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Sneak in a silly season fish
  |  First Published: December 2016



With the silly season ahead and another year almost over, it’s time to reward yourself – sneak in an after-work fish chasing stream trout, or a weekend out on Blue Rock chasing bass. December is always a good time of the year for stream trout anglers, as there are been plenty of insect hatchings providing the main food source for hungry trout.

The streams are flowing well after solid winter and spring rainfalls. Surface feeding fish mean anglers can spot and approach their target carefully. This results in more strikes and ultimately more fish. If you haven’t sight fished for stream trout before, pick up a pair of brown polarised sunglasses. It adds a whole new dimension to stream trout fishing.

Most of the insect hatchings have been flying ants, various fly or midge species and small black beetles. When fishing the evening, ensure you have a collection of natural flies and beaded nymphs that will give you better luck in matching the hatch. Hatchings typically come out in the late afternoons where there is a thundery cool change expected after a warm day.

The key rivers for fly anglers looking at wading are the Toorongo, Loch and Latrobe rivers in the Noojee district. The whole stretch of the Toorongo River meanders through farmland and generally has bank vegetation on the far bank, therefore reducing the risks of annoying snags and tangles.

There is great access to the river for the most part. If you combine wading and walking the bank, then you can cover some fair territory in a couple of hours. The Tarago River in the Neerim district has many sections meandering through farmland below Neerim South right through to Labertouche which, like the Toorongo, opens up a lot of potential fishing ground. You’ll need to pick the areas you can wade but much of it can be walked along the bank.

Lures such as spinner blades, hardbodies and soft plastics are also productive methods for getting into the trout action this summer. Lure fishing for trout is a great way to kill a few hours on the weekend or sneak in a quick fish after work.

Spinner bladed lures, floating hardbodied lures and soft plastics all offer unique movement in the water when retrieved, which will get the stream trout excited. The lures mimick small fish and aquatic invertebrates, which provide a staple diet for these fish. Using lighter lines (8lb or less), light rods (1-4kg) and smaller reels (1000-2500 class) will intensify the feeling when you hook into a stream trout.

Be wary of snakes when traversing stream banks. They’ve been out and about early this year and are becoming more active as the weather warms up. Typically in this region, you’ll come across copperheads, tigers and redbelly blacks. For this reason alone, it’s worth wading the stream on the warmer days (in an old pair of shoes and shorts). This can be a good way to cool down too.

Blue Rock bass action is firing up with plenty of bass being caught on lures. Surface lures like poppers, bent minnows and cicadas are the way to go when bass are feeding on the surface. Bass are being picked up from the bank, which is great news for land-based anglers. Anglers with a kayak or boat are having a lot of fun flicking lures about in the coves and amongst the snags.

Redfin can be fun for lure anglers using plastics, bibbed or spinner-blade lures. Summer is also a good time of the year to target carp using corn or worms – it’s a lot of fun for the family. The western banks of the lake where the boat ramps are located are good spots for targeting carp.

A reminder that the river blackfish season re-opens at the end of the month and offers another target species for the streams and rivers of West and South Gippsland. Feel free to send me a report or photo. Please email me any questions too. Happy fishing!

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Hayden Greaves had a successful day out on Blue Rock recently catching two very nice sized brown trout trolling a Tassie Devil.

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