There's been some fishing news for the freshwater anglers recently, with some big fish stockings done by the Victorian Fisheries Authority. On the fishing front the western lakes have been producing quality trout for those keen enough to brave the cold, with Lake Wendouree the standout. Fishing surface lures or hardbodies just under the film is a good way to illicit a savage strike from an angry trout as they chase smelt around. Customer Grant fished Lake Tullaroop last week in search of some of the lakes large redfin and he wasn't disappointed. Grant landed some very nice fish on small 'bream' style jerkbaits and plastics fished around isolated pockets of weed. These western lakes have been producing some nice redfin for the lure anglers and now is the time to be chasing them.


Just recently Victorian Fisheries opened a new fishery close to Melbourne. Ferntree Gully quarry was never a secret, but only even had unofficial species in it. Just recently it had a dozen murray cod and golden perch stocked into it, along with over 300 trout! There have been some decent sized put in as well, with staff members Chris and George going up to the lake for a look. While they were there they saw some large trout in the 5 - 6lb size cruising, along with 2 of the cod. Just prior to school holidays it was topped up with yearling rainbows for the kids to catch. Powerbait and dough methods have been working on these fish, with quite a few hitting small spoons, hardbodies and soft plastics also. The natives should respond to bladed jigs and lipless crankbaits fished deep, and the lake will also lend itself perfectly for swimbaiting for the cod. 


Back in the states' west, Victorian Fisheries have been busy in the crater lakes, with a recent trout stocking. Lake Purrumbete received 1600 'cheetah' trout for the first time ever just this week. The cheetah trout is a sterile hybrid between both rainbow trout and brook trout and just another addition to the already booming trout fishery in the west of the state. While these recently stocked were only in the advanced yearling size they should respond to coarse and dough style fishing similar to that of other stocked lakes like Eildon pondage.

 


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.

 


The freshwater reports have been overshadowed a bit by snapper but there has been a bit on offer in the sweet water. Murray cod season has just opened up and is looking good for the Summer ahead, there have been yellowbelly and redfin caught locally and the trout fishing has been excellent still.

Eildon pondage has again been the standout if you're chasing a couple of nice trout and not fussed on either lure or bait fishing. Customer Zoran has been fishing the pondage and has been catching fish to around 2kg on a mixture of dough and powerbait. Long rods fished with mono have been the go in setting the hook on subtle bites and pickups where shorter rods simply can't.


Eildon pondage received a top up of ex brood fish averaging 4kg last Thursday, with plans for another top up before Christmas, so it is well worth a trip up. Customer Jozef helped release some of the fish into the pondage which has baited him to get back up and try to catch them. Jozef did witness some large fish caught on small hardbodies as they cruised through the shallows as they hunted for small minnows and insects. Having a spin rod rigged with a small hardbody or plastic is a good idea while you're bait fishing.


A bit further north many anglers tried their luck fishing for cod over the opening weekend. Mulwala had a large field of anglers for the Cod Classic, with some lovely fish to over a metre caught. Customers Shane and Sue Brown fished the busy lake over the weekend with tough fishing but did manage a couple of small cod casting spinnerbaits at the timber.


Customer Steve also tried his luck for the first time on the cod, fishing the Murray up around Cobram. Steve and mate Ev camped in the area and tried a few techniques on the cod, with Ev landing a 57cm fish on a large yabby. Steve tried out some lures he purchased in store and nailed a nice 60cm fish on a spinnerbait. Steve has since purchased a baitcasting outfit to get into them even more.


Reports from Sugarloaf reservoir around Mebourne's outskirts is that it has been fishing well for yellowbelly. The dam is normally reasonably quiet for anglers but can be a good spot for a walk around the shoreline casting lures. Of late the yellowbelly have been active, with warm water bringing the fish on to the edges to look for food. Customer Ryan has been catching fish to around 40cm on a mixture of vibes and soft plastics. The vibes have been a fast way to 'search' the banks for a school of fish, while the weedless rigged soft plastics can be fished back slowly and thoroughly to make the most of the patch of fish.

 


With some warm weather coming through the freshwater reports haven't been as thick - as many stream trout anglers stay away from some of the snake infested rivers. But there has still been on offer if you are out and about! Down at Blue Rock Lake the redfin and bass have been getting caught by angler casting lures. Most of the redfin have been in the 25cm size range with big numbers moving about in the bays and coves. Many of the bass have also been on the small size but there are some big fish in there for those persistent enough. Customer Jordan has been catching a few on deep diving crankbaits along the edges of the timber with lures like the Daiwa Spike and Yakamito Devil Edge both working well.


Staff member Dylan has also been catching some fish to around 30cm size range in the lake, with small swimbaits and crankbaits working the best. The new Megabass Vibration-X Vattalion has been a very good addition to the box for this area, as the fish have really been hitting it.


The yellowbelly have been fishing well in most of the dams and impoundments around the state, with Lake Eildon producing some nice sized fish. The fish can be tricky to locate in such a big waterway but once they are found normally you can catch a couple. Fishing the vertical timber with plastics has been a good method on sounded schools, along with casting and trolling crankbaits on the rocky edges. Customer Jason has been catching some solid fish to 55cm on hardbodies from the shores of the lake over the week.


