly, lure, and bait anglers happy. While the fish aren’t big, they are plentiful, in good body condition, and a lot of fun to catch and release on light gear. The odd small rainbow trout are swimming about but brown trout remain the predominant species.

Providing there are no late season downpours, most streams will start to clear up nicely over the coming month. Many streams are well vegetated and are best tackled by wading upstream and casting into the many pools and runs where trout are feeding. Beaded nymphs work best this time of year and as the water flow starts to slow down, it will be wise to fish the evenings with dry flies to match the hatches.

At this time of year, the pick of the streams has to be the Toorongo River with its picturesque setting. The river meanders through farmland with a bush backdrop so even if the fish aren’t biting on the day, it’s still an enjoyable day out. What makes this stream such a great spot is the number of trout feeding zones. Waders are not a necessity but are helpful in some areas. Much of the river downstream can be accessed by walking along the banks so lure anglers can have a lot of fun here too. Soft plastic wriggler tail grubs and small floating minnow hardbodies are dynamite on actively feeding trout.

Blue Rock Lake is fishing really well for bass with many fish now being caught and released. Sizes vary with some thumping 40cm+ specimens caught recently. Many anglers are having fun with these healthy bass ranging between 25 – 30cm alongside plenty of hungry little nippers putting up a decent fight to rival their older brothers and sisters. Bass are being targeted with a variety of methods.

Over winter bait fishing down deep has been the most successful method but as the water temperature warms up, lures will be the chosen approach by many anglers. Casting surface poppers, spinnerbaits, shallow bibbed hardbody minnows and soft plastics are all proven techniques with aggressively feeding bass. Surface lures will be fishing well when bass are feeding up on insects, bait fish and shrimp.

When the weather isn’t as inviting for lure casting, bait fishing with scrub and garden worms close to the bank in amongst snags will still do well. When you find the school, jigging with soft plastics or hardbody jigs work a treat as well. Finding the fish can be hard but if you are prepared to move around and cast a lot, then you can expect to have some bass fishing fun.

A reminder also that Blackfish season is still closed until December 31st.

Please feel free to send me any reports or photos. Happy fishing!

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