The first Formular 1 Grand Prix of the year is held at Albert Park in Melbourne, Australia. The track which is only 1km from the CBD circumnavigates a large, shallow lake, Lake Albert.
The lake is designated recreational and is a popular spot for picnics and boating.The area around the lake is a sports precinct with playing fields for many sports including a golf course.
When the Grand Prix track was being developed the lake (which over time becomes weed infested) was fully drained and cleaned. Pests such as Carp were removed, and when the lake was refilled Parks Victoria stocked it with Australian native fish, most notably Golden & Silver Perch.
As the lake is quite shallow, it heats up fairly quickly. In summer fish early in the day or seek out spots where the fish are likely to be sheltering from the heat. During winter, the fish roam the lake freely.
The best time of all to fish is early in the morning before the hustle and bustle of a normal working day begins, but I have heard of fish being taken throughout the day. If you get there early enough you can park within meters of the waters edge. The lake is also esed for boating, and in the early mornings you will see plenty of joggers pounding the perimeter in their desire for a firm body. Be careful of these hazards when casting, you're there to catch fish, not joggers.
All fishing methods work well in Albert Park Lake. Use lightweight gear, the fish aren't very big yet and there is little structure to get hung up on. As there is so little structure the fish could be anywhere in the lake, so you must prospect the water. If using lures or flies, use a slow retrieve, these fish will follow the lure right back to the rod. If the fish aren't taking your lures a good backup is baitfishing. Worms and small yabbies are best. Fish on the bottom with a light running sinker. If you are not getting any hits where you are, pack up and move a bit further round the bank, keep moving until you find out where the fish are.
Having a quality native fishery virtually in the centre of Melbourne is great. It's easy to get to by either car, tram or shanks pony and most Melbournians don't even know there are fish there. The fish are not very big, most captures around 1kg, though some reports suggest fish of 2kg have been caught.
So when you are in Melbourne, and feel the need to do some fishing, Fish Albert Park Lake.
The fishing is good and the people watching second to none. But be warned this fishery is closed during the running of the Grand Prix. I recon all the noise would put the fish down anyway.
So good fishing and see you at the Grand Prix.
For more information on fishing holidays in Australia, contact
PO Box 287
ph: + 61-3-9783 1104
fax: 61 3 9783 1017
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