By Kevin Tyler
In life there are certain things that always go together, things like chalk and cheese, hard work and a long, cold beverage.
I was further led to believe, the bloom of the wattle trees and the start of the yellowbelly season always went together, but it seems no-one told the yellowbelly.
Mick, the demon yellowbelly angler from Stanhope, decided he had been off the scene for long enough and went to his favourite fishing spot and wet a line.
The outcome was half a dozen fine yellowbelly in next to no time — he has not lost the touch.
While most of us are still waiting for that tinge of yellow from the bloom of the wattle to appear before we chase yellowbelly, apparently the yellowbelly have other ideas and are on the bite right now.
Just when my football team look like winning a game or two, I just might have to drag myself from in front of the television and go fishing.
I do believe Mick had an added incentive to go fishing. His wife is away on a holiday and, being alone at home, what else can a fellow do. There is only so much time you can spend doing the housework or mowing the lawn.
Elsewhere around the region, the fishing has been patchy, with cod still being caught in the Goulburn and Murray rivers, but not in great numbers. The best spots appear to be between Murchison and Toolamba in the Goulburn and around Ulupna Island and Barmah in the Murray.
Lake Mulwala is still producing some monster cod, but they are few and far between. A lot of work is required for any results to be achieved.
From all accounts, Lake Eildon is still the most productive spot with some redfin still being caught among the tree lines and trout and cod from the river arms. A large, deep-diving lure works for the cod, while a fender trailing a bunch of worms or a lure is best for the trout.
Dartmouth is also worth a visit. Trout are taking worms and lures trolled behind a fender or a bait angled below a float fished from the bank if you do not have a boat. Spinning a lure from the bank is also worth trying.
This week was also a good one for snapper, according to Rod Lawn from Adamas Fishing Charters, based at Queenscliff. Like the yellowbelly, no-one told the snapper no big fish were supposed to be caught at this time of year.
Rod managed a couple of horse-sized fish from just outside the heads last weekend. This is in keeping with the continued run of snapper he has been boating for the past couple of months.
Rod would normally be fishing from Portland, chasing tuna.
Reports from Portland were good, according to Rod, who said plenty of school bluefin tuna were close inshore, while the bigger fish were still a long way off the shelf.
It was a pleasant surprise to be catching quality fish so late in the season — normally he would not see this kind of result until well into October.
Rod said plenty of calamari and flathead were about, but the whiting and salmon were scarce.
He said the calamari were being caught in about 10m of water, among the grass beds, between the Point Lonsdale pier and Queenscliff. Squid jigs baited with small herring or the large shrimp-type lures were working.
At Eden, John Liddell said the boys from Freedom Charters were still bagging plenty of fish from the close-in reefs, from Boyd’s Lookout to Green Cape, with some good-sized flathead from the deeper water on the Victorian side of the cape.
John said a few tuna were starting to appear off the shelf as the bluefin started to migrate into the region. A few schools of kingfish were also being found out towards the shelf as well as a concessional dolphin.
John said it was mainly an in between season around Eden, with the marlin about four months away.
He said the annual whale migration was about to start and there would be plenty of tourists around to go on the whale watching boats.
At Narooma, Graham Cowley said it was a similar story there.
He said there were plenty of snapper and morwong along the inshore reefs, but not a lot of action off the shelf.
Graham said inside the lake, flathead and bream were being caught near the oyster leases and other structures.