Opinion

Reel Life

By Shepparton News

Being in Victoria at the present time is like being in the Middle Ages.

It feels as though people need to walk around wearing a sign declaring their postcodes before other places can allow entry or permission to fish.

For example, if I was going to Queenscliff, to get there I would be passing through a region that has been placed under lock-down.

Common sense says that just passing through will not be a problem, but what if you need a pit stop to get fuel or something to eat or for other reasons?

Do you see where this is heading?

It makes planning a trip complicated. So do I just take the easy way out and stay at home and fish locally?

Well, this week I explored that option and discovered that the level of the Goulburn River is unseasonably high. In fact it is almost at minor flood level.

This makes fishing from the bank out of the question, so I looked at other options: Waranga Basin, The Broken River, Eildon and Dartmouth.

Yes, there are still places worth a try, but all but the Broken require a boat.

Reports from Eildon are good with trout, cod, some redfin and yellowbelly on the bite.

Interestingly, I have started to notice a tinge of yellow in the bush. The wattles are starting to bloom and this signals the start of the yellowbelly season.

There are reports of redfin still being caught at Waranga Basin, mostly smaller fish but among them is the occasional larger one.

Some trout have also been taken in the inlet channel by anglers using hard-body lures in the rainbow pattern, while anglers chasing crayfish have also reported some success.

If you are heading to Dartmouth be prepared to be quizzed on where you live, to make sure you are not from a lock-down area.

The fishing has been good at the Dart, with brown and rainbow trout taking a bunch of worms or a mudeye trolled behind a Fender.

Larson’s Cutting, The Eight Mile and Mitta arms are worth trying as well as the bay in front of the wall and around the boat ramp.

Reports from the Murray River have been patchy.

The Murray, unlike the Goulburn River is very low and between The Hume and Yarrawonga it is difficult for boats to navigate. The secret is to find a deep hole.

Reports from Lake Mulwala have been few and far between, but there have been some large metre-plus cod caught.

Downstream around Barmah fish have been caught in the rapids and around Morgan’s Beach as well as Ulupna Island.

As you can see, there are plenty of options worth a try in our area.

In the bay and around the heads, Rod Lawn from Adamas Fishing Charters reported snapper biting on fresh squid and fish fillets in the usual spots around Queenscliff as well as off the coast at Barwon Heads and Point Lonsdale.

He said there were still schools of tuna off the 50-fathom mark off Anglesea, and flathead from the sandy bottom near Point Nepean.

Inside the heads between the Lonsdale jetty and the ferry terminal there were squid biting on jigs among the grass beds as well as further up the bay near the White Lady marker at St Leonards, as well as near Sorrento.

Around Western Port reports a similar story with snapper among the rubble near the shipping lanes at Hastings.

Gummy shark have been reported along the deep water off Cowes and squid among the grass beds near San Remo and Phillip Island.

North of the border at Eden, be prepared to be quizzed on your residential address.

John Liddell said snapper, morwong and other reef fish were biting along the inshore reefs from Twofold Bay to Green Cape.

He also said schools of couta were in the area and they were responsible for smashing off gear when they took a bait, especially jigs being used when fishing for kingfish.

At Narooma, Graham Cowley said the fishing offshore around Montague Island was good with plenty of action when bottom bouncing, as well as schools of big flathead on the sandy bottom.

He said there also schools of kingfish around the northern end of the island, and trolling lures or jigging was working well for anglers.

We have another week of the school holidays to go, so continue to play it safe. Remember to keep your distance, wash your hands, use sanitiser and stay away from the lock-down areas.

If you feel ill, stay home; call your GP for advice and get tested if you have any symptoms of coronavirus.