Predicting what might happen when it comes to fishing is flirting with danger, and telling everyone what has happened is old news. So finding the happy medium means a bit of both, which is what you are about to get.
The old news is that both our renowned crater lakes have been fishing very well. Bullen Merri has been improving all the time, with some very nice brown trout to over 4kg, Chinook to 1.7kg and rainbows to 2.8kg. It sounds good, and it is!
Trolling is the best method, with anglers using different techniques to get their lures down to the fish. Reports of some fish being taken along the shore by bait fishers using the local bullheads are fairly typical for this time of the year. Other reports of anglers landing mixed bags of trout and Chinook while casting lures from the bank, certainly suggest that Bullen Merri may be approaching a period of great fishing for some huge fish.
Purrumbete reports have also been improving, with some ripper browns to 3.5kg and rainbows to 1.7kg. Anglers trolling are taking a lot of these fish. There are still a few flat-bottomed boats managing to launch in the bay beside Hoses Rocks. For bank anglers, Hoses Rocks has been good with both rainbows and browns being caught. Stockings are about to start at Purrumbete, which means a lot of small fish swallowing baits. Take plenty of hooks and a good pair of scissors to minimise the damage. Purrumbete will get a full stocking of 45,000 fish, which seems to suggest that Fisheries recognises that this lake is still over 90% full. Perhaps they know something about boat access that I don’t!
Purrumbete’s winter run of fish for the bank angler is a prediction that hardly ever misses. As soon as we get some rough westerly and southwesterly weather, there will be a group of bank anglers fishing plastics along the eastern half of the lake. With the limited boat access over the past months, it should mean more fish along the edge. Local rivers have had a good run of trout for the flyfishers. Plenty of crickets and grasshoppers have meant the fish keen to look up. Sadly these these rivers will soon be closed.
The two standbys that I always mention, West Barwon Dam and Wurdibuloc, are both worth a look. West Barwon is suited more for the bait and lure anglers, while Wurdibuloc is better for the flyfishers. Have a go and you may be pleasantly surprised.
Scott Gray caught this Chinook salmon in Lake Bullen Merri. This lake should fish well through winter (photo: Scott Gray).