It's mid August and again trout season for the rivers and streams is fast approaching here in Victoria. While the rivers are still closed for a few weeks yet there's still plenty happening on the trout scene for anglers to get amongst! Emma from the Women In Recreational Fishing group recently went up to Eildon to fish the lake, and although it was foggy, overcast and freezing cold she did manage to get into some lovely brown trout. Many of the browns from the lake here spend their time in the open water and take on a very pale brown/silver appearance, with not as many spotted markings as their river cousins. For those fishing the lake, the ever reliable tassie devils have still been producing, especially when upgraded with ultra-sharp assist hooks.


Customer Paul also got into some open water brown trout, although down at Blue Rock Lake. Paul was fishing from his hobie kayak where he slow trolled tassies around the drop-offs and timbered edges of the lake to land some trout to around 45cm. Paul found all of the fish to be actively feeding in the open water, and have the same pale silvery appearance. The best tassie on the day was the no55 pink, fished on 'Dancing Jack' assist hooks.


On the bait fishing scene, there have still been some nice stockies coming from the pondage. Customer Simon came into the store to stock up on the essential ingredients for successful fishing around the Eildon area. Simon found a bag of nice rainbows from the lower pondage using the coarse method and specialist trout dough for bait.

Down at Karkarook Park there have been trout on offer for those fishing the same methods. Customer Sarah and her son Harry fished the lake recently where Harry managed some lovely rainbow trout. The best method was again the berley/feeder cage method and a powerbait/trout dough bait concoction.


A fair bit further south in Tasmania, Matt Sheriff reports that the Tassie trout season has started off well. Matt has been using his Hawk 'sniper' hardbodied lures with great effect on some solid lake trout. Many of the colours were working well but the standout have been the gold 'spawn belly' models, with some of the fish really hammering the lures on a 'stop-start' jerking retrieve.

 


The Eildon region has been well worth a feed lately, whether you're casting for cod or trout trolling in the lake, or fishing the pondage in Eildon itself. There have been whispers of some large cod coming from the lake, and these are testament to anglers perseverance. You don't land quality cod in Eildon by staying at home!

While the trout trolling reports have been a bit on the quieter side, there have been some nice fish landed. Customer Brian caught a cracker from the Delatite Arm just recently trolling tassie devils. Brian had been trolling 'mega' tassies with the 'yellow mongrel' catching the fish. Brian had rigged the his tassies with assist hooks which did their job in keeping the big brown securely hooked.


Not to be outdone Eildon pondage has been fishing exceptionally well since it's pre-school holiday stocking. There are plenty of large fish about and enough feisty smaller trout in the 300g size you can be kept busy for long enough if you take the time to set up correctly.The specialized coarse method is king here. If you're unsure of how to go about setting up for the pondage and other stocked trout fisheries come by and talk to the guys.

Customer George and his friend fished the pondage during the week where some really solid fish were caught. The bank alongside the 'footy oval' fished best, with lighter weighted feeder cages advantageous over heavier feeders due to their ability of not snagging up on the rocks. Trout dough accounted for a couple of fish and rainbow coloured powerbait did the rest of the damage.

 

 

 


Even though the trout streams are closed it's not the end of trout fishing! The local lakes have some fish in store for keen anglers, and Eildon pondage has been fishing well. The pondage has been fishing well with dough style baits and coarse methods, just make sure you prepare yourself well for this style of fishing - simply throwing out powerbait on any rig and rod won't cut it! Some of the pondage trout are large and educated, and a tiny but strong no14 dough hook and light line is sometimes the only way to trick them. If you're not sure about how to rig up pop in store and grab the pieces you need, as it's a long drive home with no trout!


Customer and Eildon semi-local Zoran has been fishing the pondage during the week, and while things were slow for him he still landed 7 nice fish. A mixture of 'trout dough' and 'chartreuse' powerbait got the interest of the trout, which were all rainbows. The brown trout sound like they have moved into a spawn mode, but they can still be caught.

While the pondage is going well, many of the local family fishing lakes have just received a top up stocking of trout prior to the School Holidays - so it's perfect timing to get the kids out and fishing! Staff member Don has been taking his kids out to many of the local stocked lakes and they are producing plenty of feisty rainbow trout on both bait and lure!

 


During the harsh wind and rain of winter many fishing options can end up out the window. A trip up to Eildon can be a good option to catch some fish. If you're a boat fisherman the lake has been producing pelagic trout to around 500g throughout the main arm. Flatline trolling tassie devils and small spoons has been the most productive method to snare a fish or two, with brighter coloured tassies like number '55' or 'FLP' solid performers time and time again.

