With the Murray cod season opening in less than 2 weeks, now is the time to stock up and get yourself prepared! Make sure to check over all of your lures, hooks, leader and terminal gear along with your rod guides and main lines. You don't want to lose that trophy fish through something that could have been prevented!

Murray cod season looks to be a good season this year with river levels slightly down and clearer at the moment. Most of the main lakes such as Eildon, Mulwala and Nillahcootie are looking good also. Customer Kevin fished a mate's dam just recently where there were rumored to be a couple of decent cod, and he found out exactly what sort of cod were in there! Kevin's fish ate a small Jitterbug surface paddler.

 

How are these for rainbow trout! For anyone wondering about the size of the trout that roam Eildon pondage, this is what you can expect! The pondage has been producing trout like this at a fairly consistent rate recently, however customer Jozeph and his wife Margaret have just about perfected the art of catching these tricky fish. Patience, the correct berley method and lots of options amongst your powerbait colours are some of the inside tips.


 

A good fish to help tune your lure or even bait fishing abilities up while being close to home are redfin. The good thing about the 'reddies' is they're just about found in any wetland or lake around the suburbs of Melbourne, and at the moment most of the lakes are firing. The slight warmer weather has the reddies going nuts, whether you're fishing Rowville Lakes or Devilbend Reservoir. Lure choices will vary on the water you're fishing, like this slim hardbodied minnow for amongst the shallow weed through to deep sinking plastics and vibes.


James Rogers has been fishing with his son around some of his local lakes, and has found that the reddies have been taking a liking to small vibe styles lures. This Yakamito Lancet is a very good juvenile redfin imitation and most of the larger school redfin are cannibalistic so they will happily eat their own. James said small hops of this lure while close to the lake bottom got the bite just about every cast.

 

Many of the local stocked lakes have been producing trout over the past few weeks with Karkarook, Pakenham, Emerald and Rowville all worth a shot. Fishing coarse methods (maggots and berley in short) has been the most effective way to catch one of these yearling rainbows. If you do want to learn more about ways in which you can make the most of these fisheries then pop into the store, like customer Joszef did. Joszef picked up a few coarse fishing essentials and took off, and came back to the shop about an hour later - he had already landed a couple of nice rainbows and a crucian carp from Emerald lake. 

 

Customer Jordan has also been making the most of the feisty urban lake rainbows recently. Being a 'trout-nut' and not having any rivers to fish, Jordan has been catching the rainbows on fly to keep his casting arm nice and loose. Jordan has found that small damsel or dragonfly nymph patterns have been the most effective lately. These fish will also take small lures such as bullet minnows or micro soft plastics for the spin fisherman.


 

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. 

 


Melbourne's local freshwater fishing has been good over the past month, as we've finally gotten some rain! Many of the creeks have been running low, and the water storage dams have also been down on capacity. We have however started t o get some of our winter rain which has breathed a bit of life back into the system, and in the annual timeline of a trout - prompted them to start their spawn run. Many of the larger rivers around the region have seen congregations of fish pushing their way up to their spawning grounds. While these fish at times can be annoyingly frustrating to try and catch, they will swat a precisely placed lure on their way up river.


Many of the trout rivers within 2 hours drive from the CBD have been producing fish of late as well. The Goulburn river has been running at a low environmental level which if anything has concentrated the fish a bit more. Rainbows to around 800g have been the norm for bait, lure and fly anglers lately. The smaller streams such as Rubicon, Acheron and also the Yarra have been producing fish for all methods too. Straight after a solid downpour a small bunch of scrubbies or troutworms drifted down river is a pretty good way to go. For the lure angler, hardbodies in the 60mm size range are perfect, with high flash golds and aggressive colour schemes working well. Just a reminder that the 2016 trout season closes at midnight on Monday 13th June, up until midnight Friday 2nd September. Trout can still be taken in designated 'sea run' streams and lakes, with all details being found through the following link:

http://agriculture.vic.gov.au/fisheries/recreational-fishing/recreational-fishing-guide/catch-limits-and-closed-seasons/freshwater-scale-fish/rainbow-trout/trout-and-salmon-regulations




 


While some sections of the Murray river have been affected by blue green algae, this hasn't stopped the fish from biting. The section down stream from Yarrawonga is the worst affected at present, with a small amount still affecting upstream from Yarrawonga towards Corrowa. To prove that the algae hasn't made fishing pointless, customer Mario fished the section of river from Corrowa down towards Bundalong - where he caught around 60 cod in 5 days. A lot of the fish were in the 40 - 60cm size range, with a few like this 80cm fish taking lures also. Trolled stumpjumpers and cast spinnerbaits did most of the damage.


