Bait the key to early season success
  |  First Published: October 2007

In my last report I gave a rundown on some of the rivers and streams below Eildon that would be worthwhile targeting early in the trout season, so on opening day I took a drive through the area to find out what was happening.

My first stop was at Trawool, where a small group of anglers had managed to catch two small trout. Unfortunately they were very small and were subsequently released. It seems that in this area the snags had won the day by devouring most of the anglers’ bait and tackle. At least they were enjoying the fine weather and their day out.

My next stop was at Yea. First, I took a look along the Yea River. A very excited young boy and his dad were having a day out, and although they hadn’t caught any trout they did have two redfin of around 500g.

From here I stopped at the Totally Trout Tackle Shop in Alexandra and had a talk to the staff. I arrived at about 2pm, but they had received few reports as most anglers were still out fishing. The reports they had were of trout being taken on cast Tassie Devil lures.

Up to this point the water in the Goulburn River was a little more coloured than I would have expected. As I was informed at Alexandra, however, a couple of feet of water had just been released down the river. By the time I got to Thornton the water was a little clearer.

Parking the car at the popular Crusher area, on the Goulburn River, I walked along the river until I came across the Brown family enjoying the excellent weather and some very good fishing. Shane Brown, his wife Sue and daughter Courtney were fishing in a competition organised by the Keysborough Angling Club. They had taken a nice bag of brown trout, mostly on maggots, though a scrubworm scratched up from under a nearby tree had also accounted for a good fish. The maggots were used on a running sinker rig with a berley cage attached. The berley cage was also filled with maggots. Seeing a family such as the Browns enjoying their time together and catching a few fish really brings home what a wonderful sport angling is. Although I’m not convinced that Shane would agree with me, on that day, Sue was showing him how it was done.

On the way home I made a quick trip to the Rubicon River for a brief chat to Dallas Feldon from Orange, NSW. Dallas was just packing up when I arrived. While wading the river he had caught four reasonable trout on small spinners cast upstream.

On opening day of the season, it seemed bait and lures were taking the majority of fish and the flyfishers I spoke to were doing it hard. As the river settles down a little, however, this form of fishing should see a lot fish taken.

When doing a reporting assignment like this it is impossible to get around to all the streams on one day so I will try to get to the others before my next report and let you know what is happening there. Going by what I have seen however, I think you will be able to catch a fish or two in most of the streams and rivers in this area.

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