Blue Rock abuzz
  |  First Published: July 2016

Hasn’t Blue Rock Lake come a long way in recent years? Last month I was reflecting on when I used to intensely fish Blue Rock, where many weekends in the cooler months were spent trolling for trout.

I’d put a lot of time and effort in and had some good outings catching plenty of small trout and managed a couple of trophy 3kg plus specimens too.

During the warmer months I’d target carp for a bit of fun. After work I’d slip down to my favourite spots on the shoreline and cast out corn on a very light rod and reel outfit and eagerly anticipate the scream of line when a carp strikes. I’d always have an extra rod with me flicking out a soft plastic or lure targeting small redfin to pass the time.

Then I discovered carp don’t mind soft plastics either. There was many times where I’d launch the boat or kayak at the boat ramp on a beautiful day and have the lake all to myself for the day.

Now it’s a complete contrast! It’s great to see Blue Rock abuzz with activity thanks to the successful stocking programs of bass and the lift of boat and engine restrictions on the lake.

With the hype and increased activity now on the lake, it’s an important reminder to ensure boats and kayaks have the right safety equipment when heading out and that users are doing the right thing. It’s a bit disappointing to find out that recent safety checks by authorities have seen many boat users are failing to comply. The most common things people are getting done for are occupants not wearing life jackets and not carrying a boat licence or recreational fishing licence while on the water.

Southern Rural Water has now stepped up its presence with a recent purchase of a compliance vessel. Having increased presence on and around the lake will hopefully encourage more people to comply and to operate their boat or kayak in a safer manner.

The streams of the West and South Gippsland regions are flowing dirty with some much-needed rainfall finally hitting the catchments. Conditions probably haven’t been ideal for the trout spawning season, as many streams are flowing much lower than usual.

While the trout season is closed, blackfish and eel are the alternative stream fish target and can be a lot of fun on light gear. The key spots to look out for along any stream are dark pools and deep holes, which provide blackfish and eel the perfect habitat to snare their prey. They are ambush predators and can take their time before seizing a well presented garden or scrub worm.

Fishing for these species is best in the late afternoon when the sun sets below the hills and those brave enough to spend a few chilly hours out in the dark are often rewarded for their patience. Key rivers holding blackfish and eel include the Lang Lang River from Hallora right down to Lang Lang, Bunyip River up at Labertouche flowing down to Koo Wee Rup, the Tarago River, Latrobe River and its tributaries. The season for blackfish closes on the 1 September for 4 months, and eels can be targeted all year round.

For those anglers still itching to catch a local trout over July, head to Blue Rock. Blue Rock presents a large area that can be covered on foot along the southwest bank, offering ideal conditions for bank fly casting, lure casting and bait fishing. Entry points for land-based anglers are at the two boat ramps at either end of the lake. There is now a fantastic walking track along the shoreline from the Tanjil Arm boat ramp to Blue Rock Road in town. This opens up plenty of land-based fishing ground.

The lake has dropped over summer, so there is no vegetation along the shoreline now, but trout are still in close chasing shrimp, small fish and insects.

Feel free to send me a report or photo, particularly if you have any success stories out on Blue Rock Lake or if you have been targeting eel and blackfish. Please email me any questions too. Happy fishing!

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