Prime Time to Wet a Line
  |  First Published: April 2009

Trout fishing is in its prime throughout West and South Gippsland so wet a line now before the season closes from June 8 through to the September 4.

May provides for an exciting month fishing for trout. The water temperature drops, energising trout activity, and more feed is brought in to the tributaries from rainfall run-off in the hills. Big trout will also start emerging from the hard to reach holes along the streams as they chase rapids gearing up for the breeding season.

The Tanjil River is flowing well and there is an abundance of rainbows and browns ranging from 100-500g with the odd larger specimen taking you by surprise. This could be said for the Latrobe, Toorongo, Loch and Tarago rivers in West Gippsland too, which are all still providing a lot of fun for anglers.

Going south, Shady Creek, Lang Lang and Bunyip Rrivers are fishing very well. I heard a report of small pan-sized redfin being caught in Shady Creek using garden worms under a float. If you remember back to last month’s article, I suggested the Bunyip River as a hot spot to try before the trout season closes.

I popped over to the Bunyip River near the town of Bunyip for a couple of hours one afternoon and I had an absolute ball! When I first got there I noticed the stream flow was well down due to a lack of rainfall in March and there didn’t appear to be any trout in the large pools or slow runs. My first thought was that I had directed readers to a dud spot, certainly not a hot spot. After a while I managed to work out where all the trout were hiding which led to a 100% strike rate.

After each rapid there is generally a small, deep pool that the water flows into creating turbulence. Within these deep pools were some fantastic trout. An educated guess is that the water temperature was quite warm in the large pools and slow runs, making it uncomfortable for the fish to feed. This pushed them into these cooler, well-oxygenated holes. Because of the turbulence, it made it very hard to hold a fish as it fights to get off the hook. Consequently I came home empty handed but I lost 20 odd browns ranging 200-600g. One fish I dropped was an absolute ripper that would have been well over a kilo and probably the biggest stream brown I’ve fought for a while. I was using a Squidgy Wriggler with a yellow tail on a Squidgy Finesse Head Jig 0.5g #6 and Rapala F5 in a rainbow trout pattern when I fished the Bunyip.

Another positive for the Bunyip River is that there has been extensive environmental improvement works over the last six months resulting in improved angler access to the river along Southbank Road.

Whatever your speciality, whether you are a lure, bait or a fly angler, you are sure to hook into a May stream trout before the season closes. Please email me any reports or photos or feel free to ask me any questions.

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