Things are good in the fresh! There are plenty of options for all manner of fishing and heading in all different directions. Up around the Eildon region the pondage has been producing fish from pre-holidays stockings when conditions allow. With plenty of water still being sent down the Goulburn river the pondage has experienced increased flow which has made the bite a bit inconsistent. Fishing during the next spell of low pondage flow will see the fish come back on. Dough style baits and light line have been the key to catching these fish. Staff members Don and George fished the pondage during the week and found a few smaller fish amongst tough conditions. Persistence and the correct berley have been key.


While the Goulburn itself hasn't been super exciting in terms of trout reports there have been some nice fish caught in the rivers above Eildon itself. Customer Chris had a good weekend fishing with his two boys recently on both the Delatite and Howqua rivers. While Chris had good success fishing small bladed spinners and hardbodies, his sons Atticus and Flynn caught both brown and rainbow trout on unweighted worms free drifted into some of the pools.


In the south Gippsland region the rivers have been running as low and clear as ever but still producing fish. While the fish may be small they are not pushovers and still require an element of stealth in approach unless you want to see the tail end of the trout heading in the opposite direction. Customer Brendan fished the Noojee region over the weekend and landed a few typical brown trout from the Latrobe river. Brendan found that the most effective lures were small slender jerkbaits in natural galaxia patterns.


On the cod scene things are starting to heat up for the bigger fish. Early Autumn is an excellent time to target the bigger fish in the lakes and dams, while the smaller fish will still keep you busy. Customer Shane fished Lake Mulwala just recently with his wife in some lovely conditions.  The lake produced a few fish for them, with 3 nice cod around the 60cm mark taking spinnerbaits worked along the channel edges.


Continuing on with the cod, the locally stocked lake of Karkarook Park has produced a couple of fish for persistent anglers. While they aren't monsters they have been caught on lures and can be caught. Customer Cip fished the lake last week and connected to one of the small cod on a small spoon. Cip was fishing the spoon over a shallow clay bank drop off in search of trout when the cod pounced.

 


There is plenty going on in the freshwater if you want to try your luck. Pretty much every specie is on offer at present, from local suburban lakes right up to the Murray river way up near Swan Hill. Local lakes such as Devilbend and Karkarook have been producing fish and customer Morgan has been getting amongst them. Morgan has been catching some sizeable redfin from a few different lakes around the area, with fish well over 40cm smashing small surface lures and plastics. Morgan has found lures that imitate the local mosquito fish have been the most effective on the redfin.


The native fish up along the Murray have been fishing well, with golden perch and Murray cod both active at the moment. Customer Phil fished the Murray up towards Mildura and caught some chunky golden perch from the boat. Fishing baits back in around undercut banks and fallen timber was the most effective method, with shrimp and frozen bass yabbies the two most effective baits at present. Customer Andy also fished the Murray around Yarrawonga for the cod and he has been catching a few smaller fish to around 65cm. Andy has been casting a few different styles of lure, with high-buoyancy hardbodies doing well for him over the timber and weed at present.


There has been plenty on offer closer to home around Eildon. Fisheries Victoria have been very busy stocking 150 solid trout to over 2kg in the pondage during the week - with a mixture of both browns and rainbows. These fish will be worth targeting now that they have been in the lake for a few days - so make sure you check all your coarse tackle and specialist baits and berley out before the kids go back to school. 

In the main lake at Eildon, Fisheries have also topped up Murray cod numbers, with another 25,000 cod stocked in during the week. At around 3 months old, these cod fingerlings will find shelter among the broken rock and timber and turn into mean, lure-crunching machines soon enough!


Speaking of Eildon cod, there have been some nice fish caught - but the high amount of water traffic over the busy period has kept things a bit quieter. If you're a die-hard cod angler you're probably not fishing 'gentlemens hours' anyway so you will be aware of the boat traffic. Despite this, there have been fish caught. Customer Travis went and fished the lake recently after purchasing a handful of different cod lures.

Trav persisted away with a large redfin pattern swimbait which got nailed by a chunky little cod of around 50cm, right within sight of one of the main boat ramps! Just goes to show that there are fish all through the lake, and the only way to catch them is to keep on casting! Trav also had some fun on the carp during down time, with some sight caught using surface lures. Catching the carp in the lake can be good fun and a good way to break the monotony on the light gear.

 

 

There has been some mixed freshwater fishing over the week, but should be right on a lot of people's attention over the break. Most species are fishing well, whether you're heading to chase trout or natives. Down at Blue Rock Lake customer George has been catching a few nice bass. George has been fishing in the boat and concentrating around the vertical timber with small freshwater yabbies. Some of the bass that George has been catching have been nearly 40cm, and at this size they will be able to show you where the nearest timber is.


With cod season well underway, there has been a few more anglers getting out and fishing the rivers and lakes. Lake Eildon has been producing some cod for persistent anglers fishing with both bait and lures, while the yellowbelly have also been on the chew. Customer Silvia has been catching the yellowbelly around the Bonnie Doon region of the lake using freshwater yabbies. By fishing the yabbies close the bottom on a fine gauge baitholder hook, Silvia has landed yellowbelly to around 50cm. Customer Steve has also been having success around the area on small murray cod using spinnerbaits.


