Big lures for big pre-spawn trout
  |  First Published: April 2016

This month will be a slightly quieter report for the area with the final stages of summer heat starting to blend into a bit of autumnal coolness.

The smaller creeks and streams have struggled a bit over the latter summer period with minimal rain and continued higher temperatures and the extended mass of grasshoppers that were keeping the trout active during the day have finally dropped off. This whole year so far has been incredible for fishing for trout with grasshopper or grasshopper imitations for the angler that are keen enough to spend the time.

The few falls of rain we had recently have triggered a couple of good sessions of bait fishing for our local trout population. It’s amazing how trout will ‘appear’ in areas that seemed vacant after a bit of rain and the subsequent increase in flow and discolouration of water. This will continue into autumn as the rains become more reliable and more significant. The trusty old earth and scrub worms are unbeatable during this period when the surrounding earth, grass and leaves become more suitable to the worms that are readily flushed into the systems during rain periods. Maggots, mudeyes and artificial baits such as dough and PowerBait will still catch plenty of fish, but the good old worms will be the better bait.

Strangely enough, the Goulburn River will start to back off a bit with regard to flows as the irrigation requirements stop and the season comes to an end. This major system of our area is still influenced by rainfall events, particularly at this time of year. As the water flows reduce and daylight hours decrease, the mature trout throughout the system will instinctively start to go into spawning mode and feed much more actively to build condition and egg or gonad production.

Don’t be scared to fish the suitable sections of waters with bigger than normal lures in the next couple of months. Instead of 5-7cm lures go to 10 or even 15cm lures to catch the attention of the mature fish that are working towards spawning condition. My personal first choice are the ‘minnow’ style slender lures that can be worked at quite a fast action while retrieving downstream to catch the eye of the fish facing in to the current.

Choose lures that are suitable for the water you have decided to fish, for example use smaller sharp-angled bib for shallower sections, and big shallow-angled bib for deeper sections.

The Eildon Pondage is still fishing very well with recent stocking of brown and rainbow trout of 350-400g and a few more of the ex-hatchery 3-5kg fish to keep anglers on their toes and in with a real chance of landing an absolute trophy fish. When the fish first go into the pondage they will actively feed on very bright lures such as lime green, flouro orange or bright pink lures. Once the fish become acclimatized to their surroundings, they will then be more readily likely to chase lures that imitate the local smelt and gudgeons that are available in the system.

Bait anglers will encounter the same scenario – bright baits like the PowerBait pellets and local dough will entice the newer fish and the natural baits of worms and mudeyes (particularly spider mudeyes) will work better on the fish that have been in the systems longer.

Come and enjoy the now quieter area and make the most of the best weather of the year.

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