Opinion

Bait, and reap the rewards

by
January 26, 2018

Some nice trout are being caught bait casting or angling the deeper holes in the north east.

It’s been great weather for fishing with generally light winds and blue sky — if you can stand the constant heat.

The fish have been co-operating by being in a hungry state of mind.

The Goulburn River around the Shepparton area has been fishing well, with anglers reporting cod, some yellowbelly, silver perch and, of course, the noxious carp taking most baits, including shrimp, worms, cheese and yabbies.

While lure fishing has not been as popular in the Goulburn, it has been successful in the Broken River with surface poppers and spinner bait-style lures used with generally good results.

Reports from the Murray River have also been good with cod and yellowbelly being caught around the popular spots such as Ulupna Island, the Barmah Narrows and Lake Mulwala where some monster fish have been caught and released by anglers using lures and baits.

Cooler spots

If you prefer a cooler climate, the rivers and streams of the north-east have produced some nice trout for anglers bait casting or angling the deeper holes.

Wading the water is a sure way of keeping cool and it takes you to where the fish are.

Unweighted worms, black crickets, grasshoppers and mudeye are some of the more popular baits, but small bladed lures and wet fly-style lures are worth a try as well.

Regulation changes

There have been some changes to the regulations regarding trout fishing and they are outlined in this year’s Victorian Recreational Fishing Guide. The publication is free at your local tackle shop, so get yourself a copy.

The new regulations apply to the Mitta Mitta River upstream from Lake Dartmouth and the Ovens River upstream from the Porepunkah Bridge.

There is now a size and bag limit — the minimum size is 25cm with a bag limit of three fish. Of these, no more than two fish may exceed 35cm.

Trout are still on the bite at Dartmouth and Eildon but mainly in the early morning from first light. During the heat of the day, the fish move into deeper water and down-riggers or lead line should be used to reach them.

At Eildon, some nice-sized cod have been caught by anglers using large deep-diving lures around the wall, and some yellowbelly have been taken from the rocky ledges in the Delatite Arm. Redfin are also being caught among the tree line near Bonnie Doon and also in the Jamieson arm. Soft plastics and bait are both worth trying.

The fish are mainly in about 4m or 5m of water.

Waranga Basin is about 50percent capacity and anglers have been forced to work hard for any redfin.

They are still using bottom-bouncing red-coloured lures as well as the ever-popular Ondex-style bladed lure with a tuft of red wool.

Down south

At Flinders Island, James Luddington said he was bagging out on gummy shark around the Lady Baron area and plenty of jumbo-sized flathead were taking garfish baits around Chapel Island.

Just for your interest, Chapel Island is the home of Australia’s largest tiger snakes — they can grow up to 3m in length there.

At Queenscliff, the action is still around the heads with squid and whiting among the grass beds between Point Lonsdale and the ferry terminal and silver trevally and salmon are being caught in ‘The Cut’ at the mouth of the creek.

Rod Lawn and Peter Smallwood, from Adamas Fishing Charters, said they were bagging some nice snapper around the reefs near the mouth of the Barwon River as well as up the bay near Mornington.

They said flathead were also being taken along the sandy bottom with some jumbo-sized fish among them.

Back-slapping whiting are being caught around Western Port with the grass beds in the Hastings area being the most productive fishing spots, and some gummy shark are taking fresh salmon fillets fished along the edge of the shipping lanes at sunset.

Up north

At Eden, John Liddell said the action off the shelf when weather permitted resulted in an occasional marlin and late-season tuna being caught by anglers trolling skirted lures.

Bottom-bouncing the inshore reefs was a sure way of catching plenty of table fish, including snapper, morwong and flathead.

John said casting silver metal lures from the surf beach into the gutters was resulting in some large salmon being taken by anglers.

At Narooma, Graham Cowley reported kingfish and other game fish being caught off the shelf while bags of flathead and reef fish were the go along the inshore reefs near Montague Island.

He said there were still some nice-sized kingfish being caught when a school could be located.

A quick peek at my Anglers’ Almanac indicates that the weekend should be good for fishing with the best days being next Monday and Tuesday.

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