Even though this time of year isn't really known as being the most productive time of year to target Murray cod, they can still be caught if you're willing to brave the cold and put in the time. During the cooler months of the year Murray cod cod generally slow their metabolism down and don't actively hunt as much, but they can still be caught. Between the lure vs bait debate, lures come into their own for triggering a strike from a cod during cooler weather. Even though they might not actually want to hunt for food, by repeatedly casting or running a lure over a likely looking snag you can tap into the cod's 'territorial' nature - whereas they are virtually annoyed into striking the lure.

Staff member Ian took his kayak up to Eildon just recently in search of a big winter cod. Ian spent a bit of time looking for likely cod water and then strategically worked these areas over to be sure he maximized his chances. After a long day on the water, Ian managed to land a 93cm 'barrel' cod from around the Frasers area. Ian landed the fish on a size 1 Stumpjumper in a redfin pattern.


Customer Ivan also had a taste of Eildon native fishing recently. Ivan caught this nice little cod from the timber in the background on a purple Yakamito lure. Fish of this size are very common to catch in the lake this days, and will only get bigger with plenty of prey items available for them. 

 

Lake Eildon has still been fishing well for most species, and will continue almost into the depths of winter. At present the lake level is sitting at around 55% and has been steadily dropping since summer as water is diverted down the Goulburn for irrigation. What this means is that there is more structure exposed and the fish are continuously moving to new structure, so a bit of searching around is always necessary. Never the less, fish like redfin, trout and golden perch have still been caught on a variety of methods. Customer Trevor came into the store after fishing with a group of anglers up towards the Bonnie Doon end of the lake, where there were a few nice goldens caught. A few were caught almost in front of the Peppin Point caravan park trolling deep running hardbodies. Customer George also caught nice goldens like this 61cm model on scrubworms recently in the lake.

 

The local freshwater fishing has still been reasonable for anglers interested. The local family fishing lakes and urban lakes have been producing trout, redfin and some big carp - with different techniques for each. Powerbait on a suspended bait rig will produce the trout, redfin have been active on troutworms and small plastics, and the carp have been taking maggots fished under a small sliding float. Rowville lakes has been one of the better spots to catch all 3 fish.

Further afield around Eildon, the lake has seen some good numbers of yellowbelly caught up the top end around Bonnie Doon. Most of the fish caught have been taken while lurecasting, but the odd fish has also been caught by anglers fishing scrubworms and small yabbies around the timber also.

Eildon pondage has been producing some nice size trout for persistent anglers using bait, lure and fly methods. Baitfishing with both powerbait and maggots has been a good method or catching some quality trout.Fly anglers fishing the margins have also been picking up a few decent fish. Steven and Tony along with other members of the Southern Fly Fishers had a crack at some margin trout on the pondage recently, where some nice fish were caught. Trout to 5lb were caught, with most around the 2-3lb mark. Wet flies such as Wooly Buggers and Mrs Simpson type patterns were the best performers under bright and still conditions.

With the recent warm weather the freshwater species have come on the bite locally. Trout rivers are now warmed up with plenty of insect activity, which stirs the fish up. Redfin and yellowbelly in the lakes and impoundments are also very active. Customer Jordan went for a mid week session on one of the local rivers outside of the suburbs, and in a couple of hours landed 4 trout between himself and a mate. The small stream was at perfect flow and temperature and produced 2 nice size browns on small minnow imitation hardbodies, while 2 smaller rainbows rose to take dry flies. 

The yellowbelly and redfin have been active in lakes such as Sugarloaf and Eildon. The northern end of lake Eildon has been producing some very nice yellowbelly, with fish to around 6kg getting caught. Most anglers are targeting the fellas with lures, with the odd one caught while bobbing small yabbies around standing timber for redfin. Small to medium floating hardbodies have also been good when trolled or cast against the banks and standing timber, along with lipless crankbaits in the 60mm size. 

At Sugarloaf reservoir the redfin and yellowbelly have been caught on smaller soft plastics and hardbodies fished along the banks. Warm afternoons have been the go, just be on the lookout for any legless company slithering around nearby grasses. A reminder that you can ONLY fish artificial baits and lures in sugarloaf, natural baits such as worms and maggots are prohibited. 

 

Lake Eildon has been a bit patchy for anglers of late, with water temperatures warming up a bit much for the trout, and just starting to get the native fish into gear.

Customer Dave caught 4 Murray cod up to 75cm while trolling hardbodies for yellowbelly in the lake. All cod were released, and took small size Oargee hardbodies trolled very close to rocky shorelines. Just remember it is closed season for Murray cod until the start of December this year.