Staff member Dylan has also been caught a few cod recently. Dylan has been fishing the section of water around Bundalong and has caught fish to around 75cm on surface lures during the afternoon. Customer Travis also fished for the cod recently and managed his first one which he was rapt with.


Not to be outdone, the golden perch have been quite active in the Murray around Mulwala recently. Dropping water temperatures have kicked them into gear and had them feeding actively, with staff member Dylan and mates catching a few nice ones over the Anzac weekend. The goldens have been hitting 3/8th and 1/2oz spinnerbaits along large bankside snags, with purples, whites and red skirt colours being the standout colours recently. These fish should be reasonably active over the next month and then slow off as the water gets substantially cooler towards June.

 

For the holiday makers heading to any of the states' northern impoundments, the native fish are about as active as they will get over the summer months. Water temperatures in all but the coldest regions have warmed dramatically and this has sent species like Murray cod, yellowbelly and bass into overdrive.

Customers Jordan and Jinsu have done some work on the yellowbelly in recent weeks, and have caught fish to around 45cm in length. While yellas can take a bit of searching to find where they are holed up, normally once one is caught there is a good chance that a few more will be close by. Jordan and Jinsu found small profile vibes like the Daiwa 47S to be effective when hopped around likely rock ledges and fallen timber.

Customer Zoran also chased the yellas up towards Eildon with a mate and found some nice fish. Using modern sounder technology, the yellowbelly were able to be pinpointed and targeted using small plastics around fallen timber. Most of the fish were in the 45 - 55cm range which are chunky little fish.

The next couple of months should see the yellowbelly plateau off somewhat, with themselves and Murray cod still a good option for summer freshwater fisherman.  

 


With the school holidays coming up next week, DEPI Victoria have stocked a number of local suburban lakes with yearling rainbow trout so that kids of all ages can access some decent fun fishing that is close to home. For a complete list of lakes that have been stocked please follow the link below.

http://agriculture.vic.gov.au/fisheries/recreational-fishing/fish-stocking/school-holiday-trout-stocking

While these trout may be small and feisty and can be caught lure, fly and bait-fishing; they aren't complete knockovers, especially if you are using the wrong gear or methods. The single most effective method for catching these fish is 'simplified coarse fishing'. The use of specific berley mixtures, rigs and baits will just about ensure success at any location. If you're unsure about any of the methods used we can show you in store as without proper explanation it can sound confusing. 

Staff member George and his mate Pero used this 'simplified' method of coarse fishing down at Karkarook Park Lake just recently to land their 10 trout in a short time. George said that the fish would bite very timidly and any resistance against them would force them to drop the bait and move off. In this scenario very light tipped 'feeder' style rods and the most effective tool for hooking these type of subtle biting fish. 


Staff member Don also took his young twins down to Karkarook Park Lake for a bit of fun on the trout this week, and using the same light line method of fishing the twins were unstoppable. Even a 2lb carp came along and took one of the baits, which became soup for one of Don's European friends.

In a suburban wetland not too far away, fishing nut Jordan has been honing his skills and tactics on some redfin while the weather has been average. Jordan has been using a variety of methods including weedless soft plastic rigs to entice the reddies from out of the reeds and grass. The good thing about this form of fishing is that virtually every wetland or suburban lake around Melbourne will have these fish in them. A good way to practice your skills close to home  

 

 

Even though trout streams are off-limits until September, the local family fishing lakes around Melbourne have been worth fishing if you need a trout fix. Karkarook, Emerald, Casey Fields and Rowville have all been fishing well lately with some recently stocked rainbow trout on the hit list. There has definitely been a proper technique to catching these fish consistently with anglers just 'taking a punt' most often going home fishless. Preparation of trout-specific berley and the correct rigging technique, along with a bit of patience will see you tackling with some feisty little rainbows. 

Staff member Don took his twin boys down to a couple of the family lakes recently and had no trouble catching a heap of trout using the proper methods. He did notice a few anglers struggling with incorrect presentation or bait but after a good explanation in the store these anglers were out catching the week after.

Customers George and Kristina fished Emerald lake during the school holidays where they caught some trout. Using a light paternoster rig and Gulp trout nuggets they caught 5 rainbows in a couple of hours.

Close by some of the local wetlands and suburban lakes have been keeping people busy with catches of redfin. Customers Kozi and Yuta have been casting lures in some of the local dams and wetlands for redfin up to about 400g. Yuta made up his own lure using a vodka cruiser bottletop and it tricked a couple of fish, but now has to live down the fact that everyone knows he drinks cruisers...