Opinion

Anglers’ net gain hit by freeze

by
July 14, 2017

Anglers are fetching good bags of crayfish from the Murray River and Waranga Basin - but remember the bag limit rule.

It has been one of those weeks again — cold and wet with occasional sunny days — not the sort of conditions that make a person want to run off to the great outdoors to go fishing.

But with my footy team not doing so well there is no real incentive to become a couch potato either, so with several extra layers of clothing I went to the river, rod in hand.

The outcome of my venture was no bites, a build-up of a couple of inches of mud on my shoes, and cold fingers.

So definitely not one of my better days’ fishing.

The reports I have been receiving have not been all that encouraging either, with only an occasional fish being caught in the Goulburn River.

One keen angler reported he and a group of friends had a slow time at Eildon as well.

He said they had spent the best part of a week on a house boat and a lot of time fishing. They used bait as well as a variety of lures, with just three trout and a couple of small redfin to show for their efforts.

There is still only a tiny hint of yellow among the trees and that means the wattle is yet to come into full bloom, so the yellowbelly are still to come on the bite in earnest, although cod are still nosing around looking for a feed.

Some cod have been caught at Eildon around the structure, and anglers using deep diving lures are getting the best results and the most catches have been around the wall and in the main house boat harbour, although fish are where you catch them.

The good news is that the river level is now dropping following the end of the recent environmental releases from Lake Eildon and that means that I should be able to get to my favoured fishing spots as soon as they dry out a little and the banks become less slippery.

The crayfish season is continuing with some good bags of these delicious crustaceans being caught in the Murray River and also in Waranga Basin.

Crayfishing

Remember the bag and size limit that applies to crayfish — a recent blitz by fisheries inspectors nabbed a number of people who had exceeded their bag limit as well as taking undersized crays, females in berry and having more nets than is permitted.

Crayfish take a long time to reach maturity and are vulnerable to over-fishing, so if anglers stick to the rules we will have a great resource into the future.

Saltwater

Saltwater fishing has continued to be productive — Rod Lawn, from Adamas Fishing Charters at Queenscliff, said a good variety of fish were being taken around that region.

He said some snapper were biting off the coast around Ocean Grove and Barwon Heads. Whiting and calamari were being caught inside the heads near the cottage and silver trevally were being caught around the mouth of the creek near the ferry terminal.

Rod said gummy shark were also being caught near the old submarine wrecks on the late run-out tide.

He said fresh trevally fillets and squid were the best baits.

Rod said salmon were being caught by anglers on the surf beaches, using silver lures and whole pilchards — once again on the run-out tide.

Rod, who has been fishing around Portland, said bluefin tuna were still being caught close in. He said most fish were around the 10 to 15kg size, but he expected the bigger fish to come on the bite next month.

North of the border at Eden, John Liddell said he was hearing of good hauls of snapper and morwong being caught along the inshore reefs and big flathead around the Green Cape area, although it is a good hour-long boat trip from Twofold Bay to the cape.

Up north

John said kingfish were also being caught by anglers, using live bait and knife jigs.

He said finding the schools of fish was the trick. Anglers needed a good finder to read the bottom.

John said anglers fishing off the shelf were catching yellowfin tuna when the conditions were right, and that water temperature was the key to attracting schools of bait fish to the area as these, in turn, attracted the tuna.

A little further north at Narooma, Graham Cowley said his son Nicholas was catching plenty of table fish when fishing the inshore reefs, including snapper, flathead, morwong and perch.

He said kingfish were schooling around an area to the north of Montague Island and off the shelf bluefin tuna were falling prey to skirted lures when trolled behind a boat.

Graham said when the bar at Narooma was too rough to go off shore, fishing inside the lake was a good alternative. Large bream were being caught around the oyster leases as well as mega-sized flathead.

Soft plastics were a good method of fishing as well as using bait such as squid or slimy mackerel.

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