Winter outdoors in Melbourne normally means grey skies coupled with a bitterly cold wind and possible rain – hardly conditions to drive even the most avid anglers to make an effort to catch some fish. The saving grace, even in these conditions, is that there are normally fish to be caught within a very close proximity to most suburban estates.
Fisheries Victoria provide a good amount of rainbow trout for many lakes around Melbourne and regional areas throughout the state. These trout are advanced yearlings, and ready to be caught the moment they are released.
Fisheries have stocked these fish into many local lakes just prior to the June school holidays, which means there’s still a few to be caught. While these fish were at their most aggressive just after being stocked, they are still the perfect ‘practice’ fish for all anglers, as they can be readily caught using all methods, be it bait, lure or fly.
The most effective technique for catching these trout in local waterways such as Karkarook and Emerald lakes recently has been a coarse fishing method, involving a long, light-tipped graphite rod and maggots for bait. Fishing maggots under a small float has been good, but fishing a ‘feeder’ cage rig filled with fine grit berley and a handful of maggots has been the game changer.
Once these rainbows are berleyed into an area, you can normally expect to catch a few of them, the only real trick is to make sure that you berley and cast back into the same area each time.
For the fly angler who has all but hung up the wand since the closing of the rivers, these rainbows can keep your eye in during ‘down time’. Fishing the clearer lakes such as Emerald and Pakenham with a 3-6wt floating line set up and standard 9ft leader is ideal.
Choice of fly is an open question, but generally a small Woolley Bugger or nymph can be very productive. All in all, when a lake full of ready to catch trout can only be as far away as your local supermarket it can make fishing through winter a bit more pleasant.
If you’re unsure of where your closest stocked suburban lake is, type the following link into your internet search bar:
• 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 Morgan Taggert.Reads: 207