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Tarago closes with a bang
  |  First Published: July 2007



The previous month has produced some nice sized trout in the upper stretches of the Latrobe River, Bunyip River and the Tarago River downstream of the reservoir, as trout are on the move for fast flowing water for spawning.

Martin Auldist fished the Tarago River in early June below the reservoir and got onto a number of nice browns on 3” Berkley Power Minnows rigged on 0.8g Nitro Torpedo jigheads. Trout could easily be seen splashing around spawning and they were very aggressive, attacking anything cast at them.

During May there were also reports that the upper stretch of the Bunyip River had been producing good numbers of blackfish and browns on live worms dropped over snags in pools.

While many anglers tend to fish Bunyip River upstream or north of the Princes Highway, I decided to give the south side a go. I visited the river a number of times during mid-May and was pleasantly surprised to hook up to a number of pan-sized brown trout and small redfin. Most of the fish were taken on small spinners with bright red or yellow colouring cast in the slow moving water. My favourite 7g pink Tassie Devil also attracted hits by some decent sized trout of around 25cm in the deeper holes.

The Bunyip River stretches for 20km south of the highway before water becomes brackish as it flows out to Westernport Bay. This stretch of river is surprisingly picturesque with a lot of angling potential. It is not far out of Melbourne and features good public access extending along the river’s length.

The river contains typical trout and redfin habitat, with deep holes, rapids, good snags and plenty of overhanging vegetation. There is also evidence of freshwater yabbies and spiny freshwater crayfish from the extensive burrow network along the banks.

You need to be careful here as the banks along certain stretches are very steep, but there are a number of good spots to fish from and waders are definitely an advantage. The Bunyip suits a range of techniques including fly and bait fishing as well as both spinning and lure casting.

The salmonid season has closed for all rivers and streams and will re-open on September 1. Good rains in the region and snow on Mt Baw Baw have increased water levels by about a foot in the Latrobe River and Tanjil River, including other tributaries. The water temperature is dropping as well, providing ideal conditions for trout reproduction. This will create some exciting fishing come September.

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Wally Ronalds with a nice Tarago brown trout taken on a 3” Berkley Power Minnow in emerald.

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