Yippee, it is a long weekend and that means an extra day to go fishing.
If this is your plan, then take care on the roads because you will not be the only one taking the opportunity to wet a line.
It is also the opening of the ski season, so traffic to the high country will be heavier than usual.
You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to notice that winter is now with us and ice on the car first thing in the morning is a dead giveaway that the temperatures have dropped.
This has had an effect on native fish — they have gone off the bite and a lot of work is needed to catch a cod or yellowbelly.
On the flip side, the cray season has opened and plenty of anglers are reporting a bumper start in most areas; the season will run through to the first of September.
Speaking of closed and open seasons, fishing for trout in most rivers and streams in Victoria will close at midnight on Monday.
Trout can still be taken from dams and lakes such as Dartmouth and Eildon and all reports indicate some nice-sized brown trout are being caught at both locations.
The cold temperatures have brought the fish to the surface during the day and flat-lining lures and fenders has been getting good results. The best spots at Dartmouth have been around the tree line in the main bay and also in Larson’s Cutting, while at Eildon any of the river arms are worth a try.
Lake Mulwala is still being emptied and the fishing has been good, according to anglers who have been able to launch a boat to reach the deeper holes along the old river bed. Lures and bait have both been getting good results.
It has not been so good in the Goulburn River around Shepparton, although more positive results are being reported upstream from Toolamba.
My favourite spot along the Boulevard has not yielded a bite in quite some time, but the coffee that is delivered to me is top class.
The action for saltwater fishing is top class at the moment and Rod Lawn from Adamas Fishing Charters is still bagging out on southern bluefin tuna off Portland.
Rod said the average sized fish was chunkier than last season and fish in the 20kg range were common.
Rod said the action was still close to the shore, saving anglers a long boat ride to reach the action. He said that looking for birds diving on the bait balls was showing where the fish could be located.
Rod said, while he was operating from Portland, the action off the heads at Queenscliff was still providing anglers with good hauls of salmon, squid and flathead, although the snapper were fewer in number and were mainly in the pinky size range.
Western Port has likewise provided anglers with some good hauls of fish, including whiting, salmon and also gummy shark. The latter, taking fresh fillets of salmon, are located in the deep shipping channels on dusk mainly on the run-out tide.
At Eden, John Liddell said the boys from Freedom Charters were still getting bags of snapper and morwong from the inshore reefs along the coast from Boyd’s Lookout to Green Cape and big flathead were also being caught fishing the sandy bottom between the reefs.
John said there was kingfish and some tuna being caught off the shelf by anglers trolling a pattern of skirted lures.
At Narooma it was a similar story, according to Graham Cowley. He said off the shelf an occasional marlin was still being caught, tagged and then released, but kingfish and the occasional tuna provided the game boats with something to keep them interested.
The inshore reefs also provided plenty of table fish for anglers to brag about, including some nice-sized flathead and snapper.
Graham said when it was too rough to cross the bar, bream and flathead provided an alternative for anglers using soft plastics and hard body lures cast around the structure and oyster leases.