Pondage and Lake Still Open
  |  First Published: July 2006

Another riverine trout season has been and gone but keep in mind that Lake Eildon, an awesome trout fishery in it’s own right, is still open to fishing, as is the ever-productive and regularly stocked Eildon Pondage.


Right up until the season closed I received trout fishing reports from the Goulburn River. One flyfisher was very successful catching several fish before the bell, the best of which was a 4kg rainbow. The majority of these fish were caught on dry flies during the middle of the day.

In general, the evenings have been too cold to produce the insect activity for a good rise. Far more likely have been insects that emerge at about 2pm, particularly in the slow deeper pools and runs.

One report from lower in the Goulburn was of a lure angler who weighed in a 1kg female brown that had already dropped her eggs, She had distinct signs of fin and tail damage from her recent spawning effort and was caught on a CD 5 Brown Trout Rapala.

In early June we saw DPI Fisheries vehicles patrolling the ‘no-fish’ zone at the Pondage gates. This is great to see and will hopefully deter those people looking to do the wrong thing when the river’s spawning trout are so vulnerable.


Some very good reports have come back from the lake recently. Heidi weighed in a 2.5kg brown from two anglers, Jason and Simon, who had caught and released a further five trout. These were caught trolling in the Jerusalem Creek Arm.

Renzo Simonetti also had a great day out there catching five fish to 2kg on pink Tassie Devils, trolling the area underneath the powerlines in the main arm.

I’ve spent some time out on the lake myself recently with limited success, trolling all the way up Big River with the electric motor on ‘stealth mode’. The only success I had was on some smaller fish, which took an interest in the new StumpJumper colours, particularly the rainbow pattern.

Brett Creighton (you might remember his photo in last month’s VFM) also had success with small StumpJumpers and Rapalas.

Rick from Outdoor Pleasure in Mansfield reports that a few trout have been caught up his way but they’ve mostly been small. He said the majority of the redfin had dried up, but surprisingly there was one yellowbelly reported in early June taken on scrubworms.


The Pondage is still producing some monster trout. A local flyfisher landed a large 10lb+ rainbow in perfect condition recently. Most anglers are still getting into fish around the 2 to 3kg mark quite regularly.

In a recent session I managed five fish in 25 minutes. It’s not always that good but when the Pondage fires she can really go off! The best fish was a 2kg brown that took a size 8 Bushys Horror.


Lure casters have been producing some good fish from the Pondage too. Local butcher Craig Frean picked up a real beauty recently on the ever faithful 10g Wonder Crocodile lure.

Craig had a black day with me one night when, between us, we enticed several fish to the fly without one solid hook up.


The best bait by a country mile has been orange PowerBait. When you think about it, it really does make sense. Orange PowerBait smells fishy, is the same colour as trout eggs and, when fished properly, suspends in the water column.

Just remember that using real trout eggs as bait is illegal.

Very recently the Pondage was filled to capacity again and will now be left to drain. Come July it will be down a bit but at a good level for flyfishing. Bait and lure anglers will no doubt have all the usual haunts stitched up.

Closed Season Clarification

Although the trout season has closed in the rivers, the Pondage and Lake Eildon, along with the bulk of lakes elsewhere in the State, remain open to all forms of fishing. Make the most of it because trout fishing in lakes is at its best during the cooler winter months.

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