Lake Eildon’s Murray Cod population is going from strength to strength thanks largely to the considerable ‘Million Murray Cod’ stocking program several years ago.
Those fish have grown well and most are now in the 50-60cm size range, providing the bulk of goodoo action.
However, Summer at Lake Eildon can be hectic with busy water traffic and edges that get discoloured thanks to clay banks and constant wave action from ski boats.
So here are a few tips:
- Cast the early morning – Launch before dawn and cast familiar banks you’ve previously checked out and liked the look of. Spinnerbaits are my favourite with large deep diving hard-bodies next best. Starting early will you several hours of calm water with minimal water traffic. If there are other boats about, chances are they won’t be ski-boats. It also beats the heat of the day and likely sees you off the water before 10am, having put in a solid 4 hour+ session.
- Troll through the day – if you’re up there only for the day and are keen to keep fishing, switch to trolling when the edge-water gets too muddy. You’ll get good boat control under power, even if it is a bit lumpy. I like a No.1 size StumpJumper trolled in 15-18ft. Clear banks can be tough to find with scrappy submerged shrubs causing endless snags, but persist through the hassle and just keep trolling. Short lines will provide more control and fewer snags. Troll with an electric if you can or an outboard of 15hp or less.
- Return to hot spots – a few weeks back on a four day trip to Eildon, we caught several mid 60cm cod off one bank. Having caught one fish along a 200m stretch, we turned around and got another going the other way. We returned several times and caught more fish there. Some periods of the day they were on the chew. Others not. So it pays to be confident about a bank that looks the goods. It’ll hold fish. You just need to fish it when they’re interested.
- Fish the shade – Eildon feels like a giant expanse of water and it is. But if you look more closely and consider where the sun rises over the hills and where it sets, you can ‘extend’ your low-light morning fishing sessions by an hour or more. Similarly, come evening, there’ll be banks that are in shade much earlier than others. In the clear waters of Eildon, I think shade is a widely under-estimated factor.
- Fish the surface late – if you’ve swum or slept through the hot part of the day and saved your mojo wisely, you’ll have the energy to fish from 4pm into evening. Cast surface lures with confidence in any shade and if it’s a Sunday, be patient cos lake boat traffic will evaporate after 5pm as most people head home.
In terms of gear, my Tatula reels runs 30lb TD Sensor braid and J-Braid, with a 50lb leader for trolling. Rods are Black Label 641MHFB and a Commander ‘Tough Ombre’.