That’s right, spring is here and that means the start of trout season! OK, for some it’s a solemn event as it also means the end of Murray cod season, but the Lake Eildon golden perch should keep those who chase the natives happy too.
The lake has hit 21% of capacity and hopefully will rise further with some spring rains. Spring is the wettest season up here, with the lake usually reacting positively to good inflows and, if the powers-that-be keep the Goulburn River low, very little outflows.
Rising water levels mean one thing: it’s a great time to start chasing the golden perch around the edges of the lake. Some of my favourite spots to target include the Delatite Arm, while there is enough water to safely navigate your way between the timber.
Don’t discount those steep rock banks opposite Woolshed Inlet on your way up there, either. Another place to keep in the memory banks is good old Collier Bay, or Frasers, as this area produced some thumpers last year, all trolled up on smaller bibbed lures.
Speaking of last year, the other end of the lake under the Big River Bridge was a real winner during the Pro Fish Tournament, where the winning team not only bagged out, but also upgraded on more then one occasion. Spinnerbaits and crankbaits still seem to be the favourites, but this year I intend to use another lure I purchased in Yarrawonga called a Jabbabait. It’s very similar, but much stronger, to the chatterbait when cast into structure. The recent lunar eclipse seemed to stir up some interest with a few golden perch being caught on the lake.
The Eildon Pondage is at a good level for wading. It has been a bit discoloured, but still seems to be producing fish. Fishers using a range of bait including gents and Powerbait have been catching fish up to 1kg, but they are using heaps of berley and working hard, putting in some long hours to catch fish.
This month I didn’t spend a lot of time on the Pondage, but one session out there with my dad produced two fish on Bushys Horrors, both around 1kg. Wading out in the shallows and casting into the channels seemed to be the only method that worked, as most of the regular spots haven’t been producing.
One of the main things that can adversely affect your trout fishing experience is water fluctuation, and with no rain in sight you would feel pretty confident…right?
Wrong…all they need to do is let more water out, and the Goulburn goes up! We all know that the slightest fluctuation can really put the fish down, and with the lack of reports I received from the Goulburn over opening weekend, I can only put it down to that. Great timing guys, right at the start of trout season!
There were a few fish up higher, towards Eildon, that fell to gents fished under the willow trees, with the largest coming in at 750g. They were a little under conditioned, which you would expect at this time of the year. Down lower towards the Breakaway there have been trout caught on small spinners, as anglers poked around in the shallows before the fish became too spooky.
Both the Acheron and Rubicon rivers are at perfect levels, with both running clear and ready to be fished. They can take a little longer to fire up, but with these recent weather patterns it could fish early this year.
One great report from the Goulburn River needs to be mentioned, even though it’s from Shepparton. Chris Mackay caught and landed a thumping cod of 120cm, and an estimated 70lb. You read right, this thing is an absolute monster.
Chris is an extremely good angler, and I usually partner him in the Pro Fish Tournaments. I can only hope he duplicates this effort in our next comp, congratulations mate on the ‘magic metre.’Reads: 716