Try your luck close to home
Spring has well and truly sprung with some magnificent weather to start it off.
While the crayfish and cod season has closed, you can still catch and keep cod you catch in Lake Eildon, as long as they comply with bag and size limits.
We can fish for redfin, trout and yellowbelly in Lake Hume which is a Victorian water storage and is almost at 100 per cent capacity. They are also biting at Waranga Basin and Eildon.
If you are after trout, Eildon, Dartmouth and mountain streams and rivers are worth trying, although trophy-sized trout have been caught in Lake Hume.
Anywhere you catch cod you will catch yellowbelly and that includes the Goulburn and Murray rivers as well as dams and lakes.
Within the immediate area, we have the Broken River, stretches of the Goulburn, Victoria Park Lake and Kialla Lakes, all stocked with fish, including yellowbelly and trout as well as cod and redfin. So, you do not have to travel far to wet a line. Lockdown or not, you can still go fishing.
For those fortunate to live near the Murray, you can still fish for yellowbelly among the trees and shags. One hot spot is the mouth of the Broken Creek near Nathalia.
I mentioned Victoria Park Lake in Shepparton and as it is deemed a family fishing lake. The lake is regularly stocked with pan-sized trout, so it is always worth a try.
The good thing about the lake is that it is easily accessible, so it is a good location for the more senior anglers as well as being a great spot to teach the younger fisher persons. The same goes for Craigmuir in Mooroopna and Kialla Lakes — all can yield some nice fish.
The action at Eildon is around the river arms, such as Delatite, Bonnie Doon, Peppin Point and the Big River arm, as well as the Fraser national park. Stand off the rocky ledges and cast lures and soft plastics for yellowbelly and large, hard-body swimming type lures for cod. Of course you can always angle a bait while fishing from the bank. A civilised way to fish.
For trout, the tried-and-true method is trolling a Ford fender with either a bait or lure such as a Tassie devil or minnow.
Angling from the bank is another way to fish for trout, but use a float.
Redfin like to get among the trees; you will need to get your bait down four or five metres. Keep moving from tree to tree until you find a school of fish.
Some nice trout have been caught at Dartmouth. Mainly browns with an occasional rainbow among them. Fenders trailing scrub worms or a mudeye, or Tassie devil-style lures are the most productive way, but if you just want to put your feet up, read a book or look at the scenery, then angle a bait and clip a bell to the end of your rod to let you know if you’ve got a bite.
It is still a bit cool to go into the water but wading the shallower creeks and waterways will soon be another option you can employ when you go fishing.
You might like to wear waterproof gear such as waders and the like, but I just wear old jeans and sneakers, I’m a cheapskate.
But I do keep a set of dry clothes handy for when it is time to go home.
I don’t use fly fishing gear, just some nice Bob Darcy bait and spinning type rods. The rest of my gear is minimal: a selection of lures, maybe some bait like worms or crickets, all in an over-shoulder sack. As well as a knot for landing fish and a bag for the catch. Lightweight, easy to carry and not a problem, should the water suddenly become deep.
I spoke with Rod Lawn from Adamas Fishing Charters at Queenscliff, and he has not seen any action since the start of lockdown.
He has heard of snapper and f lathead on the bite, both in the bay and outside the heads north of the mouth of the Barwon River and at Point Lonsdale. In fact, some gummy sharks had been taken near the submarine dive sites.
Squid are also among the grass beds beneath the Lonsdale jetty and the ferry terminal as well as off the beach at Saint Leonards. Baited jigs or prawn-style lures are getting good results.
Western Port, around Hastings, is producing pinky snapper, leatherjacket and f lathead. Further out around Cowes and San Remo, gummy sharks are also being caught using fresh whole (small) squid as bait.
No news from north of the border, except all are well at this time. Both Johnno and Graham are well, as are their families.
Speaking of being well, stay safe all of you. Any symptoms like a cold, get tested. By the time you read this, I will have been jabbed for the second time. I hope you have as well.
Once again, stay well and good luck if you do go fishing.