It was an ill wind that blew last weekend, a fresh to strong south-easterly that effectively kept myself and a gallant crew of would-be anglers at home instead of doing our best to battle the kingfish of Queenscliff.
Rod Lawn from Adamas Fishing Charters phoned late Friday afternoon to suggest we stay in bed instead of getting on the road in the wee small hours to drive to his neck of the woods. His advice was spot on: the winds blew, the seas were rough — the decision to postpone our trip was a wise one.
Disappointed, yes, but staying home allowed me to head to the river to angle for a cod. Believe it or not, the wind also affected the fishing at a local level. It was not pleasant sitting by the Goulburn as leaves and other tree debris, as well as dust, forced an early retirement indoors to make plans for a future trip when conditions were better.
One thing always in the back of my mind when near trees is the fear of one dropping a branch or falling over. This has happened in the past with some tragic outcomes. Last weekend I heard of a couple travelling from Eildon to Melbourne over the Black Spur, when midway along their journey fate intervened. The rear of their vehicle was crushed by a huge tree that fell without warning — fortunately they were unharmed but the vehicle was a write-off.
What if it fell a fraction of a second earlier or they were driving marginally slower? You would drive yourself crazy if you began the ‘what ifs'. The good new was that they were not hurt, and the car can be replaced.
I did not hear a lot of reports from around the region, but some cod were being caught around the Nagambie area. Anglers using lures and bait have both been getting results, some large cod among the catch.
The Murray has been fishing well around Ulupna Island, as well as near the mouth of the Broken Creek near Nathalia and upstream around Cobram and Lake Mulwala. Anglers using chicken and other baits including cheese have reported catching cod.
At Eildon the water was affected by the wind and anglers were forced to fish the sheltered bays to avoid the rough water. The same goes for Waranga Basin and Lake Nillahcootie, which I hear has been fishing well for yellow belly — both lures and bait, including live shrimp and worms, as well as small yabbies, all gaining good results.
Dartmouth is now below 50 per cent capacity so launching a boat has become difficult, with most boat ramps well clear of the water. Last I heard, trout was being caught early in the morning by anglers trolling fenders with either bait or hard-body lures in a clown or trout pattern.
Down south Rod Lawn had mixed results when he could get out. The action off the heads was snapper and flathead around the Bluff at Barwon Heads and salmon in the Rip; some nice King George whiting around the grass beds from Swan Bay to St Leonards and the White Lady channel marker. Rod said he was looking forward to calmer weather this weekend and was hoping to locate the schools of kingfish once again.
At Eden John Liddell said anglers fishing the inshore reefs were bagging snapper, morwong and other reef fish, including an occasional gurnard and leather jacket, and along the sandy bottom they were catching good-sized flathead. John said most of the action was between Boyd’s Lookout and Green Cape.
Mark from Freedom Charters said that off the shelf there were some marlin and tuna, providing action for the big-game anglers.
At Narooma, Graham Cowley told a similar tale although heading out to the shelf is a lot easier, as it is closer to the shore off Montague Island.
Graham said his stretch of the coast had also been affected by the weather and when it was too rough to go offshore the lake provided an option for anglers to fish for bream and flathead around the oyster leases.
At Flinders Island James Luddington said he was able to find some shelter from the winds in the lee of the islands off Lady Baron and was still able to catch some nice gummy shark and flathead, although the tough weather prevented him from fishing a lot of the more productive waters.