Melbourne Fishing Personality
Andrew is a Melbourne-based lure fishing enthusiast who targets lots of species and competes in a number of regional tournaments run by the Central Victorian Lure Casters. Living close to Albert Park Lake, it’s been his sole fishing destination through the long Melbourne lockdowns – which has allowed him to unlock some interesting secrets!
Andrew’s Albert Park Lake Yellowbelly Tips
- The yellowbelly in Albert Park Lake require a rethink compared with how you might fish for yellowbelly in other places.
- Albert Park Lake is a shallow and heavily weeded system that’s only 1 to 1.5m deep at any point. There’s no shallows as the lake is surrounded by parklands and there is a retainer wall around the edge.
- One of the keys to catching yellowbelly in this system is to find places clear enough of weed that you can work a lure. Look for the handful of piers and pylons that always hold fish, as well as the very infrequent gaps in the weed.
- Early mornings and late afternoons fish best as the fish are spooky and vigilant and this system is noisy and chaotic with human traffic through the majority of the day.
- Andrew finds that the really bad weather days with wind and rain tend to fish best because there is a lot less human traffic and the waves and chop mask noise. A change of wind direction or a weather front coinciding with dawn or dusk is always prime. Watyer clarity is usually good, but even on the rare occasion that strong wind creates dirty water the lake still fishes well.
- Be extremely careful of human traffic around the lake, walkers and runners are often close to the waters edge, so watch the back cast and be respectful of other users of the park.
- When the fishing is really tough and the yellowbelly aren’t taking Ned rigged plastics or suspending hard bodies there are few options for switching them on. Fortunately, there are plenty of estuary perch and trout to turn your attention to, so the outing is not a complete loss.
Andrew’s Yellowbelly Fishing Tackle
- A 1-3kg or 2-4kg spin rod coupled with a 1000-2500 size reel, 6-8lb braid and 8lb fluorocarbon leader will cover your needs for yellowbelly fishing in this system.
Andrew’s Top Lures For APL Yellowbelly
- A dark coloured soft plastic grub is a good option for Albert Park Lake. A Berkley Gulp 2.5” grub in black is good, as is the Daiwa bait Junkie grub in Chartreuese. Andrew fishes these on Z-Man Nedlockz jig heads, which sit head-down on the bottom of the lake and hold the til up vertically to flutter in the water. Rigged this way the lure can be cast into the clear water between the weed edge and the retainer wall, allowed to sink to bottom and then inched along extremely slowly in very short draws of the rod tip. The other way to fish these lures is very lightly weighted (1/16oz) and cast into the same clear margin and then worked slowly above the bottom.
- A suspending hard body is great when the fish aren’t responding to the Ned Rigged grub and are holding near pylons. The 50mm Atomic Shad is a good example, but most small, suspending hard bodies will work fine. Cast past the pylons, work it down to depth and then slowly twitch the lure as close as you can past the pylons. Yellowbelly will often wait until the lure gets near and then dart out to grab it.