Opinion

Watch out for branches

by
April 13, 2018

The branch came down on Kevin Tyler's favourite fishing spot.

Just before the Easter break I mentioned it was not wise to camp or sit under a red gum.

This piece of advice was reinforced this week when a branch came down on the path I would normally take to reach my favourite fishing spot.

Had the timing been right — or perhaps I should say wrong — it would have come down right on top of my head.

While it was not the main part of the branch, if it hit someone it was still big enough to give them a pretty serious headache.

For some reason red gums tend to drop limbs at the most inopportune time; in most cases it occurs during the calm period following strong winds.

Fishing in the Goulburn River and Waranga Basin has been affected by releases from Lake Eildon, which in fact is falling at a rate of 70mm a day over its entire surface area.

This water is a lot colder than normal river temperature and has caused shrimp to hibernate and fish to go off the bite.

Reports from anglers say a lot of work is needed to find any fish, but upstream from the Broken River some nice yellowbelly and big carp were caught by anglers using cheese as bait.

A large cod was reported to have been caught almost within casting distance from the city centre.

The Murray is fishing well and yellowbelly and cod are biting around Ulupna Island as well as in Lake Mulwala and the Barmah Narrows.

Cheese, yabbies, grubs and of all things chicken pieces are the baits getting the best results, but don’t discount lures especially spinner baits and dark-coloured shallow-diving lures.

At Dartmouth the conditions have been ideal for anglers — not only to enjoy the beauty of the high country but the fishing has been good with trout feeding near the surface well into the day.

Having said that, early mornings and dusk are still the best times, and trolling a fender with a bunch of worms is the best method — but anglers using a float with either worms or mudeye suspended beneath it are also getting good results.

A trip to Eildon will give anglers an opportunity to fish for several species including cod, yellowbelly, redfin and trout.

Lures and baits are all working. Deep-diving lures are working well near the wall for cod while Fenders are resulting in good hauls of trout.

A live yabby dropped down about 5m to 6m alongside the trees is the best way to fish for redfin, and lures cast to a rocky bank and then slowly retrieved work well for yellowbelly.

Saltwater

I had a good chat with Rod Lawn from Adamas Fishing Charters at Queenscliff, and he said Peter Smallwood had just left on his annual end-of-season holiday.

Rod was still bagging late-season calamari and snapper, but only during the early morning.

Rod said plenty of flathead were being boated along the offshore sand, and blue shark were being berlied in the 60fathom mark with an occasional mako being seen near the cray pots.

Rod said he was getting his boat ready for the start of tuna season off Portland, which he said should begin next month.

Some gummy shark have been caught in the deep shipping lanes off Cowes at Western Port, but the snapper were starting to be harder to find near Hastings.

I spoke with John Liddell at Eden and he said Freedom Charters was going gangbusters on snapper along the inshore reefs near Boyd’s Lookout, and jumbo sized flathead were being caught along the deep sandy bottom near Green Cape.

John said kingfish were also being found in schools near the cape.

Graham Cowley at Narooma said marlin were still to be found off the shelf, mainly to the north of Montague Island, and snapper and other reef fish were being caught along the inshore reefs.

Graham said some big flathead had been caught inside the lake when it was too rough to go offshore.

He said anglers using soft plastics were getting results fishing around the oyster leases, and plenty of bream were also being bagged around the piers and structures.

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