Opinion

Winter weather bites

by
August 18, 2017

Those keen enough to brave the chill will find good fishing at Eildon.

You might have noticed it’s winter — not the sort of weather that is conducive to going fishing. The idea of a comfortable couch and a warm heater tends to overcome the desire to sit on the bank of the Goulburn waiting for a fish to bite.

Earlier this week we had some of the heaviest rainfall I have experienced for some time and there was flash-flooding in some areas, making climbing down the banks of rivers a hazardous and dangerous enterprise. It also caused river rises and dirtied the water.

By far the best place to fish if you really wanted to face the outdoors has been lakes such as Eildon and Dartmouth, although Waranga Basin chopped up due to the wind and it was not safe to be out in a boat.

Before the latest bout of rough weather we were experiencing some reasonable fishing, with cod being caught around the region including a number of monster fish being taken around Lake Mulwala.

Redfin were also being bagged at the basin as well as among the trees at Eildon.

Anglers fishing with worms or yabbies alongside a likely tree were getting good results with some nice fish among plenty of smaller ones. Once a school was located, soft plastics and ice jigs also accounted for plenty of fish.

At Eildon, the best spot was around Peppin Point, the Bonnie Doon Arm and Jamieson, while the deep water around Harrimans Point and also the old quarry were fishing well at Waranga Basin until the weather changed for the worse.

Yellowbelly were on the bite in the Goulburn and Murray rivers.

Fishing a bunch of worms or spinner baits around the snags is the way to catch yellowbelly. If you don’t get a bite within 10 minutes or so, move to another spot.

The closure of cod season at midnight on August 31 is now just a couple of weeks away, and it will remain closed until November 30.

But while it is a closed season for cod, the trout season will re-open on September 1.

Saltwater

While we wait for the conditions in our region to recover from the recent bout of bad weather, you might be thinking about some saltwater fishing.

Rod Lawn from Adamas Fishing Charters at Queenscliff said the rough weather had also affected fishing along the coast, but unlike our region fishing recovers quickly as the weather improves. Rod said local anglers had been bagging some big whiting and plenty of calamari squid.

At present Rod’s boat is having some well-earned maintenance after the recent tuna season at Portland.

He said the tuna had moved away so he was preparing for the start of the snapper season around Port Phillip Heads and also along the reefs around the mouth of the Barwon River.

Rod said while an occasional snapper was being caught, he did not expect the start of the run to occur until after the end of this month, with the peak around early November.

He said whiting and calamari were being caught up the bay around St Leonards but the biggest fish were in front of the cottage at Queenscliff.

In the bay off Western Port it was a similar story with an occasional snapper being caught along the rubble beds at Hastings and whiting and squid in among the grass beds near the submarine and in the shallows near Cowes.

North of the border at Eden, John Liddell said inshore reef fishing was filling anglers’ bags with good hauls of snapper.

Big flathead were being caught along the sandy bottom near Green Cape, which is about an hour’s boat ride south of Eden but well worth the trip.

John said schools of kingfish could be encountered by anglers during the boat trip, and watching for birds diving on bait fish was always a good indicator of where the fish could be found.

The yellowfin tuna season is starting to taper off, according to John, but the number of southern bluefin tuna was starting to increase and anglers were getting best results trolling skirted lures.

A bit further along the coast at Narooma, Graham Cowley said bottom bouncing around Montague Island was resulting in hauls of snapper, morwong and flathead around the reefs and sandy bottom while to the north of the island schools of kingfish could be found.

Graham said the shelf was close to thc coastline and some tuna were being caught by anglers trolling a spread of skirted lures and hard body lures.

Once again the birds were the indicator of where the tuna were feeding.

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