Robbie's Ripper Report
Author Robbie Alexander.
G’day everyone, Trellys have invited me to write a regular fishing report for their website and I feel both honoured and privileged to have the opportunity.
So here is my first report, for October 2020:
October is a fantastic time of the year to fish anywhere in Northern Victoria. It is a transitional month where temperatures are not too cold and not too hot. It is the time of year that many fish species start to get active and the cold water species, (mostly trout) remain quite active with the water still being quite cool.
A Broken Creek yellowbelly caught on a bunch of worms at the start of October. October is a great time to target yellowbelly right across Northern Victoria.
Yellowbelly - Golden Perch Fishing
Any waterway that contains yellowbelly is well worth trying during October. Whether it is the Goulburn River, the Broken River, Murray River, Lake Nillahcootie, Lake Eppalock etc… it is well worth wetting a line.
I myself have had recent yellowbelly fishing success in both the Broken Creek near Katamatite and Lake Nillahcootie. All of my yellowbelly have been caught bait fishing with worms.
With the weather warming up I am hoping to get my kayak out and bounce a few lipless crankbaits off the bottom in some of these waterways soon, or even try troll a medium sized hardbody diver.
Over the last week I have had reports of people catching yellowbelly in Lake Moodemere, Lake Eildon, Lake Hume and the Campaspe River.
Yellowbelly are probably the most highly targeted freshwater fish in Northern Victoria throughout October.
A Waranga Basin redfin caught recently just fishing from the bank at Harriman Point on a Strike Tiger 1.5” curl tail grub soft plastic.
Redfin are different than yellowbelly in many ways, but one thing that really stands out is that they vary so much from waterway to waterway. Unlike yellowbelly which seem to switch on right across the board, redfin seem to switch on and off in different waterways at different times.
Just last Sunday I went fishing at Waranga Basin, at Harriman Point. I managed to catch half a dozen redfin, all small, just casting lures from the bank. If I was to do the same thing at Lake William Hovell or Lake Buffalo at this time of the year, I would most likely catch nothing at all.
Right on sunset I switched to a Strike Tiger micro spoon and managed to catch a couple of very small redfin on that too.
The fishing was slow, but just wading around the edges in water that was not quite deep enough to get into my gumboots and making persistent casts meant that I managed to pick up a few.
I think that fishing from a boat or a kayak out in deeper water would assist in catching something a bit bigger at the Waranga Basin.
As stated in the introduction the water is still cold enough at the moment to see the trout feeding actively. There will come a time when the water starts to warm up too much for them, but that will most likely be some time in November.
Any of the rivers that run into Lake Eildon will be worth fishing at the moment. I have heard good things about the Howqua and Delatite Rivers recently, with healthy numbers of fish in both rivers.
Further North East I have had some reports of terrific trout fishing in the Mitta Mitta River between Mitta and Eskdale, as well as a good report of trout being caught in the snowy creek upstream of Mitta Mitta.
As with the yellowbelly, pretty much any waterway that contains trout is well worth fishing in throughout October. Towards the end of the month the water may start to warm up a little, particularly in the small rural streams, however this will not likely become a problem until next month.
Remember that the Murray cod season is closed throughout October. The only place that you can legally target Murray cod in October is Lake Hume, where they have been stocked in great numbers.
I have seen a few photos showing up on social media of Murray cod caught there recently however I have not personally spoken to anybody that has been fishing for Murray cod in Lake Eildon myself.
Other species: October is a great month to target carp for those that love carp fishing. (Like me). I have been catching heaps in the Ovens River lately (Before it became flooded) as well as Broken Creek, Lake Nillahcootie and Lake Moodemere.
Wherever there are carp, they can be caught in October. Corn and worms are my favourite carp baits.
In the headwaters there are a few blackfish that are always great fun to catch once the sun sets. They are plentiful, but small and it is rare to catch one large enough to eat. Look for a deep hole in a rocky trout stream, the snaggier the better and fish with worms after the sun goes down.
Mid to late October can be a great time to start trying to catch yabbies. This monster was caught early October near Wangaratta.
And… yabbies! Everybody loves yabbying, especially the kids. I find that the yabbies in my area (Wangaratta) usually start to become active around late October each year. North of here they fire up a bit earlier and south of here a bit later as the climate is a little cooler.
If you enjoy yabbying, or a feed of yabbies, now is the time to grab some yabby nets and head to your favourite waterway for a crustacean adventure.