With the influx of holidaymakers over the past few weeks, plus the very fishable water levels, there’s been many fantastic reports from all the local waterways. Large numbers of people bring with them countless methods of fishing. Although the basic game is the same, it’s interesting to see how many ways there are to play. This is why reports have ranged from Powerbait on the pondage to fly on the rivers or lures on the lake.
There have been some great reports from the lake. With the reducing water levels, fish are congregating in their favourite spots. There have been reports of four good cod measuring from 50-64cm. Three were taken from the area known as the power lines by trolling hard-bodied lures. The other weighed 6kg and came from the Delatite Arm, caught on a purple Auspin spinnerbait. These lures have also taken some large golden perch lately up to 4kg.
The golden perch took a while to fire, but some inspiring fish from 1.5-3.5kg are now being caught. Large Codger lures and Oar-Gee shads have done the trick, with the trusty StumpJumper also pulling one or two.
You’d think that with the water levels heating up, the trout would go quiet, but some monster browns to 3.5kg and rainbows to 2.5kg have been taken on scrubbies.
For redfin, the best baits by a country mile have been scrubbies and yabbies. Solid reports of redfin taken from the huge range of exposed trees have been coming in. Many anglers are enjoying multiple successes on bigger specimens.
The Goulburn River has been kept quite low over the summer period. Flows have not exceeded 4000ML and have generally been around 2000ML or less. This has allowed some spectacular fishing, with good accessibility throughout the whole system. Baitfishers using gents and worms have caught trout weighing over 2.5kg.
There have been reports from Totally Trout Fishing Centre of lurecasters landing brownies of up to 2.6kg on Celtas, and silver Tassie Devils. Paul Bamblett also caught a 2.6kg rainbow taken on a Blue Fox spinner in the section of river above Blue Gums Caravan Park.
Flycasters, not to be outdone, are having a ball on the hoppers with brownies to 2.4kg falling to the Rubber Legged Grasshopper. I don’t know how much longer this will last as a few recent showers definitely thinned the real grasshoppers out on the riverbank.
Because of the shorter days, evening rises now occur at a respectable time and several quality fish have fallen to the usual favourites – dun, spinner and mayfly patterns.
Recently I was standing on the river waiting for movement, when a fellow walked up and asked me if I was waiting for the trout to come to me. I told him that they would tell me where they were. That night I made four casts for two fish. It it was a quiet night, but sometimes you have to be patient and wait, rather than risk spooking fish.
The Rubicon River is probably the lowest I have ever seen it. There are still heaps of good-sized fish throughout the river but they are becoming extremely spooky in the low water levels. Even using grasshopper flies, it’s hard to draw them from their tiny hiding spots.
In any case, I think its probably a good time to leave the fragile smaller rivers like the Rubicon and Acheron alone and pay attention to the Goulburn which is at a perfect level.
With so many negative reports resulting from the drought, a small ray of sunshine comes from Eildon Pondage. Most lakes that are earmarked for trout stockings are in no condition to take that stocking. These fish have to go somewhere though and I’m happy to report that this is the Eildon Pondage.
Powerbait, a nice easy bait for family fun, has accounted for some large fish. Brownies to 4kg and rainbows around 3.6kg have made memorable holiday moments for a few lucky people. I’m sure many of these weekend anglers will be talking of these fish until their next holiday.
Anglers who choose to cast lures for the trout have also been doing well. Tassie Devils and Wonder Crocs are always worth a try with reports coming in of anglers landing four or five fish up to 2kg in one session.
A recent accident on the Goulburn River where a fly fisherman lost his life really brings home the fact that we play in dangerous environments. My deepest condolences go out to the man’s family. From one flyfisher to another, I can only hope you now find bigger and stronger fish willing to take your fly and rip you to the backing before you even realise.
Whether it be wading a little too deep, crossing where the current is too strong, dodging thousands of stumps and trees or even dancing around one of the many snakes that fall into the ‘ten deadliest in the world’ category, we all take risks for our sport. However, we need to think about safety every time we head out there and try to pair up when possible. Remember that the Emergency Service number from mobile phones is 112 and also that Alexandra has an excellent ambulance facility and a brilliant team of paramedics.
Those who read last month’s article would know that I was booked in for a day’s guiding with Roger Miles, the ‘Cod Hunter’. When I looked at a weather report for the Yarrawonga region and it predicted 43 degrees, I assumed that it probably wouldn’t be a productive day. Imagine my surprise when on the third snag, under Roger’s expert guidance, I pulled up my first ever Mulwala cod.
Roger skilfully guided me through the array of timber, choosing the ‘percentage’ timber, explaining why, and directing exactly where to put the cast, not always successfully. By late morning I had turned up another cod on a ‘lay me down’ snag in about five feet of water.
After a destination change to the Murray River, I pulled up a yellowbelly fairly quickly. The river produced a few more knocks but unfortunately my casting definitely affected the catch rate. As Roger pointed out quite a few times, when you need pinpoint accuracy, casting within twelve inches costs you fish.
Anyway, as a flyfishing trouty, my plan was to learn how to approach lake and river native fishing, and I could not be happier with the knowledge that was passed on. I have no hesitation recommending Cod Hunter Tours if you want to learn more or increase your catch rate. Catch his report from the Bendigo area and pick up his number in the advertisement – it will be money well spent.Reads: 501