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Goulburn set to turn around
  |  First Published: June 2007



Over the last month, the Goulburn River has risen as high as 5000ML, although it has generally been holding at around 3000ML. The fluctuating levels did nothing for the fishing over the Easter period, not to mention the lake, as it has fallen to levels far lower than ever before. It may sound like a lot of doom and gloom, but thankfully there have still been some shining reports.

LAKE EILDON

The big puddle is low, and unfortunately it is also a little cloudy. However, there are some consistent anglers who can still pull fish.

One local angler caught two good-sized yellowbelly in deeper water using Jackall lures. Although Jackall TN60s are expensive, they seem to be worth it, as reports just keep rolling in on these bad boys.

Bait danglers have been doing well, with redfin between 1kg and 2kg turning up under the marina. The best baits are always scrubbies and yabbies, but a few specimens will still fall to the trusty old bobber. These redfin reports are some of the best from Lake Eildon this year.

Trout are making a slow start. They generally become the targeted fish coming into the cooler months, and as boaties swap their StumpJumpers for Tassie Devils, we are bound to get some more reports.

GOULBURNRIVER

For fly casters the Goulburn River has all but shut down this month. I have spent several nights waiting for an evening rise of some description, only to go home more often than not disappointed. Thankfully, by early June the Goulburn will be at a water-saving 30ML and what is left of the warm nights will produce some great fishing again for us. Each year we wait for this moment as it is our last chance to enjoy the river before winter and the closed season take it away from us.

Lure casters have however enjoyed a little success with a mixed bag of trout falling to some old favourite lures. Wonder lures have landed two trout to 500g while Min Mins have accounted for two fish up to 2kg. The old favourite Red Celta has chipped in with another 750g rainbow.

Vicky at Totally Trout in Alexandra had two great scrubworm reports from the Goulburn with one skilled angler landing two 3kg brownies. I have heard of others also doing well with gents and mealworms, but nothing of that size.

Boat drifters have enjoyed the higher water as they launch from Alexandra Bridge, work upstream, then drift down and beyond. The Rapala range still seems to be the most popular amongst lure anglers, with the new muddler colour doing well.

EILDON PONDAGE

I honestly don’t think that another litre of water could be fed into Eildon Pondage right now, with the water flooding over the paddocks near Riversdale Drive. This is being done so that work can be undertaken on the spillway, and over the next few weeks it will be drained to an estimated 50% capacity. With the Goulburn at 130ML, this will take quite a while.

Unfortunately, high water levels mean cloudy water. However, by early June this should have settled.

Fishing has been quite tough – fly anglers can’t seem to find space to get in and have a go, while lure anglers just aren’t having much success. Baities are the real winners with several fish starting to fall for PowerBait again. The pungent odour and bright colours have proven a winner in the cloudy conditions.

Vicky of Totally Trout reports that chartreuse colours have been particularly productive with one angler landing a nice 3kg rainbow towards Nursery Corner. Gents and mealworms have been especially productive for anglers fishing the deeper section underneath the bridge amongst the pylons.

The Pondage will get better over the next few weeks as the cooler conditions start to spark up spawning behaviours. Fly casters will look forward to lower levels and conditions suitable for wading.

With the end of irrigation season and some rain, things should start to turn around. I look forward to some good late season fishing, and hope you can get amongst some too!

Despite tough conditions, some anglers have still managed to find good trout.

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