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Posted 19th January 2024

Widen Your Horizons

Widen Your Horizons
Widen Your Horizons

By Jesse Rotin

As fishermen we tend to forget how vital of a role weather plays in determining our fishing expeditions and Mother Nature has certainly shown its true power this year. I for one have been quite frustrated at these inconsistent weather patterns as it has made it hard to venture out to my usual saltwater haunts at this time of the year. Regardless of the weather Im still keen as a bean to wet a line and rather than waiting for some nice weather to present itself, if thats possible, Ive been proactive and jumping on the net and searching the weather apps to find some freshwater locations which may be a safer, more enticing option. Theres something exciting about exploring new water, and not knowing what may show up next. Especially considering that many of our waterways have been stocked with a range of cool and new species that are not usually native to these systems.

Day on the lake

River fishing is a lot of fun but heavy rainfall has left many of our beautiful rivers and creeks running quite high and dirty. However, on the other hand, lakes and reservoirs seem to thrive during these wet times and much of the freshly flooded ground is teeming with life. These flooded banks wash out items of food like worms and other bugs that usually dont find themselves in the drink so easily. Waiting at the fringes of these margins in search of a free feed are the fish. Anglers have an advantage during these times and should capitalise on the fishing close to shore, whether fishing from a boat or bank.


Well equipped

Bait or lure fishing? The ball is in your court, both yield great results so Ill leave it up to you. I frequently get asked what is the best bait in the freshwater scene and I believe the answer to this is Worms. Its quite a challenge for any fish to pass up an opportunity of a nice, juicy and wriggly worm, particularly when plenty of these tasty morsels find themselves washed into the water. Pop a few worms on a small to medium sized bait-holder hook rigged on a running sinker setup with just enough weight to get your bait into the zone. If youre fishing quite shallow and heavy terrain then an unweighted worm pitched in close can be another deadly approach.  

If lure casting is more your thing, then its hard to steer past a soft plastic, they are versatile enough to fish at any depth and theres isnt too many species that will refuse an opportunity to snatch one up. My go-to soft plastic has to be the Bait Junkie Minnow, a proven lure with a range of colours available to match any baitfish around. I like to keep a variety of colours usually in the 2.5 inch size but also have a few 3.2 inch in the kit when trying to entice some bigger native species. Another lure I never leave home without is the Daiwa Double Clutch, in all sizes. Between these two lures you are more than set to hit up any lake or res throughout the country. However, after some research, you may find some extra lures can help, for example, spinnerbaits or even surface lures could come in handy.

Doing your homework

It is key to invest some time into researching a desired location before beginning the trek. I like to put the feelers out and see if there are any possible videos or recent reports on the location beforehand. This can help with choosing the correct gear, especially if a particular bait or lure has been working best. If a location has very little details then dont panic, sometimes these not so well known locations are just hidden gems waiting to be discovered.

Throughout Victoria a number of lakes and reservoirs are frequently stocked with species from Murray Cod to a variety of trout species.

Out in western Victoria, Lake Bullen-Merri and Purrumbete are two well known trophy trout waters, which in recent times have been stocked with some additional trout species like Tiger, Cheetah and Brook trout. In addition, Lake Eildon and Rocklands reservoir are home to some sizable Murray cod and Golden Perch while out east at Blue Rock Lake, species like Australian bass share waters with both brown and rainbow trout. 

These are just a few places to get you started and there are many more just like this. If traveling to these further locations is difficult or youre after a closer option then dont forget some of the inner city alternatives that are at your disposal, like Albert Park and Karkarook Lake, which hold species from Golden Perch, Murray Cod and trout to freshwater Estuary Perch. The bonus to these locations is that they have great access and are family friendly.

Now this is just a run down of some of the areas I am accessible to, however these tips I have shared with you can be passed on to any location across the country, no matter where you fish.

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