Opinion

Building better fishing future

by
March 09, 2018

Shepparton BCF customer Adrian Trott with his 97cm catch on the Murrumbidgee at Darlington Point this year, before its release back into the water.

Dean Mousedale of Shepparton with an 86cm Murray cod caught on chicken on the Murrumbidgee at Darlington Point.

I was recently contacted by an independent group that calls itself ‘‘Oz fish Unlimited’’ and is a non-government, not-for-profit group whose goal is to create a better fishing future by being pro-active in fish habitat protection and restoration in Australia’s waterways.

The group is already responsible for major works in the Merri River on Victoria’s south-west coast and a stretch of the Murray River between the Hume Weir and Yarrawonga.

It is claimed the re-snagging of the Murray has been responsible for a threefold increase in the Murray cod population in that stretch of river.

Further re-snagging projects are in the pipeline as well as conducting workshops around our region to educate anglers on how they can help improve, restore and protect fish habitat.

The group already receives financial support from major tackle retailer BCF, which donates an amount of money from each sale they make, and this is being used to carry out these works.

Anyone interested in finding out more about this organisation should talk to staff at BCF or contact co-founder and director of the group Craig Copeland at craigcopeland@ozfish.org.au

Around the traps

Reports from Lake Eildon have been outstanding and mention of anglers catching up to four species of fish on the one trip are now becoming common.

Cod are being caught around the wall and also where there is structure such as rocky ledges and steep banks. Yellowbelly are taking trolled hard-body lures, trout are being taken by anglers using ford fenders trolling bait or clown pattern lures, while redfin are being caught using shrimp or yabbies among the tree line.

The Goulburn River has been producing nice yellowbelly around Toolamba through to Murchison, and cod and yellowbelly are on the bite in the Murray near Ulupna Island and the Barmah Narrows.

The Broken River between Shepparton East and the Gowangardie Weir is worth fishing for cod and yellowbelly.

Surface lures cast to snags is the preferred method and surface lures are also working in Lake Mulwala.

Reports of redfin and yellowbelly are still coming in from Lake Waranga and the western outlet channel from the Basin is worth fishing for yellowbelly.

The channel on the Tatura-Rushworth Rd is also worth fishing for redfin although the majority of fish are not big.

At Queenscliff Rod Lawn and Peter Smallwood from Adamas are busy catching bags of pinky snapper off Barwon Heads.

Some jumbo sized kingfish have also been reported near the submarine dive wreck although they have been fussy on when and what they will bite on.

Some say live slimy mackerel dropped down into a school of kings is probably the best way to go.

Rod said plenty of chunky salmon are being caught in the rip, while flathead and blue shark along with an occasional mako are providing plenty of action off the coast.

When it was too rough to go outside the heads, Peter said whiting were being caught near the mouth of Swan Bay and squid were among the grass beds near the ‘‘cottage’’.

At Western Port, Peter said gummy shark were being caught on the run-out tide in the deep water near Cowes on dusk and the best bait was fresh salmon or trevally fillets.

He said plenty of pinky snapper were also being caught off Hastings.

At Eden, Freedom Charter’s boss Mark said he was off the water for most of last week because of high winds and rough seas.

He said fishing inside Two Fold Bay resulted in a mixed bag of fish, but plenty of table fish were being caught around Boyd’s Lookout.

A trip further north to Narooma was about the same according to Graham Cowley.

He said big swells and strong winds kept all but the crazy brave inside the bar.

The word about yellowfin tuna is slow; anglers are waiting for warmer currents to bring the bait fish into the region.

James Luddington from Flinders Island said plenty of quality gummy shark were being caught around Lady Baron and, although not large, a number of flathead were being caught, but they were squally quality sized fish.

I checked my Anglers Almanac for this weekend and the indication is for good to fair results with the best times being later in the afternoon.

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