The freshwater reports have been overshadowed a bit by snapper but there has been a bit on offer in the sweet water. Murray cod season has just opened up and is looking good for the Summer ahead, there have been yellowbelly and redfin caught locally and the trout fishing has been excellent still.

Eildon pondage has again been the standout if you're chasing a couple of nice trout and not fussed on either lure or bait fishing. Customer Zoran has been fishing the pondage and has been catching fish to around 2kg on a mixture of dough and powerbait. Long rods fished with mono have been the go in setting the hook on subtle bites and pickups where shorter rods simply can't.


Eildon pondage received a top up of ex brood fish averaging 4kg last Thursday, with plans for another top up before Christmas, so it is well worth a trip up. Customer Jozef helped release some of the fish into the pondage which has baited him to get back up and try to catch them. Jozef did witness some large fish caught on small hardbodies as they cruised through the shallows as they hunted for small minnows and insects. Having a spin rod rigged with a small hardbody or plastic is a good idea while you're bait fishing.


A bit further north many anglers tried their luck fishing for cod over the opening weekend. Mulwala had a large field of anglers for the Cod Classic, with some lovely fish to over a metre caught. Customers Shane and Sue Brown fished the busy lake over the weekend with tough fishing but did manage a couple of small cod casting spinnerbaits at the timber.


Customer Steve also tried his luck for the first time on the cod, fishing the Murray up around Cobram. Steve and mate Ev camped in the area and tried a few techniques on the cod, with Ev landing a 57cm fish on a large yabby. Steve tried out some lures he purchased in store and nailed a nice 60cm fish on a spinnerbait. Steve has since purchased a baitcasting outfit to get into them even more.


Reports from Sugarloaf reservoir around Mebourne's outskirts is that it has been fishing well for yellowbelly. The dam is normally reasonably quiet for anglers but can be a good spot for a walk around the shoreline casting lures. Of late the yellowbelly have been active, with warm water bringing the fish on to the edges to look for food. Customer Ryan has been catching fish to around 40cm on a mixture of vibes and soft plastics. The vibes have been a fast way to 'search' the banks for a school of fish, while the weedless rigged soft plastics can be fished back slowly and thoroughly to make the most of the patch of fish.

 


As many keen trout anglers would know, the Victorian river season opens up after midnight THIS Saturday. While it's been a long close for those keen to hit the streams, there have still been some fish caught. The rivers are running at fairly consistent levels and with a bit of snow melt yet to come they should stay cool and favourable for the fish for a long while yet.

For lake based anglers, some nice fish are still coming from Eildon pondage.


Friends of the shop Greg and Mark fished the pondage recently and while conditions were cold there were some stocky trout caught. Casting lures from the Bourke Street section of the lower pondage resulted in some nice rainbows to around 1.5kg. Spoons and small tassie devils have been effective with retro-fitted with ultra sharp assist style hooks.

Around the local lakes, customer Chris took his two sons down to Karkarook Park in the hopes of catching them a trout. Chris stopped by the store for all the stocked-lake essentials and soon after young Atticus had his first trout on the line. The successful method was to fish a mixture of trout dough and powerbait, with specialist trout pellet berley. Both of Chris's two sons have placed birthday present orders of new trout rods since!

 


As we draw into the final few remaining weeks of the trout season there have been some ripper fish caught around the place. A top up of rain for most of the main basins and catchments has kicked the fish into an aggressive spawning mode, turning them into spotted hunting machines. While some of the smaller rivers had increased to swollen capacity the high and discoloured water gives any angler the upper hand. The smaller streams around the Eildon region have been fishing well, as has the larger rivers such as the Goulburn.

Jacko from Mornington recently caught some absolutely ripping fish from the Rubicon, with a proper spawn coloured brown best the pick of the bunch. Celtas were the go for him.


The Gouburn river itself is worth a fish at the moment, as it is running at around 400Mgl which really concentrates a lot of fish into deeper runs and pools, and gives plenty more access to the river. Being slightly discoloured, brighter 'aggressive' coloured lures are getting a reaction bit from the fish.


