Spring Sticks (Words and images by Dale Baxter)

The days are getting longer and the trees have started blooming, and in Melbourne we actually had 3 days over 20C, this should certainly mean spring is here. However being Melbourne we are still inclined for some cold days in between until it has really set in. With the better weather though my mind springs to bream on the edges taking hard bodies again, which is really what bream fishing is all about.

The local rivers have copped a massive amount of fresh water over the winter months and the start of Spring hadn’t eased up much so the clarity of them resembled something more like café latte than a river where you would chase some bream. So a quick road trip out of town by about an hour was on the cards.

The first thing I noticed when I arrived was how clear the water was, you see down a couple of metres and I new this was going to make things a little tougher. The system is like a couple out west which don’t have gradual edges but more direct drops, which means you need to use either deep diving crankbaits and minnows or vibes, both of which I have had really good success with before. However I have been reading quite a bit about stick minnows of late and how to fish them, I know plenty of anglers that have great success on them, but it is a technique I had never really tried. Something I thought that I should learn.

After purchasing some recently it was now time to have a serious go. I have 2 set up’s I was using for them, 1st one was a Daiwa Infeet 6’8” paired with a luvias 2004 and spooled with 3lb fluro, 2nd was a 6’4” rod paired with a Steez 2508 with Sunline braid and 4lb leader. I use clips quite often and have never found this affect my catch rates, but does make it easier to when changing though a few different lures.

I tried hitting up the main bridge and could see some seriously big bream just sitting under the concrete, I cast close to the structure as I could and would see them come out and have a look, turn up their nose and go back. As usual I let this consume me for about an hour too long. I then made a change to fishing the edges and success came after about 5 casts, and the take was as I had expected. I cast right to the edge and on the drop about half way to the bottom I was on. It was a great fight on the straight through, the stretch is something that I am still getting used to, but was soon in the net.

The amazing Melbourne weather didn’t disappoint and from around 16C and sun, the rain and wind came through like a cyclone, but as quick as it came, it went and so the search continued. It took some time to get onto my second keeper, this time there was a large snag in the water, which has been there for quite a while, the technique again was to cast as close to the structure as I could and let it flutter down, out from under the thick growth came another solid bream. 2 in the Hobie livewell and I continued on. A change of colour in lure and onto the braid secured me my third fish, a different snag produced this one and it was the biggest of the 3.

Time had come to get off the water and return home, but I was really pleased that I had learnt to use another type of lure with success. Honing in on the techniques I had read and spoken to quite few people about was working for me. Looking forward to the next outing and a trying these on some of Mallacoota’s finest in the upcoming October comp.

3 responses to “Spring Sticks (Words and images by Dale Baxter)

  1. I havent been down there and fished in a long time. I thin its time i headed back..

    Thanks for the lunch time read DB and lure and fly lads

  2. Bit of a late comment but what is the specific coloured shinku in the first picture that paired with the STEEZ?

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