December was a big time for us here in Gippsland, as it was the opening of the long awaited Hazelwood Pondage barramundi fishery. This was a huge event, due to the fact that this is the only fishery of its kind in the world. For those that don’t know, barramundi are a tropical species endemic to Northern Australia.
They require hot water to survive, so it has long been thought that barramundi would survive in Hazelwood Pondage, as the Power Station pumps hot water into the pondage and keeps the water temperature 25-40°C. After many years of discussion, barramundi were stocked into the pondage last year and the opening date for fishing was in the first week of December.
There has been over a month of fishing done in the lake, mainly via land-based options. A ballot was made to regulate the amount of boat fishers on the lake, due to its small size. Upon opening, the reports started flooding in and so did the photos. The barramundi take a wide range of lures from hardbodies to soft plastics, but the Bomber lures seem to work well in 80-120mm sizes. Soft plastics in shad patterns in 4” sizes also have been doing the trick, as have lipless crankbaits and vibes.
Another method that isn’t used as much and seems to be working is surface lures. The barra seem to feed at night a lot and anglers putting in the time with poppers and other surface lures are catching a few. The main size is around the 45cm mark. There have been some barra caught as large as 75cm, which is impressive considering how long they’ve been there.
Barra have pretty much taken the spotlight for the past few months. In other news, the local family fish lakes such as Morwell Kurnai Lake and Lake Hyland have been producing good amounts of rainbow trout during the school holidays. In our larger lakes such as Blue Rock and Glenmaggie, bass have been going crazy and many anglers are catching them on surface lures now, mainly cicada lures. They have been working really well on early mornings and evenings.
• For more information, contact Will at Allways Angling in Traralgon on 5174 8544. You will get expert advice and great deals on fishing bait and tackle.Reads: 405