Great suburban fishing
  |  First Published: December 2007

The Melbourne Cup Day weekend saw some steady, heavy rain throughout Melbourne and in our Yarra River catchment. In the following days, the water clarity was dirty but flow levels were excellent. The Yarra River higher up around areas such as Warburton and Reefton had a good flush out, with much of the debris from winter being cast aside and new food sources swept into the flow. This has made fishing closer to home, such as at Chirnside Park and Warrandyte, the best it has been in some time.

I tried my luck in the Yarra at Reserve Road in Wonga Park. I sighted four good-sized trout and landed one of around 700g. With the water running faster, you need to cast into the edge of the current and let your lure drift into the more gently flowing section. The fish will generally lie in the deeper holes on the edge of the current and attack the food as it gets tossed out of the edge of the main water flow. Keep persisting with this method, as the fish will watch and when confident or overly annoyed will attack. If conditions are sunny, look for shaded sections, again alongside the faster moving water.

Scrubworms have been working very well around Warrandyte for both smaller trout and Macquarie perch. If you are targeting perch, remember that these fish get spooked very easily. Allow the fish to take in the bait, but do not retrieve until you feel the second pull on the line. These fish will generally spit the bait the first time and watch if it retreats. If it stays in the water without retreating, the perch will attack again, taking it deeper into their mouth. Hook up is then just about guaranteed.

All indications are looking good in the Yarra for the forthcoming Murray cod season. For the bait angler, cod will generally take yabbies in preference to scrubworms. If you are finding it difficult locating and hooking these fish, come along and hear Roger Miles of Cod Hunter Fishing Tours, possibly the best cod angler in Australia, give a talk at the shop on Wednesday, January 23. Give the shop a ring (03 9870 7792) for further details and bookings.

Emerald Lake has also been fishing very well, as shown during our annual Cup Day interstore fish-off. Conditions were good, with Wayne having the most hits on fly and Ray on plastics. For the day, nine trout were taken, with all being released. Well done to the Ringwood boys who took home the 2007 trophy. Perhaps next year we will have it in the saltwater, and even let the Dandenong boys win for once! Although the morning was cold, fishing conditions at the lake were very good. The better fishing spots are opposite the swimming pool and the other side of the bridge. By the time we left at 9am, there were more than 20 anglers trying their luck.

For up to date fishing information, both fresh and saltwater, contact the boys at Compleat Angler in Ringwood on 03 9870 7792, or better still drop in at 92 Maroondah Highway – we’re open seven days a week, with plenty of top quality bait and a great selection of freshwater and saltwater gear. Don’t forget Roger Miles’ cod fishing night on January 23. Spots are limited so you will need to book quickly.

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