It has been chilly enough for anglers to catch snap.
Frozen fish fillets, starting with -2º morning, and snow down to low levels, it was a week of sitting in front of a heater just to stop bits of me from freezing.
I don’t believe I’m getting soft, well maybe a little, so it was a case of sleeping in and putting an extra blanket on the bed, with just a little thought of fishing, I left that for someone else.
The chill in the air means good news for those who want to fish for trout.
Sure, I know trout season has closed for most rivers and streams in the state, you can still fish for trout in dams and other large impoundments.
At places like Dartmouth, Hume Weir and Lake Eildon, it is still legal to take trout from those waters.
This time of year, Dartmouth is one of the best fisheries in the state.
The brown trout have already spawned and are busy feeding to recover their condition, while the rainbow trout are about to begin their breeding run.
Dartmouth Dam is one of the best trout waters in the state.
You can either troll a baiter lure behind an attractor such as a ford fender, these are a couple of metal strips that appear to be trout feeding, this brings out trout to be baited hook or lure for a feed.
You need a boat to fish this method as against angling a bait from the bank, either under a float or just unweighted, drifting ready for hungry trout.
It gets cold in the hills around Dartmouth, but that aside, the fishing is not.
There is plenty of accommodation in Dartmouth.
Motels, caravan parks, cabins and rental houses, but if you are the outdoor type, there are camping sites in the bush and around the shores of the lake.
Imagine sleeping in a tent, the wood smoke from a camp fire, meals over the coals of a fire or there’s a restaurant or take away.
Civilised or roughing it, the Dart’s a great spot to fish.
Then there’s the Hume Weir, it has trophy-sized trout in its waters.
It can be fished the same way as at Dartmouth, and the same is at Lake Eildon.
Both are worth fishing but the accommodation is more organised and there is no camping.
Of course fishing at Eildon gives you the chance to pick up a cod or red fin and, as winter progresses, we are getting closer to yellow belly coming on the bite.
They always say “when the wattles bloom, the yellow belly come on the bite.”
And the same for Hume Weir.
As far as fishing in the Goulburn, Murray and the Broken rivers, they have been affected by the recent rains and levels have been falling and rising, making the access to the bank slippery and dangerous.
It has also affected how the fish have, or in most cases, not been biting.
In most cases the anglers have reported to fishing the dams but with limited success, but you do hear of an occasional catch in the river.
Most action in the Goulburn has been in the section between Murchison and Toolamba and towards the junction of the Goulburn and the Broken rivers.
There has not been much news from the Waranga Basin or Nillacootie, but they were catching some red fin from the basin.
But all in all, the main winner over the past week, has been the weather.
Now saltwater news.
At Queenscliffe, Rod Lawn from Adam’s Fishing Charters said it was a lot of work but he did manage to catch a variety of fish inside the heads when the weather was rough but outside were resident, pinky snapper along the inshore trees, as well as flathead off the sandy bottom, some silver trovally and occasional squid.
Rod said the Kingfish were off the bite, as too were the couta.
Rod said that some gummy shark were around the dive wrecks and reefs, they were taking small whole squid and fresh fillets of salmon.
He said that it was a similar story from Western Port Bay, occasional snapper along the rubble beds lining the shipping lanes, gummy shark in the deep water reefs off Phillip Island and San Remo.
Rod said he was counting down the weeks to the next big snapper run, which he said was in about eight weeks.
North of the border at Eden, John Liddell said that the weather was not as cold as around here, but it was cool in comparison to it’s usual temperatures.
John said that most fishing action was around the inshore reefs from Boyd’s lookout to Green Cape on the Victorian border.
Mark from Freedom Charters at Eden said that there was a little action off the shelf due to the cold currents which affected the movement of bait fish, which in turn, attracts the big game fish.
Mark said on the positive side the snapper were getting bigger in size and some horse sized fish have been boated.
Further north, up the coast at Narooma, Graham Cowley said it was a similar story in his region.
He said fishing around Montague Island on the reefs was good with Morong snapper and other table fish were being bagged.
Graham said that there was a shortage of king fish as well as tuna and marlin off the shelf which is much closer to shore at Narooma than it is at Eden.
He said that the flathead fishing in his region is some of the best along the south coast, including inside the lake were some huge fish were feeding around the oyster ____.
Well stay safe both around the water and with COVID-19, you should stay warm and good fishing.