The pondage has also been seeing some nice fish come out, with the odd lure caught fish but predominately ruled by artificial baits. Customer Gordon has been seeing some really solid fish caught from his last few visits so it is still a very worthwhile drive up through the ranges.


Customers Zoran and Jim are normally very successful in fishing the pondage. During recent trips the guys have been catching fish to around 1.5kg on dough baits and powerbait. Fishing in conjunction with a crushed pellet berley has been the key to attracting the fish and keeping them nearby, while having two different baits out maximizes your options. The steep bank area along Riverside Drive has been one of the more productive parts of the pondage over the last week or, with many fish sitting in the old river channel waiting for a feed.

 

 


While the stream ans river trout season has closed up for 2018 there have been some nice fish caught, and the lakes both local and out of town are producing trout. During his last session on the Goulburn before close customer Dennis had some excellent fishing. Dennis managed a few smaller trout while spinning bladed lures in the river but the cherry on top was a lovely big rainbow on fly that weighed 1.5kg. Dennis managed the rainbow on a small dry fly on the edge of a fast run just behind Thornton.

The Eildon pondage has been worth a fish for many anglers, with some large brood stock fish just recently released. Store owner Glenys was up along the pondage over the weekend with friend Greg where a few fish were caught. Greg and Glenys caught trout from the Bourke Street end of the pondage on both bait and lure. The smaller rainbows took a liking to only the 'chunky cheese' powerbait amongst all other flavours, and the Yakamito trout spoons also worked well when cast and worked back on a slow retrieve.


A bit closer to the suburbs the local stocked lakes have been fishing well for many. Customer Nathan was fishing Devilbend just recently where he caught a mixture of both brown and rainbow trout using Yakamito trout spoons. Nathan has been casting them long and wide from the first jetty, and letting them sink down a bit before starting a medium paced wind.


Customer Tommy has just recently gotten back into freshwater fishing, and has been super keen to get out there after purchasing a new light lure casting outfit. Tommy has been honing his lure skills at local lakes Devilbend and Karkarook with good results. From Devilbend Tommy has been catching some nice trout and redfin on soft plastics, with small paddletails like the Zman slim swim the most effective, while the redfin are in very good numbers at Karkarook. The same soft plastics along with small blades and vibes have been doing the job when very slowly moved along the bottom.

 

As we enter a more typical 'winter' stage of weather with rain and bitterly cold wind squalls the trout fishing really heats up. The cold conditions and increase in river flows push the fish to really ramp up and head upstream to spawn. In the smaller rivers the small fish seem to up their ante as they compete for food and territory against larger fish. Either way it's a good time to be trout fishing!


For us around Melbourne about the largest brown trout we'll see are usually from up in the Snowy Mountains of NSW's alpine high country. Rivers like the Eucumbene, Thredbo and snowy see large fish gather and run up in their annual spawning aggregations. While rainfall in this area has been very low late during autumn there still have been patches of fish moving up. Customers Daniel and Cam fished the region last week and while conditions were less than ideal they did manage to prick a couple of nice fish on fly. Fishing small nymphs and egg patterns is the go, but the ideal outfit and rig is quite technical and very specific if you're going to actually catch the fish you're hearing about. The boys in-store can fill you in on the specifics. Larger hardbodies have also been claiming a few fish as well, with low light conditions and certain 'staging' areas to key points to focus on. 


A bit closer to home, the Goulburn and tributaries have been fishing very well over the past week or so. The low river level of the Goulburn has made accessibility much easier for anglers, and much safer than trying to wade around the edges of a torrential flow. Customer Pat flyfished the river last week and found a bunch of fish willy to eat small weighted nymphs and also dry flies. For the lure angler, now is an ideal time to fish small 'bug' soft plastics or your favourite mid-running hardbodies.


Customer Sam fished the region recently to nail a few brook trout from the Rubi. Sam walked the mid section of the river and found that while there were quite a few fish seen, they had slowed down and were reasonably hard to tempt compared to around a month ago. The fish that did lash out found aggressive trout patterned and bright UV colours the hardest to leave alone. Lures that combine some bright flaired colour with an 'eat me' baitfish pattern will rarely get refused. Sam managed to land a good number of fish and more than the other anglers he spoke to. 


Staff members Don and Dylan flyfished some of the smaller streams around the EIldon region for a few hours last week, with a more 'on water' prac session rather than a hardcore fish. Greeted with high flows and more discolouration than normal in a few rivers the fishing was tough, but small rainbows around 100g were happy to eat small flashy nymphs fished on the edge of the main flow. At the present river height and water colour, hardbodied lures are a sure thing when fished along the same areas.


