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The time is ripe for big fish
  |  First Published: July 2012



Deep Lake at Derrinallum has been consistent for rainbow trout in two distinct sizes, or release groups.

Fish approaching 1kg as well as 2kg thumpers have been taken on an almost regular basis by anglers. The most popular methods have been to suspend either Powerbait or mudeye under a float, but no more than 90cm otherwise the bait will be on the bottom. Boats can be launched here, as a two lane concrete ramp exists at the foreshore on the southern bank but are not necessary when it comes to landing a trout or two.

The lake is quite shallow with the depth averaging around 3m and boats moving around on the lake (such as trolling) tend to spook rather than catch fish.

This lake is very family friendly with a BBQ, seating (some undercover) and toilet facilities. Non-powered camping is available for a small fee usually collected by the local shire ranger.

Nearby Lake Tooliorook still appears to be the number one lake for travelling anglers to visit with similar-sized rainbows as Deep Lake on offer to boaters as well as bank anglers alike. The local minnow would have to be the number one bait in use with Powerbait, worm and mudeye following.

Plenty of anglers are to be seen casting plastics and hardbodied lures and of course trolling is a popular pastime here. The redfin have spawned and are as hungry as ever. Fish approaching 800g are being caught in large numbers using most proven methods.

Lake Purrumbete

Lake Purrumbete has been quite productive with plenty of trout being taken trolling the lake fringes. Browns to almost 4kg have been hooked, often lost but sometimes landed by boaters. The water temperature is now cold enough to dispense with down rigging and flat line trolling is once again the more favoured method, especially at first and last light.

Bait fishers can still be seen suspending baits under a float just out from the weed beds and fly anglers wearing waders are back en masse favouring the western side at the Quarry in search of fish. Mrs Simpson, Black Matukas and BMS are but some of the fly patterns sight casted to cruising trout on a floating line.

As per Purrumbete, boaters trolling Lake Bullen Merri have also switched to flat lining and largely dispensing with down rigging. Plenty of browns and rainbows averaging around 1kg have been taken on the troll with winged lures in pink/white being favoured.

Fish are still being taken from the bank with some anglers doing a spot of Glo-bugging with great success on the browns. The north shore is the favoured spot as the depth drops off sharply along here and that’s rather helpful when casting unweighted offerings.

With some solid rain beginning to fall in the southwest alongside cooling water temperatures now is the time to brave the elements and seriously chase some solid trout.

Tom Jarman from Ballarat with a Purrumbete Brown that weighed 8lb 6’ in the old scale. This fish was taken on an Olive BMS fly.

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