First and foremost, summer is finally here in Melbourne! We are already seeing the follow on effects from the wet winter and spring that we have had, and this excellent fishing should continue right throughout the next few warm months.
Most of our dams, lakes and rivers are running high and there will be an abundance of food to give all of the fish species some condition, so hopefully if you catch a fish it will be a nice one!
Murray cod season is now open and these fish can be targeted in the middle reaches of the murky Yarra River. The Yarra has plenty of good habitat for fish like Murray cod with steep banks and fallen gums, submerged willows and scoured out rockbars all providing the perfect ambush points for these fish.
Most anglers will notice that as we move into the heat of summer the cod activity will pick up as they go on the prowl for a serious feed. The section of river around Wonga Park is a good area to try for cod at the moment, as it has plenty of mid-river structure to target, whether you’re bait or lure fishing.
Over the cooler months, there have been quite a few small Murray cod caught in this region by anglers fishing for redfin with worms, which is a good overall sign for the river. Scrubworms catch their fair share of fish in the Yarra, and they are a readily available bait from most good tackle stores. They are a great option for a relaxing bankside session on a warm summer afternoon.
Things have been a bit slow over at Sugarloaf Reservoir, with either very few anglers fishing for yellowbelly, or reports being kept secret. Either way, though the reservoir is still worth a look for lure anglers looking to hone their yellowbelly tactics over summer.
On the trout front, Emerald Lake has been a good option for solid yearling rainbow trout using most fishing methods. Employing coarse fishing tactics with small hooks, feeder cages and fine grit berley can be an excellent way to get a bite going.
A popular area to set up your rods for this form of fishing is either side of the footbridge in the centre of the lake. There is a nice deep hole here with a fringing weedbed that is a perfect spot to berley up a school of trout.
Fly anglers looking for some action can also have some fun in the lake, with evening rises around the lake giving plenty of options to cast at. If you are seeing trout regularly ‘swirl’, then more often than not they are actively taking insects from the first few inches of the water column. They can be tricked by either fishing a small unweighted nymph, or midge/buzzer pattern fished super slow just below the surface.
On the peninsula, Devilbend Reservoir is fishing well for trout and redfin around the shoreline of the lake. There have been some very nice trout sighted by anglers pushing right into the edges on the lookout for a trapped school of minnow or shrimp, and occasionally these fish can be tricked before they spook.
Approaching from a distance with a super stealthy approach with soft-landing lures or flies will normally get a look, but if you trample into the water and fire casts willy-nilly then get used to seeing the bow waves heading in the opposite direction!
One angler who is starting to piece together the Devilbend trout puzzle is local angler Jinsu Park. Jinsu has had his fair share of disappointment from the lake, but persistence has trumped and Jinsu has managed some very solid trout from the lake. Most of the larger fish been in the lake are brown trout and these are the fish that he has been catching. Jinsu has been using long-casting hardbodied lures and spoons along with small creaturebait-style soft plastics and he has had success with both. He tends to fish around the weed pockets and sandy shorelines. I have spoken with Jinsu and above all, persistence seems to be his tactic when targeting the lake’s trophy trout.
If you manage to get out and wet a line around Melbourne and the surrounds over the Christmas break, good luck and stay safe. Hopefully we’ll see you early next year for the January 2017 edition!Reads: 42