The school holidays provide the perfect opportunity to take the kids out for a day trip to have some fishing fun in the West Gippsland region. Surrounding forests provide shade and cool air makes Noojee the ideal place to escape the summer heat.
The trout streams are refreshing and very inviting after a flick of the lure or fly. Blue Rock Lake is also a welcoming place on a warm summer’s day. Bass, redfin and carp provide anglers with a lot of fun over the warmer months and can all be targeted from the shoreline, kayak or boat.
Set amongst farmland, native bushland and small country towns are the peaceful flowing streams of the Latrobe, Toorongo and Loch rivers in the Noojee Valley. Closer to Melbourne, the Tarago River flows from Neerim South down to Labertouche entering the Bunyip River and offers some terrific recreational areas for fishing and cooling down.
In Noojee you have a choice of three rivers to fish from. The most family friendly spots are dotted along the Latrobe River in town. There is a large playground (a good backup if the fish aren’t biting), toilets, undercover rotunda with free BBQs and picnic tables. Upstream from the main picnic area are plenty of smaller picnic tables and car parks close to the water. Access to the Latrobe River is ideal for children wanting to wet a line. For the big kid at heart, the river presents ideal wading conditions to maximise fishing ground.
There are three main picnic grounds along the Tarago River downstream of the Tarago Reservoir, which offer terrific stream access and car parks. Starting upstream, Rokeby Reserve is a little unknown picnic ground requiring a small walk from the main road and has picnic tables alongside the river in an ideal setting. Fisher Road Reserve at Robin Hood offers a rotunda, picnic tables and a nice open slow moving area to have a dip in the river. Picnic Point off Princes Way at Drouin West offers a large playground, BBQs, picnic tables, toilets and area to swim in the river.
Garden worms are simple yet effective bait for stream trout. Hardbody minnow lures with small bibs, soft plastic Wrigglers or small spinner blade lures work best in stream conditions. Dry flies to match the hatch are best fished in the evening when the trout are rising to feed. During the day, beaded nymphs are the most productive.
Blue Rock Lake fishes well and is a very popular spot now that boat and engine size restrictions have lifted. The water temperature is warming up and has the bass feeding up at the surface. Many anglers have had a lot of success on surface lures and have been catching and releasing 20+ bass a day with fish averaging 30cm. Worms and other live baits such as yabbies have been received well by bass too.
Redfin are very active at the moment and some decent-sized fish are being landed. Trout will go quiet as the water warms up and will likely be caught in the evenings as they feed off the surface. While carp might have a bad name, they are very active at this time of the year and can be a lot of fun for the family. There have also been some monster eels caught recently.
The native river blackfish season has re-opened for the year and offers an alternative target species to trout in the rivers of West and South Gippsland. Feel free to send me a report or photo, particularly if you have any success stories over the school holidays. Please email me any questions too. Happy fishing!Reads: 150