Customers Rene and Trevor both fished the lake over the weekend and found the trout fishing to be tough. A few browns to around a kilo were caught on flatlined tassies early during the mornings, with warm weather during the day pushing the fish deeper. Lures run on a downrigger prove to be effective during the middle of the day at Eildon.

This is the best time of year to be chasing yellowbelly. As the water temperature warms up a bit the yellas go into feeding mode. If you're keen to catch a few, some hotspots for them at the moment are; Lake Eildon, Lake Eppalock, Murray River around Robinvale and also in the river near Lake Hume.

Customer Dave fished over at Lake Eppalock just recently where he got onto a few nice Yellowbelly. Dave landed 3 nice fish up to 52cm, casting small lipless lures in a redfin pattern from his boat. Small lipless lures that imitate juvenile redfin are a very good starting point as they can cover all areas of the water column.

If you're keen to catch some freshwater natives, now's the time to get ready! With the mild weather we've had over the last few days, native fish like yellowbelly and Murray cod will be starting to become more active. Local lakes such as Sugarloaf and Eildon are hotspots to target yellowbelly, and they also provide good bycatch of redfin too. Eildon Guru Andy McCarthy landed this ripping yellowbelly of 15lb just a few days ago at Lake Eildon on a spinnerbait. What a fish!

The Yellowbelly or Golden Perch are starting to move about a bit more in most Victorian lakes and also in the Murray River. Spring is normally a very productive time of year to chase the Yellas' as the rising water levels bring food into the system for them, and along with warmer water temperatures which make them a bit more active in searching for food. The best part is you don't need a boat to access them, which is handy when the strong spring northerly winds come up!

If you're wanting to catch yourself some big Redfin, fishing for them in winter is your game. Normally the Redfin fishing in winter can be a bit slower without large numbers of small fish to keep you entertained, but the size of the fish normally makes up for it. Most local lakes have good numbers of Redfin in them, which will respond to larger baits and lures in winter. Plenty of anglers putting in the effort in the cooler weather have been getting some good Redfin in the bag like these fish from the Western districts.

While summer is not generally regarded as the peak time to fish for Trout, there has been some good action lately in most rivers and impoundments.  Lake Eildon is fishing well for all species, Trout, Redfin, and natives such as Golden Perch and Murray Cod.  Many regular customers enjoy fishing the lake at this time of year, and most are catching quality bags of Trout from the main lake and pondage on a variety of techniques. 

Laszlo has been catching Trout up to 800g along with some large Carp fishing the Jerusalem Creek arm of the lake using Scrubworms and Powerbait Nuggets.  Danny has also been fishing the Lake, mainly trolling small 7g tassies tight to the shoreline from Big River up towards Goughs Bay, and is being rewarded with plenty of Brown Trout averaging 300-500g, and also a few larger fish between 1-1.3kg.  Most of the fish took bright yellows and whites and were more active earlier in the morning before the sun got directly overhead.

Up around Bonnie Doon, the Redfin fishing continues to be very good, with the average sized fish being around 300g which is good.  Most anglers catching the larger fish are fishing larger baits of yabby or scrubworm and by doing this you can also catch a Cod or Yellowbelly, as customer Jim did.  While he didnt plan on catching the 4lb Yellowbelly while fishing for Redfin he certainly wasn't complaining!

Closer to home, Sugarloaf Reservoir has been hit and miss for Redfin, anglers persisting with small spinners or soft plastics are still finding some fish.  The key is to work the standing timber thoroughly, and if a school is found then stay in the area.  Changing lure colour and profile can help in fooling the fish also.

The upper Yarra River around Warburton has been fishing well for Trout recently.  The small flush of rain we received has dirtied the water slightly, but conditions for lure casting are still good with plenty of wadable water.  Staff member Dylan has fished the area a bit recently, and recommends using hardbodies with gold or flash sides.  Some of the better lures at the minute have been Ecogear MW62, Pontoon21 Gagagoon and Strike Pro Pygmys.  With the warm conditions the Redfin have also become more active, and will hit the same lures.  For the fly angler, French and Olive Bead-headed Nymphs are catching a lot of fish in the backwaters and slower pockets.

For anglers wanting to fish an easier technique but would rather not have to use live bait, the Gulp! Alive Crickets have been very effective on summer Trout.  Simply fished with splitshot or using the aid of a bubble float, the Crickets work well drifting down through riffles and runs and also in the deeper pools of the rivers.  Normally Grasshoppers and Crickets are on the menu for Trout during the warmer months of the year, so why not give the fish what they are looking for!