Yellas and Reddies
  |  First Published: November 2005

While local farmers and our impoundments have reaped the benefits of recent rains, they haven’t done much to warm the heart of avid trout fishermen.

Since the opening of the trout season, heavy rain has kept the Goulburn River high. This has left the water very dirty, making fishing extremely difficult. During this period I’ve fished the river on several occasions with generally poor results. Baitfishing with worms has been the only productive method. But the worst of this may now be behind us, as the river is now falling and starting to clear up. This has already seen an improvement with trout taken on small Celta type spinners and Wonder Wobblers. My two sons, David and Jacob, spent plenty of time fishing the Goulburn during the school holidays and have actually watched fish moving around the shallow rock bars.

As the weather starts to improve so should the fishing. All methods will take fish, so whether you are a keen fly or bait angler you can expect to catch some fish. The Goulburn River around Seymour is not only a top trout fishery but also produces some very good redfin. The last two years have seen some excellent redfin to 1.5kg. Casting lures such as small StumpJumpers from the bank works well, as does yabbies for those who prefer bait. Soft plastics should also take a few fish. I will be trying these myself soon.

With the Murray cod season currently closed, anglers in these parts spend their time targeting trout, redfin and yellowbelly. This is where the lakes come into their own. Most of our lakes hold all, or at least two of these species. Most also hold cod, but they’re out of bounds for the moment.

Lake Mokoan doesn’t support a trout population but is still one of our best yellowbelly waters. Redfin are also present as are cod. Yellowbelly are the main target species and October and November are the best months to fish for them. As the water starts to warm, the fish become active and the fishing can be excellent. Worms and yabbies work well, but shrimp are the best by far. A cocktail of shrimp and worms is rarely ignored. When fishing Mokoan, most anglers tend to tie up around the trees. This works well but we’ve had some excellent results while drifting. Keep the bait just off the bottom.

I usually try and report on Lake Nillahcootie and Waranga Basin as these are both excellent fisheries. However there has been little or no activity at these locations over the last month. This should not be the case for long. Once that water warms up, and hopefully clears a little, the fishing should improve.

Lake Eildon will attract many anglers in the coming month. I fished the lake in mid September but could not get a fish on lures. The water was extremely dirty due to heavy rain and runoff. We did however catch some redfin on worms. Redfin fishing at Eildon will continue to improve but the main attraction is likely to be the yellowbelly. Most regular readers will be aware of the quality of Eildon yellas. October and November is when the yellowbelly become active. Trolling both hard-bodied minnow style lures and spinnerbaits works well as does casting from the bank. The large size of Eildon yellowbelly doesn’t make them much of a table fish so I tend to take a photo and return them to the water.

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