Cod may be too cool, but trout are warming up
  |  First Published: April 2017

April is a beautiful time to go fishing. The weather is usually quite stable, the days are mild to warm and the nights are cool to cold, making conditions ideal for camping.

We had a fantastic summer and I believe that the summer we have just experienced has been one of the best ever for fishing in North East Victoria, especially if you were fishing for Murray cod. The great Murray cod fishing will have subsided a lot by now. However, the fish are still there and many of them are still willing to bite.

What I find during April is that cod metabolisms slow down considerably, leading to them feed less often, so finding a hungry fish can be a challenge. I also find that fishing for cod in the Wangaratta area can be hit and miss. I have had many fishless trips in April, however, I’ve also had some of my best fishing trips in April.

Weather conditions play a big part in the cod bite this month. Lengthy periods of fine weather with a high barometer usually lead to the best fishing.

Anywhere along the Ovens River from Myrtleford to Bundalong will be worth trying, as will the Buffalo River between Lake Buffalo and Myrtleford. The King River is usually one of the best waterways around the region to fish for Murray cod, especially around Moyhu and Edi. During April, the water up there in the foothills of the alps will be quite cool, so expect the cod fishing to slow down quite a bit.

The trout fishing should be great this autumn, as the summer rainfall has seen a decent flow of water in most of the small streams. I have been having a ball catching heaps of trout in a select few of the smaller, cooler water streams during summer. As the water cools down in autumn, trout will disperse more and more throughout the system and head for new places to feed where the water was too warm in summer. The larger ones will begin their upstream migration in preparation for their annual spawning run, which usually starts around late May.

Lake William Hovell can be a great place to head during April. The trout are usually starting to bite and at the same time the redfin are usually still quite active. The trick to catching the redfin is to move around until you locate a school. With the trout, try late in the day when the shadows are getting long over the lake and trout are feeding close to the surface.

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