By Craig Parker
The trout season will be coming to an end at 12.01am on Tuesday the 13 of June until 11.59pm on Friday the 1st of September in all our rivers and tributaries for all hook and line fishing.
Eildon Pondage is a great place for a day or two to come and fish with the family. It has a regular stocking of both rainbow and brown trout of all sizes coming from Victorian Fisheries main hatcheries just up the road at Snobs creek. When these fish are released into the pondage, they can be caught on all types of bait including powerbait, local dough, worms and mudeyes (dragon fly larvae), lures and flies. Hot areas to fish are Burke Road, Riverside Drive, the old footy oval opposite the town and Cemetery Point.
To fish for trout in Lake Eildon it pays to have a watercraft to be able to access the large arms and deep water for some trolling using lures like Tassie Devils, Rapala, and Stump Jumpers. A speed of 2kms per hour or a speed that has your lure working efficiently is recommended. There are also options for land based fishing the arms and inlets. Casting lures or bait fishing with a floating rig is recommended with first and last light is the best time for this method of fishing.
Lake Eildon hosts a large variety of fish from English perch (redfin), roach, trout both rainbow and brown, yellow belly, European carp (which must not be returned to the water alive) and the mighty Murray cod.
Most of these fish become less active during this time, mainly due to the low water temperature but trout and large Murray cod really become active and your chance of catching a large sized Murray cod increase. Baits such as large yabbies, chicken fillets, scrub worms, or cheese chunks will attract these fish. Large lures like swim baits, spinner baits, deep diving lures and surface lures are all used.
Fishing from the shoreline around the lake can be very productive, especially around fallen timber and deep drop-offs where there are large rock or slate formations, as these areas are prime spots for a large cod to hold up and ambush its prey. Fishing by watercraft can make this easier especially with the help of a fish finder or depth sounder, moving around the lake and finding structure or steep drop-offs as well as finding the fish is a massive bonus.
June 1 is the start of the Murry crayfish season with this ending on 31 August, the daily limit of two crayfish per person and size limits of a minimum of 10cm carapace length and a maximum of 12cm carapace length apply – female crayfish carrying eggs under their tail must be released immediately. Measuring devices can be obtained from your local tackle shop or by calling Victorian Fisheries customer service centre on 136 186.
The use of chicken frames, ox hearts or fish frames work well for the crayfish with many anglers reporting them even grabbing their worms intended for the fish they are targeting. Deep rocky areas with submerged timber are prime spots to target during the day with the shallow flats and weed beds of a night.
The Goulburn River and Lake Eildon have different regulations on equipment used so check the Victorian Recreational Fishing Guide for all your necessary information. A date to remember is 2 September for the Goulbourn Fishing Festival held at Riverside Drive along the pondage with casting clinics for all ages, trout related produce and cooking demos as well as trade stores and the stocking of huge 10kg rainbow trout in the pondage and rivers.