A pot of trout at the end of the rainbow
  |  First Published: July 2011

Bullen Merri is shaping up as something special, with great reports of brown and rainbow trout being caught quite frequently.

The rainbows seem to be everywhere at Lake Bullen Merri, with most anglers catching them off the shore and from boats. Around this time of year the trout stick to their natural instinct and try and spawn, but because no sustainable rivers enter the two crater lakes, spawning for the trout impossible. Redfin don’t need or can have very slow moving water to drop there eggs that’s why they are able to spawn.

The southern side of Lake Bullen Merri has black sand all the way along and also a few other spots on the lake. This sand is the closest thing the lake has that looks like a river bed, so the rainbows especially congregate around these spots and try to spawn. The black sand is also plagued with minnows and bullheads, which is a major food source for the fish.

Staying on the spawning topic, the most popular and successful bait to use is Powerbait, which is a scented Playdo-like bait that is highly scented and floats. Pink and red colours seem to work the best fished in the black sand and around spawning times can be expected to catch a fish pretty much everyday.

Powerbait is fished on the bottom with a running sinker and a small hook. The reason for the small hook is so the Powerbait can bring the hook afloat and keep it off the bottom. If your hook is too big or heavy it will sink the Powerbait and chances of catching a fish decrease.

Rainbows have been between 1-1.5kg both fishing baits and trolling; except for the freight train that Peter hooked on to recently. Peter was trolling Tasmanian Devils down-rigged behind cowbells. He frequently changed colours, patterns and the depth he was fishing in until he finally got the right combinations. The proof was in the pudding and he caught a whopping rainbow weighing in at 3.3kg.

Over the northern side of the lake there have been anglers putting in the long hours, both early mornings and late nights. They are continuing to use bullheads suspended under a bubble float, which is yielding healthy brown trout over 2kg. The fish are deep in the belly and full of minnows, which are a good indication they are in healthy state and feeding up well.

Lake Purrumbete

Down the road at Lake Purrumbete the fishing still continues to run hot, with good numbers of redfin being caught, mostly on minnows fished off the bottom. Because of Lake Purrumbete’s water quality being so clean it makes the local redfin highly sought eating fish.

On May 9, 500 rainbows and 5000 brown trout were released by the fisheries from Snobs Creek. It will be very interesting to monitor the yearly growth rates and progress after they are put into the lake as they feed on the abundance and variety of food in Lake Purrumbete.

More good rainbows were caught off one of the floating jetties at the Lake Purrumbete Caravan Park. Eight-year-old Jayda caught one using pilchards on the bottom during the middle of the day.

The water around the jetties is still a little murky because of the rainfall a few months ago, but due to the new weed coverage the rainbows continue to come in up to 4ft of water at all times to feed.

There have been catches of brown trout up to 1kg coming in, but the larger fish continue to stay down just out of reach of anglers. With winter approaching fast the thermal line should start to slowly rise and lift the fish with it. Be sure to keep persisting because you never know when they will all come on the bite over these two months.

Fly fishers are still catching their share mostly on the eastern side amongst the weed and fished down deep from boats. But this month there should be great action on the surface.

Around these two months we will start to have large hatches of crickets around this area and on the warmer nights these crickets will be landing on the top of the water in numerous locations and attracted fish to the surface in places such as Mount Emu, Lake Purrumbete, Lake Bullen Merri, Lake Ellingamite, Gellibrand River and plenty more.

The Gellibrand River continues to produce good numbers of black fish to 800g on worms and maggots also Mt Emu also producing small trout and redfin to good sizes to the few fishing there.

As for the bream, anglers are still having fun on the undersized bream, with occasional big ones coming across up to 40cm+. The Curdies River has been fishing well with bream to all sizes on variety of baits, having best results on fresh water yabbies’ and scrub worms.

The mouth has been closed for the last few months which has caused the car park at Bogey Creek to flood, which still hasn’t stopped anglers launching their boats off there with their 4WDs. The smaller cars have had a little trouble so just be weary when putting your boat in.

Most angler have been heading downstream to the lake and catching good numbers of bream and salmon to all sizes. There has been a lot of loose weed floating around in the lake so be sure to check baits regularly and remove weed in any.

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