Hooking the hungry hangers-on in cold water
  |  First Published: June 2017

It’s hard to believe that winter has already arrived. It seems like yesterday I was dodging tiger snakes, applying sunscreen and swatting mosquitoes.

The Murray cod fishing was outstanding in the Wangaratta area throughout summer and well into autumn. Good catches of Murray cod continued up until around the middle of April when they started slowing down in the cooler weather.

During June, the cod fishing in the Ovens River catchment will be slow at best. If we get too much rain, it will be completely non-existent in our beautiful, natural flowing and largely unregulated river. If we get a lot of dry weather and the Ovens River is looking good around Wangaratta, it will be worth the trip for the die-hard Murray cod fishers.

I have caught cod in the Ovens River in June, however I have had to make hundreds of casts between fish. They are very few and far between in the winter months in my area. At the same time, the Murray River system just down the road is still worth a visit, and Lake Mulwala often fishes nicely in June. I’ve had very successful fishing trips in Lake Mulwala during June as water releases from Lake Hume slow down allowing the water to clear up.

To recap, if the Ovens River is in a fishable state this month, by all means give it a go and see if you can catch a cod. It will be slow, but there may be a couple of fish willing to hit your lures. The best cod fishing in the region will be in Lake Mulwala and other sections of the Murray River.

The redfin fishing will most likely slow down a lot. Both of the main redfin lakes in the catchment, Lake William Hovell and Lake Buffalo, will be worth fishing in June and may very well produce a few redfin. There won’t be great numbers. On the upside, winter can be the best time of the year to catch the large redfin, particularly during June.

Also worth noting is that Lake Buffalo has fished exceptionally well this autumn for redfin. My father and I must have caught close to 200 up there in one day recently. We kept around 40 nice sized redfin, but did not see any monsters.

Redfin are a funny species. Some years there are heaps and other years there are none. They just seem to explode in numbers from time to time. This season has seen a population explosion in Lake Buffalo. For this reason, I’ll be heading to Lake Buffalo this June to target redfin in the hope that there are so many looking for food that they’re still biting. The potential is there for redfin fishing to be great in Lake Buffalo, this month we will find out.

The trout fishing has been great this autumn. The numbers of trout in the streams have been really good and the signs are encouraging for a good season when it re-opens in September. The Buffalo, Buckland and Ovens rivers have all fished well for trout, so too has the King River upstream of Lake Buffalo.

Don’t forget that the Victorian trout season closes at midnight on the Monday night of Queens Birthday weekend until the first Saturday in September. During that closed season, it is illegal to target trout in any of the creeks and rivers in North East Victoria, and in a couple of waterways it is illegal to even be near the river with a fishing rod in your possession, so make sure you read the Victorian recreational fishing guide and dust up on the rules before you go fishing.

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