Colac Area Report
  |  First Published: December 2010

The Australian bass have finally turned on at Bullen Merri with a few rumours of some nice fish to 1kg being taken on soft plastics at Potters Point and off ‘The Cave’ at North Beach.

The browns have gone a little quiet with the warmer water temperatures as they usually do this time of year, but there is plenty of rainbows to 1kg to be caught from the bank with live gudgeon or Powerbait fished at night.

If you’re trolling from a boat this month remember the lake is stratifying, which means most of the fish will hold along the thermocline, which is usually at around 10-15m in depth so there is really no need to troll any deeper as the oxygen levels below this point are quite low and not ideal for trout.

You can expect plenty of good rainbows on the troll but be prepared for the occasional 3kg+ brown trout. If the fish survive through summer this year then winter is going to be a spectacle as these bigger brown trout may approach the 4kg+ mark.

Lake Purrumbete

Anglers persevering with mudeyes under a bubble float are seeing mainly rainbow trout making up the catch to 1.2kg. Some browns are still lurking the edges and first and last light and night time periods being the best times to fish for them. The redfin continue to fire with good catches being taken by anglers jigging with ice jigs and 3” minnow style soft plastics.

Use your sounder to locate the fish on the drop-offs around the weed beds. While most fish are around the 500g mark there are larger fish to 1.5kg available. What you might miss out on in size is made up by good numbers of fish.

Gellibrand River

Blackfish have been biting well in the upper reaches of the Gellibrand River on worms fished at dawn and dusk meanwhile downstream in the estuary black bream and estuary perch have been biting well on hardbodied lures both trolled and cast from the shoreline or from small boats.

There has been the occasion sea run brown trout appearing in the estuary as well to 2.7kg. A nice surprise for estuary anglers!

Mt Emu Creek

Finally the river has settled down after running pretty high for nearly five months. The larger fish have dropped back to the pools and are being caught with mudeye and shrimp baits fished under a bubble float at dawn and dusk. Flyfishers polaroiding have also taken some nice fish the dry fly on size 12 or 14 parachute patterns in brown colours or by fishing a shrimp pattern or green nymph under and indicator rig.

While most fish are around 1kg in weight some larger fish to 2.7kg have been reported. I went for a spin recently with the new Rapala Flatraps and landed a couple of nice fish early in the morning in one of the larger pools near Panmure.

Surf beaches

I've had some excellent reports from all of the coastal beaches over the past couple of months. Princetown, Clifton and Johanna Beaches have all been fishing well throughout the December period for pinkie snapper, Australian salmon, gummy and school sharks. The full moon periods have turned on some great action and with the rising water temperatures and balmy warm nights ahead the gummies will really turn it on.

Don't leave for home until well after the moon has risen over the hill. Best baits are cut fish fillet of salmon or trevally, cured eel, squid and octopus tentacles.

Lee Rayner and I headed out to Johanna Beach to film an episode of Adventure Bound for a catch of three gummies at night on the last full moon and while two of the fish we landed were small, the other was an absolute corker, dragging Lee up and down the beach for 15 minutes.

His patience and skill was rewarded though with a massive gummy estimated at over 25kg. It was truly the biggest gummy I have ever seen landed in my last 20 years surf fishing!!! We caught all the action on film so make sure you check out Season 10 of Adventure Bound on CH31 in early 2011.

The fish was taken on a 5/0 Black Magic snapper snatcher baited with fresh trevally fillet.

A couple of nice brown trout taken on the new Rapala Flatrap from the flooded edges of Mt Emu Creek.

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