Get ready to scout for trout

THE close of the Murray cod season leads to the opening of the trout season as nothing stands still for very long in fishing. Trout are a favourite target species among many anglers and their high-flying antics on rod and reel make them a memorable catch. As a youngster, I cut my angling teeth catching trout in the Western District and have many fond memories of those early adventures. My biggest catch back in the day was a thumping brown of about 7lb caught from the Wannon River using a cricket for bait. I spied the fish in the clear water feeding along the opposite side of the rock pool. It was a nervous cast, but the unweighted cricked plopped down on the water just a few short feet ahead of the trout. It instantly tailed towards the bait and sucked it from the surface. I lifted the rod and set the hook, sending the fish aerial as it exploded clear of the water. Several more times it jumped before it was led to the shallows and into the landing net. Since my childhood, much has changed with trout fishing and thanks to stocking they have become a regular catch at many locations. A recent media release goes on to explain more on the 2018 trout opening and where you might just land a trophy-sized trout. Victorias biggest opening of a trout season is set for September 1, when 2000 massive trout will be stocked at 11 family-friendly sites near Eildon. Upper House Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes said the combined weight of the enormous rainbow trout would be seven tonnes, making the release the biggest 24-hour stocking event in fisheries history. The Goulburn River between Molesworth and the Eildon Pondage will receive 1500 trout, with 500 of the goliaths to be released into the Eildon Pondage itself, Ms Symes said. Half the trout will be released next Friday with the remainder through the morning of September 1. The season-opening stocking bonanza will be complemented by the free Goulburn Fishing Festival the same day, which is part of the Andrews Labor Governments Target One Million plan thats investing a record $46 million, including $9 million from fishing licence fees, to get more people fishing, more often, Ms Symes said. The festival promotes fishing in country Victoria and there will be fun things to do for the whole family from 10am until 4pm and fireworks over the Eildon Pondage at 7pm. Im encouraging first-time fishers and those experienced to come out and wet a line. If you are keen to make a weekend of it, families can stay in some of the superb accommodation facilities we have in country Victoria and take in the sights of our beautiful towns. Free activities will include fishing clinics from experts, fly-fishing lessons tailored for women, prizes and raffles and trout releases into the pondage. The event will also include cooking demonstrations, fishing tackle displays, a jumping castle and face-painting for the kids, the Fisheries education trailer and free guided tours of the Snobs Creek hatchery, which grows trout and native fish for the statewide stocking program