When trolling, watch your pace

When you’re out trolling, one of the most crucial aspects is speed.

Yellowbelly and Murray cod are lazy fish, relying on short, strong bursts of speed from cover to ambush their tucker. So any fast-moving fish, or in our case lure, will be simply ignored unless it passes right by the fish’s nose.

A long time ago, in the pre-sounder days, anglers looked at how hard the rod was working or how fast the scenery passed by to determine the speed. An old guide was a slow walking pace.

Today, well it’s just the same – about 2km/h – and any decent sounder will tell you. Also, you can use your mobile if you’re not sure.

Adding short bursts of speed for a second or two every now and then can often turn in results, but don’t overdo it.

The Ideal rod for trolling should suit a 3-8kg line and your preference of a spinning reel or baitcaster to match.

Gelspun or braid lines are simply far more efficient than nylon; a leader of at least 15lb just to handle all the bumps and scrapes that will occur with your lure nosing around the bottom.

The best areas to troll are the deep, snag infested rocky banks that drop away quickly into 10 or so metres of water.

Without doubt, when the fish are on the go you will be hard pressed to find some quiet water to troll.

Good banks include around One Tree Island, The Triangles, Braggs Point, around Wymah and simply any where that has the desired cover. Also look for warmer water early in the season and cooler water in the middle of summer.

The last method is casting to the fish.

This can be a little more complex or just too simple, depending on how you approach it.

We know we need to refine our approach and use 2 to 2 ½ m graphite rods, 2 to 4kg rating, and a good 2500 size spinning reel with 3 to 5kg braid and 3kg leader.

So, why use light line and graphite rods?

Well, in a word, touch. This way, every little bump – whether it be fishy or woody – can be felt immediately.

There are so many ways to fish this way, with just as many lures to match.

To fish the famous 3-inch black grubs, just use a 1/8 ounce jig head thread on the plastic, then drop it down as close to the tree as possible – all the way to the bottom – and then slowly retrieve the line. It’s that simple, any decent yellowbelly there will let you know they’re hungry and there will be no doubting it when you’ve hooked one.

Casting out and working lures and plastics along the bottom is also gaining popularity out on the lake.

Once the lure is on the bottom, just impart action by raising your rod tip up, then winding in the slack line until the lure is back in.

At times, I have found just moving the lure around the boat while stationary also works well, as does drifting.

There are so many lures or plastics available that suit this type of fishing. Small metal vibes, bibless crankbaits like jackalls and soft plastics like T Tails, squidgies and Lunker City.

Rocky points are the best water for prospecting, but as I said before, anywhere there is decent cover is always worth a go.

So get out there, enjoy Hume Weir and snag yourself a decent yella.

  • Want to show off the one that didn’t get away? Send your fishing pictures to 0475 947 279 or email matthew.crossman@fairfaxmedia.com.au
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