You have to love November on the border. The weather is heating up and we have plenty of options right on the doorstep. Every species, except for the mighty Murray cod (still in the closed season), is a possibility.
On our big water, Lake Hume should be up around 60% and rising, or at least stable due to the high volume of water coming in from the Mitta Mitta and the Murray above the lake. Certainly it’s not high water for this time of the year, but I’ll stick my neck out and predict that we will be in for a great month on the yellowbelly, much like last season. Once the surface water temperature hits 23 it means that they should be on the chew.
The best area of the lake is from the Bowna Waters ramp and down towards Bethanga Bridge. The better numbers of trolled fish are always in this area but over the past few seasons I’ve been venturing away from the numbers of boats and heading across towards the Murray Arm from the Holbrook Boat Club area up to the Whyma Ferry. We certainly haven’t yet caught great numbers on lures up this way, but there have been a few brute specimens.
Trolling will be the name of the game, but slowly walking and working the points and big rock banks will work, as will bait-soakers fishing around the timber. As for lures, lure size of 4-7cm is adequate and I suggest depths of 2-5m for the best chance of success. The locally made Merlins, McGraths, 60mm Hammerhead, 50mm AC Invader and other similar lures are time-proven.
The trout were a great success story this year and reports of captures are still filtering through, which is a testament to the very successful stockings of the bigger trout that ranged from 20-30cm. Considering the numbers that have been stocked to date, this effort of releasing this size trout instead of fingerlings is fantastic.
Great news to come too is that Fisheries Victoria will stock the lake with 120,000 trout of this size over the next three years. I know it’s a long way off, but maybe our local lake is heading for a great new era for its trout, as it was in the late ’80s.
Anglers chasing trout will best be rewarded by going a little deeper. Trolling divers like the Craftmaster Merlins or fishing leadline or a snap weight in the deeper water with cobra-style lures will be the best bet.
Down on the river, yellowbelly should be prolific and anglers prepared to cast and retrieve lures from the bank on a dead-slow retrieve near snags or drop-offs should get among them. There are always plenty of yellas from Mungabarina Reserve up to the wall this month. As is the norm with native fish, a high river and fishing early and late in the day usually brings good results.
Because the water came on late this season, the trout will be feeding up big on those stunned redfin that get flushed from the lake down into the river. On the NSW bank, the rocks immediately below the wall are the place to target them and lead fish will most likely yield best results.
The redfin should start getting into the picture on Lake Hume – great for lure and bait anglers.
On the Murray River below Lake Hume, golden perch will be keen to hit lures. Aaron Lezius shows off his catch of close to 4kg.
River golden perch from below Lake Hume are magnificent fish and full of fight.Reads: 674