Catch a cod while you can
It is just 11 days until the end of August and the close of the cod season. Cod may not be taken again until the first of December when it will again be legal to catch and keep cod that measure between 55 cm and 75 cm.
The closure is to allow boy cod and girl cod time to do what they do to keep our rivers full of juvenile cod for future anglers.
Now that I have told you that, there is an exception to the closure: Lake Eildon is not considered a breeding area for cod, and any caught may be retained. However, the usual regulations regarding bag and size limits remain and must be adhered to by anglers.
So here are the rules: the cod season will close at midnight Tuesday, August 31, and will reopen on the first of December.
A couple of other events happen at the end of this month: the crayfish season closes and will stay closed until next May, and those rivers and streams or parts thereof have been closed for the taking of trout and will reopen as well. To get all of the dates and locations of closed seasons get a copy of the Victorian Recreational Fishing Guide.
The fishing, while not fantastic, has had enough action to keep anglers interested. The cod have been patchy mainly because of high river f lows which has kept the water muddy so lures have been slow but bait has been working at attracting a bite.
Fishing the backwaters and close to the bank is getting the best results; cod and yellowbelly are biting.
We are getting a degree or two warmer. The wattles are blooming and shrimp and yabbies are starting to move, and with them the yellowbelly are becoming active. The secret to catching a yellow is to use as little weight as possible. Most anglers use a running sinker allowing it to run all the way to the hook.
Yellowbelly love small yabbies, lake shrimp worms or a mixture of all of the above. They can be caught on lures and the most popular is the Jackal. It contains a rattle that attracts yellowbelly with the clicking sound they make. Other spots you might like to try include Eildon, mainly the river arms, the Murray River, Lake Hume and further up the road is Dartmouth Dam, the spiritual home of trout.
Closer to home is Waranga Basin, where most anglers are catching plenty of small redfin. Hard-body diving lures are getting best results.
The main eastern channels are also worth a try. The best fishing is usually around the structures and drop bars; the channel that takes water to Bendigo and Lake Eppalock is also worth a try especially where it passes through Rushworth.
Down south at Queenscliff, Rod Lawn from Adamas Fishing Charters said he had been bagging some quality flathead while fishing the edges of the shipping lanes as well as off Point Lonsdale. He was catching snapper along the reefs from off the bluff at Ocean Grove to the heads and inside the rip.
Rod said the silver trevally were being caught around the mouth of the creek at the ferry terminal.
At Western Port, the fishing is about the same, with the best fishing along the rubble beds off Hastings and towards the steel works.
Not much action from whiting yet but an occasional fish was hooked off the grass beds of Phillip Island.
Due to the NSW lockdown, both John and Graham are sitting it out at home waiting for things to improve. Stay safe guys.
Well, the same could be said for people in our area: wear a mask, sanitise your hands, use the QR code, socially distance, only go out if you have to.