Fishing Mag Publisher and Southern Fishing Personality.
Kosta has been in the fishing publishing game for a long time and it’s led to him living, working and fishing across the country. These day’s he’s based in Melbourne where his magazine “Hooked Up” is printed and distributed to tackle stores around the country. As we head into trout season his attention will be focussed on the Goulburn Rivers feisty trout.
Kosta’s Goulburn River Trout Tips
- At the start of September the VFA traditionally releases their large brood stock at a number of locations. Check out the VFA website for a map of locations around the state where you can go to catch very large rainbow trout. This creates a bit of a feeding frenzy and is a lot of fun for beginners fishos and kids as these fish will often take soft plastics or spoons.
- Google maps is a great way to study the rivers and in Victoria fishermen now have legal access to large reaches of riverbanks, opening up plenty of opportunities. Look for access points, rather than structures to fish, as the water levels in the system can change quickly, so you’ll need to look for structure once you’re there, rather than online beforehand.
- The Goulburn River is a tailrace system, meaning it receives water released from Eildon Dam via the Eildon Pondage. You’ll need to take into account water levels and flow rates when deciding where and how to fish.
- For newcomers to the Goulburn system, the Thornton Bridge is a good starting point and you can walk both upstream or downstream and there’s plenty of accessible river regardless of water levels – you just have to understand the river and how to fish it.
- Mostly in summer there is a release of irrigation water, so the water level is often pretty high, often in the thousands of megalitres. This is still fishable because the water gets pushed up into backwaters and among the trees. A good pair of polaroids and a slow, stealthy approach to backwaters will reveal lots of feeding fish, but you might pass a lot of water until you find open areas with access where you an make a cast. Work the edges of likely structure and work the lures faster than normal.
- When the water is flowing fast you can cast a jerkbait at 45 degrees upstream and work your lures very quickly using a high-speed reel. Work the lure right back to your feet as it will often get hit very close to the end of the retrieve.
- If the water level is lower you can use a wider range of lures, but still be casting them diagonally across and past structure. Jerkbaits still work though, but floating varieties are easier to keep out of the weed.
- Kosta finds the best fishing occurs when the water it’s running high, fast and clear and when the day is bright, hot and sunny. These conditions are often quiet in terms of anglers as you see a lot of snakes in this part of the world. Trout can be caught under most conditions though, so don’t wait for the glamour days, get out when you can.
- If you’re having a slow day, try and get your lures as close to structure as possible and chance losing the odd lure!
Kosta’s Goulburn River Trout Tackle
- If you’re just getting started, there are some economical 6’6” to 7” spin rods in the 1-3kg class available these days. Longer casting is important for “reverse backwatering” where the angler shoots a long cast into backwaters on the opposite side of the river.
- High gear ratio reels are super important as you need to recover line quickly to stay ahead of a fast current and impart action to the lure. A 2500 size reel with a 6:1 gear ratio or more will do the job.
- 6-8lb braided line with a 6lb fluorocarbon leader for abrasion resistance.
Kosta’s Lures For Goulburn River Trout
- Kosta fishes mostly with jerkbaits and recommends higher quality lures as the cheaper ones don’t track well at the high retrieve speeds. He also prefers larger lures than most people throw at trout: 90-120mm is the norm during high flow periods, although he’ll drop baclk to the 60 and 70mm versions when the water is lower.
- Trout seem to lose interest in lures that get paused, so floating jerkbaits work better than suspending ones.
- Smith Cherry Blood SR 90 jerkbaits are extremely good but are quite expensive. They have a very effective weight transfer system for long, accurate casts and track well in fast water.
- The Zipbaits Rigge 70mm is a smaller jerkbait but also very effective.