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Anglers tough it out
  |  First Published: February 2008



Anglers are a very resilient and persistent breed when it comes to their pursuit of fish. There doesn’t appear to be any obstacle large enough to stop them from enjoying their chosen sport.

I recently fished Lake Purrumbete and found myself requiring such resilience. I fished out of my boat, a 4.5m bass style boat. There were no worries launching the boat from the trailer, but that’s where the fun began. There are ropes positioned strategically (congratulations to those responsible for this) for anglers to pull their craft through the shallow muddy water until it is deep enough to use their motors. If you are heading to Purrumbete to wet a line I recommend calling the caravan park to see if it is still possible to launch a boat or not.

Anglers have been fishing out of canoes, Porta-botes and float tubes, just so they can catch a fish. And why wouldn’t you when there is a lake full of fish waiting to be caught?

Boat angling is not the only method of catching fish at Purrumbete. There is plenty of fishable shoreline around the lake, depending on the wind direction. All angling methods including flyfishing, lure casting and bait fishing can be successful in catching a variety of fish such as brown and rainbow trout, Quinnat salmon and redfin.

Fishing at Purrumbete has been very rewarding for those anglers who have put the time and effort into wetting a line. I caught 30 redfin using local minnows fished approximately 15cm from the bottom in about 15m of water. Other anglers have been catching reddies using Baltic Bobbers. The fish vary in size but are generally less than 500g. First light and evening are the best times for catching the reddies.

Others anglers have had excellent results flat line trolling Tassie Devils, and also using paravanes to get the lures down deep. Ocean Grove angler Michael Merrit, trolling out of his Porta-bote, caught two brown trout of over 1kg by trolling Tassie Devils. Regular visitors to Purrumbete, Keith and Samuel Petrzela, had a fantastic morning’s trolling, landing six brown trout to 1.4kg using paravanes and Tassie Devils to get their lures down deep. Young Samuel showed his dad up, catching four of the six trout, and also lost a couple of others as well.

Closer to Ballarat, local angling has been virtually non-existent, with many anglers heading up to the Murray River system, and also down to fish the saltwater where there is plenty of water and plenty fish. Anglers should not give up hope locally. As I have mentioned previously, Newlyn Reservoir, Dean Reservoir, Lake Beaufort, Tullaroop Reservoir and Cairn Curran are all worth a look. Selecting the right time to wet a line is now more important than ever. The first and last hour’s light is the best time to fish - fishing during the middle of the day would be a waste of time.

Ballarat anglers have had to travel to find fish. This nice brown trout was caught by Michael Merrit, fishing out of his Porta-bote in Lake Purrumbete.

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