Finally, it’s time to wet a
At last we are free to go further than 5 km.
With the lockdown lifted and eased restrictions in place, Lake Eildon and Dartmouth better look out, because here I come — as long as the weather stays fine.
We have had some cracking weather while under lockdown, so let’s hope it keeps up.
All reports reaching me indicate that there are fish at both locations and they are biting, so the chance of catching something is really high.
The same goes for Waranga Basin and the Goulburn River.
The river continues to fall from the minor f lood level of a couple of weeks ago, but I did notice that the banks are still wet, muddy and slippery, making it dangerous to fish from the bank.
This time of the year the main pursuit for a lot of anglers is yellowbelly; they are feeding, but they are a fussy eater.
Scrub or garden worms are the most available bait.
It is still too cool for shrimp, and only a few yabbies are starting to move about.
Yellowbelly tend to taste the bait before swallowing and the moment they feel any weight or resistance, they will drop it.
Bob Darley, who used to make my rods, had a method of leaving a crushed Coca-Cola can sitting on the line to keep it tight and he would leave 10-15 cm of slack line behind it. Because there was no resistance to its bite the fish would take the bait.
Bob used to fish for yellowbelly a lot and preferred them to cod.
Fish for yellows using as little weight as possible.
Some like a running sinker, right down to the top of the hook but others prefer a leader.
Depending on where I’m fishing I will even use a paternoster rig.
Lures also work well with yellowbelly, mainly those with a rattle in them.
The demon from Stanhope uses some hand-painted ones with a solid body.
He colours them with his wife’s nail polish and says the art is all in the retrieve.
Wind in too slow or too fast and you will luck out.
IF YOU ARE HEADING AWAY FOR THE WEEKEND, DO ALL THE RIGHT THINGS. IF YOU STOP FOR FUEL FOR THE VEHICLE OR YOURSELF, CHECK IN, WEAR A MASK AND PRACTISE SOCIAL DISTANCING.
His advice on the best retrieve, you can’t be taught. You either have it or you don’t.
The Goulburn below Seymour and down to Nagambie has been starting to fish reasonably well with an occasional trout being angled using a floater in the slower f lowing water among the trees.
Some redfin have been caught in the lake, but it is nowhere near as good for them as it was 10 or 15 years ago.
You might say that is a good thing, because the natives like cod and yellowbelly are moving in to take their place.
The basin has been reported to be worth a try but pick your day, you want to avoid windy days.
It chops up dangerously with a strong westerly and even worse when the wind is from the north at strength.
Some schools of redfin can be found around the deeper water near the kite f lyers, as well as the quarry hole, which is not a hole anymore. And at the back of the Harriman Point boat ramp.
They will take worms but if you have small yabbies they’ll work just as well. You can even use a bit of both.
Trolling lures along the bottom is another way of catching redfin.
Most hard-body lures are fine. As long as they have red or purple on them you should get a bite at a depth of 3-4 m.
You can also catch yellowbelly in the basin and cod.
But with cod season closed most anglers tend to stick to redfin, because they are considered to be better to eat.
If you are heading away for the weekend, do all the right things. If you stop for fuel for the vehicle or yourself, check in, wear a mask
and practise social distancing.
It might take extra time but it is better than being sick, or locked down again.
I still haven’t mastered the art of wearing a mask and glasses without them fogging up.
I spoke to Graham Cowley at Narooma this week.
He said that they were in lockdown, but they did have a good run on southern bluefin
tuna, mainly close in between Montague Island and the beach with all fish 10-15 kg size.
I also had a call from John Liddell at Eden who said that there had been a couple of COVID-19 cases in his area, but he was well.
He hadn’t been fishing (we know the feeling) so he was not sure what was biting.
At Queenscliff, Rod Lawn from
Adamas Fishing Charters was already booked for this weekend even though most of his regulars were in lockdown.
Rod was planning to head offshore after snapper and f lathead, buoyed by signs of an excellent season.
Stay safe and good fishing; and if you are planning to go away, do all the right things to help keep us all safe and well.