Across the ditch there have been some MEGA trout caught. Viva Fishing Australia representative and Megabass Australia agent Nick fished the hydro canals around Twizel on the South Island. Nick found some chunky rainbow trout and chinook salmon fishing the canal systems, and also found that they loved soft plastics. Megabass 'Hazedong' plastics were the most effective, with an ultra realistic minnow profile and tail beat in the water luring the fish in.


Customers Goran and John have also just returned from a New Zealand trip, and they also caught some stonker trout. When rainbows over 15lb aren't the 'big' fish, you have to wonder how big the trout here get!

 


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!

 

While a lot of anglers wouldn't think it, many 'swamps' in and around the outer metro suburbs can produce an array of fish, if you know how to look for them. In any given system you can catch redfin, rainbow trout, brown trout, carp, roach, tench, eels, blackfish, silver perch, yellowbelly and murray cod. Not all locations hold these fish, but some most certainly do. The main culprits you'll come across are of course carp, redfin and eels - especially if you're bait fishing.

In a local wetland customer Daniel has been throwing the newest Aussie colour 'bent minnows' to attract the attention of some XL redfin. Daniel has been catching some chunky fish, with 40cm+ the norm in some systems. Because of the reeds and shallow weed Daniel has been fishing the shallow surface lures and spending less time fouled up and more time hooked up!


A typical series of 'wetland' or swamp lakes is somewhere like Berwick Springs. Now anyone can simply open up their default mapping app on phone, or a melways if you're old school and find these sort of locations. Many are overlooked because of their proximity to housing estates or 'un-glamorous' look, but virtually all of them will hold freshwater fish of some sort. With many interconnected lakes and drains, Berwick Springs is a large habitat for these fish to move around in, and plenty of vegetation to support food for these fish. With carp to over 10kg in here, some of these systems can hold some serious fish!


Speaking of carp, customer Jordan has been catching school sized fish on the fly rod in these sorts of lakes. Jordan knows that there carp in almost all of them, and they are a very good fish to hone your lure and fly fishing skills on. Jordan has found plenty of carp sunning themselves and cruising just under the surface in search of food, and a well executed cast and presentation of fly has gotten the interest of a few. If you're more a bait fisherman then these fish will still test your skills - but you certainly need to rig and gear up for them accordingly. No 4/0 snapper hooks and heavy lines here, most of the time fishing without any finesse will see you go home without a bite. If you're interested in fine tuning your fishing on these readily available species talk to the guys in the shop to make sure you're gearing up correctly, and giving yourself a good chance at catching something.

 

We're really heading into trout time! The cooler weather and water means that the streams and lakes have been a bit more active over the last few weeks, even if water levels are lower and clearer than normal. If we get some decent rain draining into the rivers over the next month things will be even better as the larger fish move to spawn.

Customer Luke from Ace Adventures donned the waders and fished some of the small water above Noojee with a mate recently. Luke found there were plenty of fish willing to take a swipe at a well presented lure, with around 25cm being about the norm.


Customer Brendan also enjoys his trout fishing and more so stream trout fishing. Brendan has also been fishing the Noojee area, with the Latrobe, Toorongo and Loch rivers all getting a look at. Brendan found that small shallow running 'jerkbait' style hardbodies were the most effective, especially in foil sided flashy gold and natural colours. For most of these smaller rivers this style of lure is an ideal starting point as it won't dive too deep and snag up, and will also hold quite well in faster water. Using an 'aggressive-natural-neutral' colour range you will normally be able to find a lure that will get you the results on the day.


Brendan found the fishing really hotted up just before dark as there was a hatch of small caddis which really got the trout aggressive. The period just pre-dusk can see fish become active is holes and pools that you may have already fished with no result, so it pays to hang around sometimes and see just how many fish are in the deeper sections. If you're a keen fly caster, this period is when you will enjoy some success using larger dry flies up to size 10 or 8, especially in a 'stimulator' or 'elk hair caddis' pattern.


Just over the range, Eildon has still been producing fish from the pondage using coarse style methods, with the odd fish taking a long-cast spoon or hardbody from the banks. The weir itself is sitting at around 55% at the moment and has been rather slow on the trout front, with the normal response from anglers searching for trout being "Yeah a few small ones". Most of the fish being caught at the moment are coming from the main arm, from Eildon boat harbour through to just inside Big River inlet. Flat-lined tassie devils are definitely a good option to carry, with a larger 'spawning trout' pattern hardbody set a few metres down also giving you the chance at annoying a larger fish on it's way to spawn.

Customer Sam entered the Eildon Fishing Competition last week and didn't do too bad. Sam was fishing the main lake casually chasing the trout and he ended up with a couple of nice fish. Trolling lures around the timbered edge found browns to around 40cm for Sam, with assist hook rigged flatlined spoons and tassies doing the damage.