Trout hand over to blackfish
  |  First Published: May 2009

I’m sorry to say that the trout season ends for another season on June 8. This season gone by would be one of the best we’ve had in recent years. Reliable rainfall plus the added bonus of early snowfalls on Mt Baw Baw will certainly benefit this season’s spawning.

Reports over the last six months have indicated an abundance of small trout in the West and South Gippsland system indicating we should be in for a hot spring come the opening of the trout season on September 4.

The Tarago River upstream and downstream of the reservoir will be the best bet for big trout moving upstream if you manage some time to sneak a fish in before the season closes. The Tarago offers some of the best fishing in the West Gippsland region and has plenty of good access points for strolling along the bank or wading the stream. Fly, lure and soft plastic casting is generally the most productive method but drifting a garden worm can be just as effective.

I must stress that after hearing the disturbing reports from people still ‘fishing’ (including netting, shooting and set lining) for trout last closed season in the Tarago River, it is important to report any of this behaviour to 13 FISH.

Another couple of rivers which will provide plenty of action in the remaining days are the Latrobe and Toorongo Rivers. Spots worth trying on the Latrobe are the access points off the Yarra Junction Noojee Road between Powelltown and Noojee. The Toorongo River upstream towards the Toorongo Falls is another hot spot worth trying. The Tanjil River is also worth mentioning. The West and East Branches will see an influx of trout making their upstream from Blue Rock Lake mid to late May with all techniques being productive.

But if you have missed out on chasing a brown or rainbow for this season, not all is doom and gloom. Blackfish are a great fish to chase. The streams around West and South Gippsland have an abundance of blackfish that come alive after dark. Compared to trout fishing, it’s a very different style of fishing and a great way to get the kids into trying something different. The most productive time of day is from dusk onwards and the best way to catch blackfish is using live bait like garden worms or even small yabbies under float. Fish a float in a deep pool or slow flowing run and look out for boulders or backwash near fallen timbers as this is popular habitat for blackfish. Being winter and fishing at night, make sure you rug up, pack a headlamp or lantern and a thermos.

Please email me any reports and photos or feel free to ask me any questions.

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