Monday, 5 March 2012

Werribee Galaxias

One of my goals on my holiday back to Melbourne was to fish my old local river, the Werribee River. It is a fairly short river which travels down from the Great Dividing Range just south of Daylesford. The river is home to quite a few species of fish. Natives include several species of galaxias, pygmy perch, lampreys, Shortfin Eels, Australian Smelt, Flathead Gudgeon and River Blackfish. There are a large number of introduced species as well including Carp, Goldfish, Tench, Redfin (European Perch), Roach, Mosquitofish and Brown Trout. Estuarine species occur just below the town of Werribee.


Common Galaxias - Galaxias maculatus
Common Galaxias - Galaxias maculatus

I had previously caught many of the above species, but my main targets were going to be the Tupong, Mosquitofish, Flathead Gudgeon and Spotted and Common Galaxias. These occur in the weirpool about a kilometre from where I used to live and are species that I do not have photos of. I collected some earthworms from the garden earlier on and the tactic would be to fish simple rigs, basically two handlines of 2lb mono. One with just a small splitshot, a size 14 hook with about half an earthworm or a grain of corn to target the bottom feeding fish and a waggler setup with an 18 hook and a microscopic piece of worm for the midlevel and surface feeders.


Common Galaxias - Galaxias maculatus
Common Galaxias - Galaxias maculatus

Within seconds of the waggler settling, it got dragged in. It took up to a dozen strikes to hook into a fish, and it was a 1” common galaxias, probably the smallest fish I had ever caught on hook and line. I found that I got more bites by moving the waggler, and caught a second common galaxias about double the length.


Common Galaxias - Galaxias maculatus
Common Galaxias - Galaxias maculatus

I didn’t catch anything on the bottom rig. I did lose baits a few times, but was unable to land anything.

I might have caught more species if I had stayed longer than half an hour but at least got a photo of a common galaxias. I would love to have caught a Spotted Galaxias. I have only ever caught one, but this was at the exact same swim I was fishing when I caught one many years ago. These guys look almost like a brown trout and will take dry flies like a brown trout as well. I will have to target the remaining species again the next time I am home.

1 comment:

  1. Is the smelt slightly see through? we have a little river fish that we are unsure of it's breed... from the river at Dungog

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