I start this week’s story on a sad note.
A man known to many anglers in our region and beyond, and someone I was proud to call a mate, has died.
Bob Darley taught me much about fishing; the regular morning cuppas and chats in his workshop-cum-garage where we talked about all things fishing will never be forgotten.
Bob was the maker of some of the finest fishing rods I have ever used and I am proud to be the owner of a number of them. They will now become a permanent reminder of a gentleman and friend.
My sympathy to his family and also to Josephine, Bob’s friend and long-time companion.
Around the traps
Fishing in our region is improving as the weather improves, but the Goulburn is still discoloured, so using bait is the best method.
A bunch of worms, small yabbies or a cocktail of both dangled next to snags or other structure is the way to go.
If you don’t get a bite within 10 or 15minutes, move to another spot. The same applies to the Murray River.
The cod season is closed in Victoria and NSW and all cod caught must be released back into the water with as little handling as possible.
It is still legal to take cod if they are caught in Eildon, but the usual restrictions apply regarding size and bag limit.
With the wattle now in bloom, yellowbelly are on the bite and some nice fish have been caught in all the usual spots, including the rivers and also at Waranga Basin where anglers hunting a feed of redfin are reporting good yellowbelly as well. The same applies at Eildon.
Trout are falling to hard-bodied minnow-style lures as well as small bladed lures in the Goulburn below the weir in the Alexandra area. Other rivers in the north-east are also worth a try.
Dartmouth Dam is still fishing well, and lures trolled behind a boat along with an attractor such as cow bells or a Ford Fender trailing a mudeye or worms is getting good results around the boat ramp and also in the Mitta and Dart arms.
The best time is still early morning.
Saltwater fishing is going well, according to Rod Lawn from Adamas Fishing Charters at Queenscliff.
Rod said some good hauls of gummy shark were being taken off Point Lonsdale and around the mouth of the Barwon River in about 40m of water. Fresh fish fillets such as trevally and salmon were the best bait and fish around the 4kg to 5kg mark were in good numbers.
Rod said inside the bay his fishing partner Pete Smallwood got among some chunky-sized salmon in the St Leonards area while fishing for calamari and flathead.
Pete said they also saw occasional pinky snapper, but he added that the main run would not occur for about another month.
Western Port was worth a try for gummy shark mainly on dusk and along the edge of the shipping lanes near Cowes.
Fresh fish fillets were the best bait as well as squid. Some pinky snapper were biting along the rubble beds near Hastings and towards the steel works.
There is action aplenty north of the border at Eden, according to John Liddell.
He said off the shelf anglers were trolling for bluefin or yellowfin tuna.
Trolling skirted lures was getting the best results, however boats had to be taken nearly 20km off the coast to get any action.
Inshore along the reefs John said snapper and morwong were being caught as well as some jumbo-sized flathead. These were mainly caught along the sandy bottom just south of Green Cape.
He said the hour-long boat ride to reach the cape was worthwhile.
At Narooma, Graham Cowley said it was a similar story. His son, Nicholas, got among some nice kingfish just near Montague Island.
Graham said it was also worth fishing inside the lake when the weather was rough.
Flathead and bream were being caught by anglers using lures and soft plastics around the oyster leases and other structure.