Mick Ripper and his dad with their gummy shark.


Spare a thought recently for young Bendigo angler Mick Ripper who had to enlist dad’s help for the obligatory photograph to hold his 1.7 metre gummy shark, caught off Port Albert over Easter.

Meanwhile freshwater anglers can rest assured that any fish taken from Eppalock are now safe to eat following the lifting late last month of the blue-green algae alert. Alerts are still in place for Cairn Curran and Laanecoorie Reservoir.

Eppalock’s prolific redfin make excellent eating and I experienced a memorable session last weekend with fish up to 36cm, casting soft plastics to the opportunistic feeders, who were continually disgorging small redfin to 100mm to make room for my 50 or 65mm Shimano squidgy soft plastic.

These are teamed quite successfully with olive, Strike Tiger one inch nymphs, on a twin paternoster rig worked slowly but erratically along bottom in around six metres of water through the submerged Chinese scrub on the gravelly ridges.

As well as matching the hatch with correct colour selection (Dropbear: white with a black spot and a dash of orange) to borrow a term from the fly fishers, perseverance is also a requisite as the fish last weekend resisted my best efforts throughout the morning until early afternoon.

While slightly further afield with the unseasonal warm weather continuing, hopefully the early autumn rush of Murray cod will continue as the water temperatures remain relatively high and Bendigo Legion Angling Club members venture to Mulwala, for the club’s annual Seeker Pairs competition later in April.

Many members are keen to experience the adrenalin rush of a take on the surface, with the proliferation of surface lures in a myriad of configurations for those prepared to work the shallows as Troy Bayliss of Lockwood discovered last weekend.

Troy has slowly recovered from his angling encounter after landing his personal best cod to date with a nice 90cm fish taken casting the edges of the weed-beds around dusk, with a Taylormade surface lure.

Again perseverance paid off with the fish attacking his two earlier casts less than a metre from the boat before finally hooking up on the third cast.

Pandemonium followed, before a quick photograph with the fish being returned to its natural habitat and Troy left with a new-found addiction to surface lure fishing.