Sunday, 31 December 1995

The 1990’s – Fishing during my High School Years.

In 1991, I had a family holiday to South-east Asia where I did some fishing in Vietnam. The only species I can be sure of that I caught was the Climbing Perch [#11] which I caught on a bamboo float and ant pupae, in a pond in Saigon. In the same pond, I also caught a species of Gourami which I have not been able to identify, being so long ago, I don’t even remember what colour it was, but it was only about 5cm. In another pond, I netted a larger species of Gourami and possibly two species of Snakehead. On the same trip, I spent several days in the Mekong Delta where I fished in the Mekong. Using worms, I caught a species Catfish and a Danio or Rasbora. All I remember was that it had a red ‘glowlight’ stripe across its body. In some rice paddies, I collected some Betta using bamboo nets and in a flooded river, I netted some Bumblebee Gobies and a species of Halfbeak.

Bumblebee Goby - Brachygobius spp.
Bumblebee Goby - Brachygobius spp.

Werribee River at Exford
Before I moved to Werribee, I recall several fishing trips to The Werribee River at Exford just below the Melton Reservoir where I caught a Redfin and Roach [#12]. Fishing for roach here was interesting because it was the first species of fish that I caught on sweetcorn.

Roach - Rutilus rutilus
Roach - Rutilus rutilus #12

Port Phillip Bay off Altona
I cant really remember which year it was, but I did a once off boat fishing trip drifting off Altona. On this trip, I caught my one and only ever Gummy Shark [#13], some Southern Sea Garfish [#14] and a lot of Flathead. Others on the boat also caught Goatfish and Snapper.

Gummy shark - Mustelus antarcticus
Gummy shark - Mustelus antarcticus #13

Geelong became more accessible when my family moved to Werribee in 1994. I only ever fished the little Jetty off the end of Yarra Street. Here I caught King George Whiting [#15], Southern Cardinalfish [#16], Soldierfish [#17] and Blue Weed Whiting [#18] towards the shore and Snapper and Silver Trevally out into the bay.

King George Whiting - Sillaginodes punctatus
King George Whiting - Sillaginodes punctatus #15

Southern Cardinalfish - Vincentia conspersa
Southern Cardinalfish - Vincentia conspersa #16

Soldierfish - Gymnapistes marmoratus
Soldierfish - Gymnapistes marmoratus #17

Werribee River
Living in Werribee, I lived only a few hundred metres from the Werribee River. My favourite spot here is just below the Weir. There were large shoals of Redfin Perch here, a lot of them where stunted but there were a few occasional good specimens. At the right time of the year, there were Shortfin Eels [#19] at the base of the weir giving good sport. I caught several mini species here as well including Common Galaxias [#20], Spotted Galaxias [#21], Tupong [#22] and Mosquitofish [#23].

European Perch - Perca fluviatilis
European Perch - Perca fluviatilis - This is the oldest fishing photo I can find, a Werribee River Perch

Shortfin Eel - Anguilla australis
Shortfin Eel - Anguilla australis #19

Common Galaxias - Galaxias maculatus
Common Galaxias - Galaxias maculates #20

Tupong - Pseudaphritis urvillii
Tupong - Pseudaphritis urvillii #22

Eastern Mosquitofish - Gambusia holbrooki
Eastern Mosquitofish - Gambusia holbrooki #23

Barwon River, Geelong
Later on, I started fishing in the Barwon River for Redfin Perch. The Redfin here seemed to have the reddest fins I have ever seen. They were really easy to catch here, just dip net in the margins for some freshwater shrimp. And float them into the river where they will get gobbled up by large Redfin in no time. I occassionally caught shortfin eels and roach here as well. Netting the margins, I sometimes caught Flathead Gudgeon, but have never hooked one.

Australian Freshwater Shrimp - Paratya australiensis
Australian Freshwater Shrimp - Paratya australiensis

Flathead Gudgeon - Philypnodon grandiceps
Flathead Gudgeon - Philypnodon grandiceps