The rain kept coming through September as many regions reported their highest winter rainfalls since 1996.
This has done amazing things for the region and improved access to the lakes such as Lake Elingamite and Lake Purrumbete which have risen significantly. Lake Colac has a reasonable amount of water in it, but the fishery is not expected to recover for some time yet.
This river had a good flush this winter and with the rivers open to fishing and the floodwaters subsiding it has been producing some excellent fish, particularly by anglers targeting them with bibbed lures such as Rapala minnows. Some excellent fish to 3kg have been landed so be prepared. Sinking CD7's have been working well in the deeper pools and floating F7's have been working well in the runs. The best colours have been are the brook trout, perch and brown trout pattern. Soft plastics in the 3-4" size are also worth persisting with.
Finally! The water level has risen enough to launch 4m vessels at the boat ramp and for those who have ventured out there has been some nice fish landed. Good-sized redfin up to 1.8kg and trout to 2.3kg have been landed. I'm sure some larger fish will be landed as more people come back to fish this awesome water which has received very little angling pressure over the past few years.
Bullen Merri continues to fish well for both brown and rainbow trout with the largest I have heard of being landed this month being a brown trout weighing in at 3.2kg. Most of the browns are between 1-2.5kg and there are plenty of small rainbows up to 800g with a sprinkling of last years fish which are exceeding 2kg in weight.
Most fish have been taken trolling winged, Rapala minnows (CD7's, taildancers) or baitfishing from the shore with live gudgeon or Powerbait. Bullen Merri is fishing as well as I can remember and I don't know anybody that has missed out on catching a good fish over the past few months.
Great news - the water level has now risen and Lake Purrumbete has been fishing extremely well. The main ramp at the Lake Purrumbete Caravan Park is now usable and 4m vessels can be easily launched and retrieved.
The unfortunate news is that the temporary boat ramp set for low water levels is now underwater and access is likely to be closed to this facility for the time being until the lake level drops again.
Most of the brown trout have been weighed in up to 2.3kg, while there are plenty of rainbows to 1.2kg and redfin over 1kg being weighed in. The trophy fish over 4kg have been elusive: they should start to re-appear in the spring months as the water floods the lake edges and begins to warm.
All methods have been catching fish with the standout technique has been live mudeye fished under a bubble float. Casting 3" soft plastics over the newly flooded edges has produced some nice trout and flatline trolling winged lures has also been successful.
If your heading to the lake you can now purchase live mudeye from the Lake Purrumbete Caravan Park. To order your live mudeyes for your trip contact Marie on 03 55945377 or email --e-mail address hidden--
Bobbing for redfin has continued to be successful and Rapala clackin’ raps, Baltic Bobbers, metal vibes and soft plastics fished vertically over the schools have been the standout lures to try.
The Reservoir is still producing nice redfin to 1.3kg and brown trout to 2kg. The fish are responding to all methods, including bait fishing with mudeye or live galaxias and casting bibbed lures and soft plastics.
Some nice bream have been taken in the lower reaches on bait with all the freshwater coming down the river, but now is the time to target large sea run browns by trolling bibbed lures in the estuary.
When the weather has allowed a few anglers have fished this water with success with the best fishing coming from the wall area, but with rising levels the newly flooded ground is a good place to target. While most of the trout are between 400g-1.3kg a few larger fish have been hooked and lost.
I didn't get to fish my spots as planned through September, due to the inclement weather and big swells, but now is the time to target sharks, snapper, salmon and mulloway.
Plenty of Australian salmon in the 500g-2kg range were taken by dedicated anglers when the weather allowed through September fishing during the daylight hours with bait and metal lures.
Good beaches to try this month are Clifton, Johanna and Princetown. Try to fish a rising tide.Reads: 4171