Among the yellowbelly some good sized redfin have been getting in the act. Fishing a bit larger lure has been one method of catching slightly bigger fish than normal, with small lures simply getting pestered by fry sized fish. The larger fish are happy to eat a bigger lure and you may catch a yellowbelly or two by upsizing lure.


Around the pondage there have still been some quality trout being caught, especially early during the day. The low light bite has been good for both lure and bait fishers here. Customer Frank has been landing some nice trout of both species on both methods, with coarse feeder fishing one method, and casting 13g Tassie Devils in colour 55 his other successful method.


Young angler Flynn fished down at Karkarook after coming into the store with his dad, and caught his first trout. Using the suggested dough and feeder cage rig suggested by the guys in store was the successful method. The locally stocked lakes can be quite productive at this time of year if you pay attention to the small details in rigging and fishing methods.


 


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.

 


The natives such as Murray cod and yellowbelly have really been fishing well of late. The cooler weather has started some activity from the larger fish also. Many of the main lakes have been fishing well including Mulwala and Eildon. Customer Mario fishes for cod and yellowbelly regularly up around Cohuna on the Murray, however he fished lake Mulwala just recently for some nice fish. Mario did a bit of bait fishing and caught yellowbelly to 51cm using fresh shrimp fished around the willows.


Trolling stumpjumpers Mario also caught Murray cod to 57cm. Most anglers know of the popularity of stumpjumpers, with their tight sway and highly buoyant nature ideal for slowly knocking through timber to wake up the fish.


Customer Hendrik also fished around Mulwala just last week where he had some great cod fishing. Hendrik spent his time casting surface and subsurface lures around the timber in search of that big cod, with one he thinks may have been the 'metery' coming up for a look. Amongst this inquiry Hendrik caught and released a heap of smaller fish to around 60cm, with wakebait style lures proving to be the most effective and enjoyable. The Jackall 'chanwake' was his favourite, with prop tail and loud knocking internal ball calling the fish in.

Customer Clark fished Mulwala also just recently to land some quality fish. Clark fished with mates and found both cod and yellowbelly of excellent size. Clark is a proficient lure caster and found that constant lure changes were needed to get some activity happening.

Good size yellowbelly have been active in Mulwala as the water temperature has started dropping, with slightly smaller lures such as 3/8oz spinnerbaits and Jackall 'TN' style lures working very well.


Back at Eildon, there have been some quality cod caught but it's still a persistent man's game. Water levels in the lake are around 55% and there are some good fishable banks and the moment, with plenty of excellent structure exposed and waiting for a slight increase in water level. Staff members Dylan and George fished the lake during the week for a very quiet session, but did have a few inquiries from lethargic fish. 

Customer Michael also fished the lake recently but had better success. Michael fished the Big River area of the lake and landed 2 lovely Murray cod to 76cm using spinnerbaits. Michael was slow trolling these spinnerbaits along the timbered edges when he caught these fish. If you're going to troll lures such as spinnerbaits, be sure to troll them as SLOW as possible, as trolling them too fast will see them roll and blow out, and twist your line.

 

It seems that many people have been fishing the inland rivers and lakes over the Easter break, with a few reports from various locations around the state coming through. The Autumn months can fish very well for both Murray cod and yellowbelly, though many people only associate these fish with the warm Summer months. Customer Jacques was up along the Goulburn River just recently where he did a spot of casual bait fishing. Jacques normally fishes the salt out in the bays and offshore, but managed to catch a few small Murray cod and trout cod in the river. Jacques released all of his fish safely back into the river for someone else to catch.


Customer Emilio has also been catching a few cod. Emilio has been fishing the Murray itself, around Cohuna. Emilio has been getting out on the water early, and suggests to start your fishing around 6am as these cod are most active around then. Emilio has been switching between bardi grubs and also freshwater yabbies to catch his fish, with a small amount of berley helping to get the activity started.


Not too far down the river, customer Long and mates have been catching Murray cod also. Long has been fishing the river around Echuca in a small tinny to land cod up to 65cm. Long has been fishing the dense snag piles using bardi grubs as bait for most of his fish.


Back towards Mulwala the lake has been fishing well. While the Easter ski and wake crowds have been tough to get around during the heat of the day, the fishing around low light has been good. There have been numerous cod over 1m caught by anglers casting swimbaits and surface lures around, although this fishing isn't for the easily bored. It can take 500 casts in a session to strike gold on these fish, and sometimes after all this casting you may not land a fish.

Staff member Dylan tangled with monster cod over the Easter weekend at Mulwala, only to have it earn it's freedom early as it broke 80lb leader on the snags. The big fish ate a big lure (25cm long) so it pays to go big when looking for a big cod! 

Customer Long also managed a fish in around the Bundalong section of the lake to land some nice yellowbelly to around 2kg on medium sized freshwater yabbies.


Staff member Dylan and mate Daniel took a long drive over the Easter weekend up to northern NSW in search of big cod at Copeton dam. While the Easter crowds were crazy with jetskiis, wakeboats and family cruisers all over the place, the guys worked a lot of the lake in search of a fish. Daniel managed a nice yellowbelly on a swimbait slow rolled around a pile of submerged rocks which at least got them off the board.

 

 


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.