Monday, September 20, 2010

fishing in lake benalla

while visiting benalla in north east victoria, i noticed this man fishing with a rod and reel by the lakeside. the next day i got to talking with him and he educated me on the types of fish that abound in the lake and the river. most of the time he fishes in the lake but sometimes he moves to the lower reaches of the river. lake benalla is a man-made lake, created by the damming of the broken river.
golden perch, trench and carp are the common types found in the lake and that part of the river. in the faster flowing upper reaches of the river, the brown trout can be found. there are also murray cod in the broken river.

in some states in australia, you cannot take your fishing tackle and go fishing in the lakes, rivers or seas without a licence. a two-day victoria state fishing licence costs $5.50; a one-month, $11.00; a one-year, $22.00; and a three-year, $60. i understand there is also a minimum legal size for some fish that you catch with a rod and reel and other devices. different size limits apply to different fish. again, this may vary from state to state. if your catch does not meet the minimum size, you have to release it.

the lone angler caught four fish that morning. he told me that the day before he had landed twenty fish. what did he use as bait? i was surprised to learn that he used bread as bait. he broke off a small piece of white bread and pressed it onto the small hook. the small fish would nibble at the bread but the big ones would grab the whole thing and that was how they would be caught. as he did not have a marker or indicator on the line outside the water, on windy days, it was difficult to ascertain the movements of the line.

when asked what he would do with the bigger fish, the two carps, the solitary fisherman told me that he would bin them. i thought it was a waste until i found out later that carps were not supposed to be returned to the water. the state of victoria has declared the carp a noxious fish "which makes it an offence to possess, transport or release live carp, or use live carp as fishing bait". the declaration of 'noxious' fish does not mean that the species cannot be fished for, or eaten.

later in the evening, when i mentioned that we had been to the mornington peninsula, a friend told me that we should have tried fishing in the sea off portsea. according to him, you could catch whiting, flathead and snapper in that part of the sea. however, the experience of ian, my son-in-law, and some of his church friends, did not suggest that it was a fruitful (or fishful) or interesting activity. they had spent the whole night shivering in the chilly condition and the next morning, returned home empty handed.


unk Dicko said...

yg, there are a few important reasons why some people "catch no fish" on a fishing trip. So called " LUCK" is the least critical factor.
I've been fishing all my life from rivers, ponds, shore and the deep ocean.
The most important of all is...whether that spot you are at has any fish at all!
On one of my regular Tioman deep-sea fishing trips, my regular boatman, an old and wise Pak Ali, was ill. In his place was an ex-soldier of the M'sian army..a young man. Not only was he inexperienced, he was plain LAZY! He refused to move the boat once he has thrown the anchor even though 10 of us had not a single bite after 30 minutes!
I knew the waters and esp the good fishing spots off various parts of Tioman.
Everyone on board was complaining loudly...asking to move. That moron went to nap. I could not tolerate any more. With my snorkellin gear, I dived under the boat to check below.
It was a desert of dead corals and nothing else...down there. No bite. No fish below at that spot. So, if I had not checked we can fish the whole day...and it will be "kosong".
Sorry, my comment too long. Tell you next time how I solved the problem the moment I surfaced. Unbelievable!

yg said...

dick, no need to apologise for your comment which makes such interesting reading. i can guess what happened after that. you took control of the 'helm' and moved the boat to a spot where you all had a bountiful catch. you should blog about this incident.

i also remember a wonderful fishing experience in the sea off mersing. i went with jim kee and his toa payoh east colleagues. the boatman took us to a spot where there must have been a shoal of fish. i had a few hooks attached to the hand-line. each time i hauled up the line, there was not one but two or three fish. we had so many fish that we gave quite a lot to the boatman and kept the bigger ones which we barbequed on pulau babi.

as for pond fishing, tampines pond was our favourite haunt. most times we would go home with one or two grass carps but there was one instance when we caught about 14 fish, mostly grass carps. for baits, we used cooked tapioca, shaved raw tapioca and live cockroaches.

Victor said...

It is better to have caught and released than to have never caught at all.

nah said...

In fishing, hitting the right spot makes a difference.
In deep sea fishing, an experienced boatman will know the fishing spots.
In pond fishing, in the early years, we would ground bait a certain spot to draw the fish into the vicinity of the angler’s bait with either very big or small pieces of cut tapioca.
Yes, we neatly cut tapioca to the size of a 10-cent coin; shaved, and folded tapioca; minced cooked tapioca through a meat- mincer, and mashed it into balls, to catch the ‘grassies’ and the ‘songs’. We also used cockroaches, bought at 2 cents a piece, as sure-catch bait for the grassies. My fishing kaki even landed a 35-lb ‘song’ using a part of the banana which he was eating.

Escape said...

Carp are an introduced fish in Australia, hence the declaration as noxious. They do bad things to the native ecosystem so the less of them the better

yg said...

hi escape, could it be that the carp is more resilient than the native fishes?

Susan said...

Great tip. Thanks

Susan said...

Unk Dick-i can't see the promised second part of your comment : about how you fixed the problem. I know this is an ancient comment so uts cool. But love to know. Did you all mutiny and take over the boat-ha.