Around the pondage at Eildon the trout have been biting. Fisheries have released a batch of solid fish into the pondage and another top up is due just about any day now. Customer Jozef has been fishing his wife Margaret who has been the star of late. Margaret has been catching all of the fish on a mixture of powerbaits, with the salmon eggs doing the job of late. Jozef has been trying 7g tassie devils and other small hardbodies but they fish haven't been as favourable towards the lures. Eildon is worth a drive up around the Christmas break as the to up of trout should be right on the chew.

 


This is the time of year to be out targeting cod and yellowbelly at places like lake Eildon. The warming and rising lake levels really bring these natives on the go, as they patrol the edges looking for the baitfish that push into the shallows. The cod of the lake are normally aggressive around this time of the year as they look fend off rivals and intruders from their spawning areas.


Customer Ash and his cousin fished lake Eildon over the weekend in search of a yellowbelly or possibly a cod. After trying a few options, large freshwater yabbies were deployed and they were the flavour. The guys fished the Big River arm and ended up with an 87cm cod and some solid yellowbelly in the 60cm size range. Not a bad way to spend a weekend!


Targeting the yellowbelly of the area or in other regions, you need a mix of bait options and also lures sizes. Yellowbelly can be very aggressive and inquisitive towards large offerings but also very finicky and shy away from all but the smallest lure or bait like tiny river shrimp. Like all forms of fishing, having a few different options to get you off the mark is the way to go!

 


Many keen anglers relish the start of the spring weather, as with the warmth comes the multitude of species waking from a winter docile state. Anglers in the know will out looking for freshwater natives such as bass and yellowbelly as they become more active. This is especially true with the yellowbelly, and generally the very best fishing for them will occur over the next 8 or so weeks.


Customer David has been on the lookout for the 'yellas' around some of the stocked lakes and has been catching fish to around 2kg on lipless crankbaits. Yellowbelly really hone in on these lures and the spring 'vibe' bite can be red hot when you find a patch of fish hungry and hunting. 


Customer Ryan has also been catching some nice yellowbelly over the past week, with the biggest weighing around 4kg. Again the lure of choice for Ryan has been a lipless crankbait, but there are also plenty of other successful options for the thinking angler to try; Small spinnerbaits and jig spinners, floating crankbaits with 'double' hooks, swim-jigs, and carolina rigged soft plastics to really fish in the heavy stuff.

HOT SPOT: The best spot around for trophy yellowbelly is no doubt Lake Eildon. The northern end of the lake around Bonnie Doon is worth a good look as snow melts slowly floods the gradual edges and gives the fish plenty of food to find, and this is generally where you will find them. The next 5 or 6 weeks are the prime time, especially if we get a string of milder days.

 


Although Murray cod season is not far from closing this year, Lake Eildon remains open year round - and is an excellent option if you want to come tight to a cod, especially a big one! While the fishing at this time of year can be hard going, the rewards are there for those putting in all those casts. EJ Todd Victorian Representative Mitch has putting in the time using swimbaits and big surface lures and has connected to some proper slob cod over the last week or so. Dobyns swimbait rods have been good to him in casting heavy baits all day long. 


Meanwhile, customer Will also stayed connected to a nice mid 70cm fish from the lake over the weekend. Will came in store to look at hook upgrades for his lures after having a fish roll off recently, and after some advice and a terminal tackle top up his first bite stayed on and made it to the net. Hook upgrades for chunky lake cod are a must!

In a different area of the lake, Nick also managed to get a real toad of a cod just under 85cm in the boat. Nick is the Victorian agent for Viva Fishing and Megabass Australia. Nick's favourite Megabass rod 'The Poker' made short work of this fish in around vertical timber.


The successful lure for Nick was the Megabass Vatalion in carp colour. The Vatalion is fast becoming a firm favourite for anglers wanting a smaller profile swimbait easily castable on lighter gear. They have a very positive body roll and tail kick at slow speeds and are getting the better of the Eildon cod. Pop in store if you want to check them out before they sell out!

 

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.  

 


The natives have been fishing well over recent weeks, with many holidaying anglers getting amongst the Murray cod and yellowbelly, from Nagambie on the Goulburn right up to the Murray around Barmah. Young guns Jayden and Lester fished with their dad up at Bonnie Doon recently where they landed 5 nice chunky yellowbelly. The most productive method was fishing a small freshwater yabby on a paternoster rig, with 2/0 'shiner' style hook the best choice.


Customer Steve was fishing up around Eildon just recently where he landed this ripper Murray cod on an Icon spinnerbait. The cod measured 84cm and was in excellent condition.


Customer Andy has been up on Lake Mulwala again recently where he loves to target the cod. Andy has found the fishing a bit slower of late, with water traffic probably a bit factor. Andy has still been getting a few smaller cod like this one later during the day and into the evening on surface lures, with this purple 'cod cracker' one of his favourites.


Customer Steve has been fishing further along the Murray near Barmah, where the fishing has been patchy. Steve recently caught a few nice silver perch like this by bobbing live shrimp around the snags. Steve has been catching the shrimp in bait traps along the edges of the river, with gum leaves or aniseed scent attracting the shrimp in.


Customer Chris has recently come back from holidaying along the Goulburn River at Nagambie. Chris sent us these photos of his sons Flynn and Atticus both with their first ever Murray cod caught just downstream of Nagambie. Both the boys are well and truly hooked on fishing and are well aware of catch and 'live to fight another day' fishing.

 

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.

 

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.