Anglers staying shady
  |  First Published: February 2017

We’re in the middle of the summer heatwave here in Melbourne and the trouble may be that it’s simply too warm to be out in the sun fishing. Luckily there are plenty of local options for some angling action without the relentless sun.

Devilbend Reservoir has been producing trout and redfin for shore-based anglers, with the bulk of the fish being caught during the couple of hours around first and last light. The trout have occasionally been taking Powerbait fished off the jetty or deeper water near the quarry. For more consistent results, mudeyes are the go. Redfin have been eating the same baits and will attack small lures and soft plastics fished around the weed edges. Lures in the 30-50mm size have been more effective than bigger offerings.

Melbourne’s Yarra River is also full of options for suburban anglers. Depending on which section of the river you fish, you could potentially catch brown trout, Murray cod, Macquarie perch, redfin, river blackfish and the other usual suspects like carp and eels.

The river around the Templestowe/Eltham area has been producing nice cod for bait fishing anglers who perch themselves in the shade of an overhanging gum tree. Scrubworms have been a reliable bait. Yabbies, shrimp and even cheese can also produce fish. Most of the cod in this section of river range from 25-55cm in size, but there are some much bigger specimens to be caught.

At this time of year, I and a few mates normally spend a few lazy afternoons at some of the local ornamental estate lakes and chase a few carp on fly. After a day’s work, it can be a good way to relax by the water with a drink of your choice and cast at some chunky carp. We berley up with some fine grit berley mixed in with a loaf of bread to get some interest.

Most of these types of lakes or ponds will have a duck population that people come down to feed. These carp are very aware that when the ducks are being fed, there can be a free meal for them as well. It will normally only take 10 minutes for the carp to start showing up. Once you spot a few, you can start to target them. At this point you can either fly fish for them as we do, or lure and bait fish for them.

If you’re bait fishing, a very simple rig with a small finely balanced float and small but strong hook is about all you will need. Casting a small piece of bread dough around where you have seen a carp should result in a bite fairly quickly. The only real trick is to make your bait match the bread berley as close as possible, as these fish can be very cunning at times.

If you want to use lures, small almost unweighted soft plastics normally get a good reaction, along with micro suspending hardbodies in the 30-50mm size range. Small movements to catch the fish’s attention are you need. Have plenty of pause time to make sure they can find it.

On the fly front, mix it up between small wet fly patterns and floating/subsurface bread patterns. Some carp will smash a stripped wet pattern back quick fast, while others will prefer to slurp a surface bread imitation down in slow motion. Either way, once they’re hooked, you will certainly know about it!

Photo courtesy of Morgan Taggert.

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