Blackfish a great July back-up
  |  First Published: July 2007

The period up to the close of the river trout season brought reports of good-sized trout being taken from the upper Yarra region above Warburton, with only the occasional report from closer to home around Warrandyte. The recent rain has been great and with more predicted over coming months we should be in for a great season when the rivers re-open in September.

Although the rivers and streams are now closed for trout, anglers can still target them in lakes and dams, along with redfin, blackfish, carp and eels in our river systems. Many anglers have never tried targeting blackfish, but this species provides a lot of fun if targeted correctly. July is the best month of the year for targeting blackfish as they like the cold, dark water.

Blackfish hide in small, deep holes in narrow streams. Areas that have a lot of exposed roots with undercut banks will also increase your chances. These fish feed mostly at night. Use medium-sized scrubworms on a size 6 Baitholder hook, with a running sinker rig and 6lb line. Sinkers should be stopped 15-35cm above the hook. Use a shorter length for slow currents and increase the length as the current strengthens. An ideal outfit would be a 2500 sized reel combined with a 6-7ft rod. Because these fish live in tight locations, a quiet ‘hunting style’ of approach is required. Best locations are the upper reaches above Launching Place and Woorie Yallock.

Keen trouties should remember that you can still fish impoundments such as Sugar Loaf, Eildon Pondage, Rowville Lakes as well as Lilydale Lake. At this time of year my suggestion for targeting trout in the lakes would be a ‘resin head’ jighead with a Gulp! 4-5 inch Smelt Eel. This particular Gulp! is an excellent, strongly scented bait.

For the bait angler targeting trout, winter is the ideal time for using saltwater baits such as prawns and mussels, as well as scrubworms and yabbies.

If targeting carp this is a time of year when you can use garlic scented maggots. All you need to do is to add crushed cloves of garlic to the soil and over 24 hours the maggots will consume the garlic and the scent will be emitted via their skin on contact with water. This will work well over the colder winter months.

The area around Warrandyte continues to provide some fun for those targeting eels. Optimum time is around dusk. Best spots have been the deep holes using a large scrubworm and a size 4 Youvella Baitholder hook.

Had some success? Send me the details via email at --e-mail address hidden-- Include the angler, species, where caught (you don’t need to give me all your secrets) and what bait, lure or flies you used.

For up to date Yarra Valley fishing information contact the boys at Compleat Angler in Ringwood on 03 9870 7792 or better still drop in at 92 Maroondah Highway. We’re open 7 days a week with plenty of top quality fresh bait and a great selection of freshwater gear.

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