After stocking up on some newly received lures, customer Anel and mates had a look around the Goulburn and found plenty of hungry trout willing to hit the lures. Megabass X70 were excellent when ripped through the larger runs, while the flatside 48's were perfect for slow twitching through backwaters and splits in the river. Smaller, lighter weight lures are working better as the river level stays low.


Back closer to the suburbs the local reservoirs and stocked lakes have been fishing well for trout as the weather has cooled off. Devilbend res has seen some quality trout caught mainly on lures, with the very occasional fish taken on a bait.


Customer Jake has caught some ripper trout from Devilbend recently, with a session earlier this week yielding 2 nice size fish around 1kg each. Heavily weighted spoons such as the 'Gurkha spoon' are perfect for places like this, as they caught be cast a mile out into deeper water and worked through the feeding zone rather than straight in the weed.

 


Trout activity in the lakes and rivers around the state is starting to heat up, as many of the larger resident fish prepare for their winter spawn. What does this mean for anglers? Well, the chance at some larger than average fish and from some pretty small water at times. These big fish can either be spooky, super aggressive or completely not interested depending on which day you get them on, but the main thing that they all seem to be driving by is the rain.

The next couple of big rain bands we're due for around the region will get the fish fired up and pushing up river. If the water in your local river rises and discolours slightly then these fish are worth a shot to catch. If you normal trout offerings aren't doing the job, try either a larger more aggressive style of lure - either soft plastic or hardbody, or drifting some egg pattern flies and nymphs past them. If you're not quite sure how to set up for this speak to the guys in store and they will explain the technique to you and show you what you'll need.


Up around the Eildon region customer Zoran has had some good trout fishing in mild Autumn conditions. Zoran has well and truly adopted the 'pre-spawn' techniques for catching solid trout - both on lures and flies. Recently Zoran has seen some nice brook trout from the Rubicon River along with some nice browns from the Goulburn. With the Goulburn running at around 2000Mgl at present, it will only get easier for anglers to fish from now until the season close. Larger, bright coloured hardbodies work in the river when the spawning fish are moving and can trigger a real 'crunching' response from some super solid fish.


Customer Anel has been for a trip up into the NSW Snowy Mountains with some of his trout fishing mates, where the brown trout have just started to trickle through on their upstream spawning movements. Anel and the boys have had some good fishing with fish to around 5lb hitting the lures. With water levels still relatively low in the rivers in the region the fish have been spooky and sporadic in numbers, but some heavy wet weather due over the next few days should get them fired up. Anel has been trying out some specialist trout lures new to the shop, and so far they have been working excellent!

 


Many trout anglers have been reveling at the start of the cooler weather that is coming through, as it means crisp Winter mornings wading the rivers in search of trout. Well at the moment we haven't quite seen the cold weather but the trout fishing has been good none the less. All of the rivers in the Eildon region have been fishing well, with the level of the Goulburn back down to a more fishable height. While the Goulburn has been popular and producing fish, it has been the Rubicon that has really stolen the limelight. The Rubicon river has had an influx of 'escapees' from a nearby farm - Brook Trout. These brook trout aren't native to Australia and can only be caught in a handful of rivers up towards the snowy mountains, or the Rubicon.

Now is the time to try your luck on these fish, as word has well and truly gotten out and the river will only get busier and busier the closer we get towards the season close. Talk to the guys in store if you're interested in chasing them as they can be very aggressive towards certain lure offerings.


Customer Anel has been catching a heap of brookies on some new lures he just purchased. Anel has been liking the Duo Ryuki minnows with brighter colours like pink doing the job for him. Anel said that many of these brook trout were holed up in deeper pools and keeping the lure down on them was as important as lure colour selection.


Customer Zoran stopped by the river after doing his usual Eildon run, and he had some fun on the brookies as well. Zoran fished the middle reaches of the river and found that heavy bladed spinners worked wonders on these fish, especially when fished slow and held through the school.


Not to be outdone, customer Mohd also fished the river but with fly rod in hand in search of a brook trout or two. Mohd has been fishing similar sections of river but searching the head of the pools and edges of current seams using small nymphs. Small tungsten head nymphs are excellent to use here as they get down faster to where the fish will eat them, with many rock gardens and current lines dotting the mid and upper sections of river.