It must have been the full moon, it could not have been the weather because we have just had some of the nicest winter conditions for some time with brisk frosty mornings followed by almost warm, sunny days and light winds — ideal weather for an hour or two spent by the river fishing.
On the other hand, it is a well-known fact that the moon can affect the activity of fish and in my case cause them to go missing.
I had procured some excellent scrub worms and on the long weekend I put them out as an offering to the cod and other fish in the Goulburn River, but to no avail with not even a bite.
The moon affects the tides and these in turn become the dinner bell for fish.
How and why I don’t have an answer to, but whenever there is a full moon I find that fish are scarce to find and hard to catch — although that might just be me.
This has not been the case for two groups of anglers from our region who travelled all the way to Portland last week.
The first group fished with Rod Lawn from Adamas Fishing Charters on Thursday and Friday last week and bagged out on tuna both days, and on the second day spent most of their time putting fish back.
The boys also reported that a boat fishing alongside them hooked a tuna that weighed in at 108kg, although Rod said August was usually the time when the bigger tuna came on the bite.
On the Saturday a second group from Shepparton did some bottom-bouncing and managed a good haul of snapper with several big fish among their catch.
They also bagged some nannygai, another sought-after table fish, and on Sunday they hauled in a bag full of tuna as well.
Rod said it had been an excellent start to the tuna season and he was starting to find his diary fairly full. Anyone intending to chase tuna with him had better book in sooner rather than later.
Around the traps
In our region reports have been patchy with some redfin being caught at Waranga Basin as well as yellowbelly and an occasional cod.
Eildon has been fishing well with some good sized cod being caught using deep-diving lures near the wall, as well as yabbies and scrub worms around structure such as rock walls and among the trees.
Trout are also being caught by anglers trolling a bunch of worms or mudeye behind a Ford Fender.
While the trout season has closed for rivers and streams in Victoria, anglers can still catch trout in dams such as Eildon and Dartmouth.
Speaking of Dartmouth, it was not the place to be last weekend because a fishing competition was held there during the holiday period and several hundred anglers took part, causing congestion on the boat ramps and on the water and making fishing a bit of a chore.
I did hear that one Shepparton resident bagged a huge cod while fishing at Lake Mulwala recently.
Just a reminder that you will require a NSW fishing licence because Lake Mulwala is in that state as is the Murray River, although the Hume Weir is classed as being in Victoria.
Reports of freshwater crayfish have been patchy with some saying it has been great while others are saying their catches have been not so good.
During the long weekend there were plenty of anglers fishing for crayfish in the Goulburn around Murchison, once again with mixed results.
Saltwater fishing at Queenscliff is worth a try with whiting being caught around the mouth of Swan Bay and calamari being caught among the grass beds near the cottage.
Rod Lawn said snapper were biting along the inshore reefs near Barwon Heads and gummy shark were also biting off Point Lonsdale.
At Eden John Liddell said there was some action off the shelf as anglers chased yellowfin tuna. He said some late-season swordfish were also putting in an appearance, along the inshore reefs snapper and morwong were biting, and big flathead were biting along the sandy bottom near Green Cape.
At Narooma, Graham Cowley said it was a similar story off the shelf for game boats heading to the northern end of Montague Island while the inshore reefs provided anglers with plenty of table fish.
Graham said when it was too rough to go offshore, flathead and bream were being caught by anglers using soft plastics around the oyster leases.