The big race is over, the weather is looking good, so there is no reason for not wetting a line this weekend. The real question is, where will be the best spot for good results?
The answer that has reached me is Lake Eildon, which is fishing well for all species of fish, including cod and yellowbelly.
With just three weeks to the opening of the cod season, Eildon is the only place where you can still catch and keep a cod. However, the usual restrictions on the taking of cod still apply — minimum length of 55cm, maximum of 75cm and a bag limit of one fish in possession.
Trout are also biting and early morning is the best time. The main arm and any of the river arms are worth trying. Trolling a Ford Fender with either bait or lure is working well.
To top things off, dropping a small yabby down alongside the trees is worth a try if you want a feed of redfin. Tie up to a likely tree and lower it to between five and 10meters. If nothing happens within 10 or so minutes, move to another tree until fish are located.
A trip to Waranga Basin is also worth the effort with redfin and yellowbelly on the bite. Once a school of fish is located, use small yabbies or even soft plastics to catch your fish. Be prepared to catch a lot of small fish before landing bigger ones.
I have given the Goulburn a rest since last Sunday when I was smashed off by a huge carp, then the weather turned cold and windy. However, Mick, the demon yellowbelly catcher from Stanhope, continues to diminish the yellowbelly population of the main western channel.
I did see a photo of a couple of nice-sized yellowbelly caught near the Victoria Lake Caravan Park in the centre of Shepparton this week.
Anglers fishing the Murray say they are getting good results using small yabbies and worms around Ulupna Island. Fishing the snags on dusk seems to be the best time. I might try that myself in the Goulburn this weekend.
A trip to Dartmouth is still worth the effort, with anglers reporting cod up to a kilogram taken during early morning, using a fender or a clown-pattern Tassie Devil-style lure. Floating mud eye and worm in the pondage near the highway is also producing trout.
Snapper are on the bite in Port Phillip Bay and Western Port, according to Rod Lawn and Peter Smallwood, from Adamas Fishing Charters at Queenscliff.
Rod said fresh squid, pilchards and silver whiting were all working well and if a school of fish was located, even soft plastics were being used to catch these excellent table fish.
Peter said he was getting good results around the Mornington area as well as a lot of his usual marks closer to the heads. He said some fish — about 5kg — were being boated.
Peter said Western Port was also producing some good-sized fish along the edge of the shipping lanes off Hastings and the steel works.
Rod said whiting and squid were being caught along the grass beds on both sides of the bay as well as plenty of snapper off Barwon Heads.
He said some schools of big salmon were starting to show up around the rip, and a small skirted lure, called an occy, is working well.
Down south at Flinders island, James Luddington said gummy shark and flathead were being caught around the islands near Lady Baron and occasional schools of salmon were also turning up.
James said he was also finding some snapper along the reefs.
At Eden, John Liddell said snapper, Morwong, gurnard and other reef fish were being caught along the inside reefs.
He said flathead were also biting along the sandy bottom. Fresh fish fillets and squid were the best bait and for fun, some anglers were using soft plastics on the shallow reefs.
Not much news off the shelf, according to John.
He said the water temperature was still too cold to attract bait fish which, in turn, brought with them marlin and kingfish.
Graham Cowley said it was the same story around Narooma.
He said schools of kingfish were being located north of Montague Island and some big flathead on the sand off the mouth of the river.