I had the need to travel to Melbourne early this week, first time I had been south of the city limits for 10 years.
That time I drove, but this time I decided to take the train, I had heard negative reports of the journey so I was a little wary.
Travel time and scheduling aside I believe them to be separate issues, the journey was seamless.
I needed to get to Springvale, an outer eastern area of Melbourne and the connection between V/Line and the Metro service went without a hitch and the station staff I had anything to do with were happy and helpful.
This made the whole trip a lot less stressful than it might have otherwise been, well done V/Line.
The reason for the journey was to say farewell to one of the people who introduced me to fishing as a child.
In fact, he witnessed my very first catch a redfin of not big proportion — my eldest brother.
Apart from that early occasion we did not spend a lot of time fishing together, but neither of us lost the love of being a fishing person.
In our region, the fishing has been getting better, you may have noticed a distinct tinge of yellow in the bush as the wattle trees begin to bloom.
This has been a signal that the yellowbelly are coming on the bite.
Anglers need to fish around the snags and fallen timber and with the least amount of weight possible.
A bunch of worms or small yabby dangled around the structure should attract a bite, if nothing happens in 10 minutes or so move to another spot.
There is a bag limit of five fish a person and the size limit is 30cm. Sticking to these restrictions will ensure the fishery will survive into the future and our children and grandchildren will have an opportunity to catch fish as we have.
Cod have also been a little more active as they feed up for the breeding season.
One spot that I have not mentioned recently is the area between Echuca and Torumbarry and, by the way, cod season closes on September 1, but as the cod season closes, the trout season in rivers and streams will re-open.
There are reports of redfin also on the bite at Waranga Basin.
Fishing a bait of worms or yabbies as well as lures and soft plastics in the deeper water have been getting some good results with some bigger fish among those being caught.
At Dartmouth, one of my favoured winter destinations, good bags of trout have been taken mainly early morning by anglers trolling a ford fender trailing a bunch of worms, mud eye or clown patter Tassie devil-style lure.
Just about any part of the lake is worth a try, but areas such as Larson’s Cutting or in front of the wall are worth special attention.
Salt water anglers are still getting good results around the bay and also off the coast at Portland, Rod Lawn from Adamas Fishing Charters said while the tuna had moved a bit off shore, they were still getting plenty of fish with bigger fish among them.
He said trolling skirted lures was still the best method.
Rod said around his home town of Queenscliff, some snapper and whiting were biting around the inshore reefs off Barwon Heads and Ocean Grove.
He said squid were being caught along the Point Lonsdale beach near the cottage.
Anglers in Western Port Bay were reporting whiting along the grass beds near Hastings and Gummy shark on the ebb tide using fresh fillets of salmon or squid in the deeper water near the shipping lanes.
North of the border at Eden, John Liddell said yellowfin tuna were being caught off the shelf as well as some early bluefin tuna, which were moving into the area.
John said plenty of table fish were being caught along the inshore reefs near Boyd’s Lookout and also around Green Cape.
Big jumbo-sized flathead were being caught in deep water off the cape.
Further north at Narooma, Graham Cowley reported tuna off the shelf mainly north of Montague Island and boats were also getting king fish trolling lures and jigging when a school could be found.
Graham said good bags of flathead were being caught along the sandy bottom and snapper on the reefs, squid and fresh striped tuna fillets were the best bait.
Graham said when it was to rough to go off shore there was always action inside the lake with Godzilla-sized flathead and bream being caught using lures and soft plastics when fished around the oyster leases.