No matter how much we dislike them, carp are great fun to catch.
When the freshwater fishing on many fronts slows down at this time of year, you can always fall back on good old carp fishing to help pass the time until trout season opens. Eight-pound carp might not be as great a prize as eight-pound trout, but I bet they’re easier to catch and will fight as well, if not better than the trout. And if you’re looking to virtually guarantee the kids a fish on their first trip with mum and dad, then targeting carp is the next best thing to visiting a trout farm!
Reliable carp producers include Lilydale Lake, Sugarloaf Reservoir and the Yarra River. Some terrific captures have come from these waters in recent times and you should expect more of the same.
A simple running sinker with a good bunch of worms, maggots or corn is usually all that is required. However, if the carp seem a little shy, then you should try your bait under a bubble float, remembering to always give them a little time to take the bait before striking.
In tight situations you will have to react quickly to prevent the carp from running you into snags.
For those new to fishing, carp are classified as ‘noxious’ in Victoria and must not be returned to the water alive. So rather than leaving them to rot on the bank, kill them and slide them back into the water. That way, the next angler, or worse still member of the general public, that comes along won’t have to inhale a nose full of rotting fish. And it’s returning the aquatic nutrients back to the water where they belong for yabbies and other creatures to digest.
But back to the fishing. Recently, redfin have been caught in good numbers from the Rowville Lakes on worms and small Celta-style bladed lures. The best colours have been red and green.
If you are after carp, try throwing a worm or corn bait into the lake closest to Stud Road. Although the trout are there, they have not been showing themselves in great numbers.
Sugarloaf Reservoir is producing some great redfin fishing, especially in close as the larger fish chase down baitfish. Lures in a similar size to the baitfish (1.5-2 inches) are getting results on both redfin and the resident trout. Try using soft plastic minnow-style lures with a lifelike paddle tail.
Baitfishing in many of the small bays around the reservoir is also worth a shot. If you take the first road on your left as you drive into the park, there is some good fishing to be had within a short walk. But make sure you keep an eye on the signs that show you where you are allowed to fish.
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Carp are an under-rated sportfish in Australia. They’re a hugely popular sportfish in Europe and commonly farmed throughout Asia for human consumption.Reads: 1630