Bullen Merri shines for Ballarat Anglers comp
  |  First Published: July 2008

Fishing in the Ballarat district has been a non-event in the past month, with those anglers keen to wet a line still travelling out of the district to obtain their dose of fishing. Those anglers prepared to travel have been rewarded with excellent catches.

Victoria’s southwest region, namely the Camperdown area, has been producing some excellent catches of brown and rainbow trout. Lake Bullen Merri has been the most productive, with some quality brown trout up to 3.3kg and rainbows around 2.6kg.

The Ballarat Anglers Club recently fished against the Geelong anglers at Bullen Merri for the Rosebowl Shield, with 22 anglers fishing over a weekend. Ballarat was the successful club with bag weight of 6.7kg.

The heaviest fish went to Geelong angler Rudy Holzfiend with a brown trout 3.385kg. Rudy caught his brown trout trolling a Tassie Devil slowly behind the boat.

The story of the weekend was the quality and size of the rainbow trout caught. Many anglers had not seen fish in such great condition – they were a lot like Sherrin footballs

Lakes Bullen Merri and Purrumbete were noted for the size and quality of fish produced many years ago, and hopefully with these great fish the lakes could get back to their former glory. The rainbows at Bullen Merri were caught using various methods, from trolling Tassie Devils along the drop-offs to fishing PowerBait from the shore.

Keith Riddsdale from the Ballarat Anglers Club landed a lovely rainbow of 1.9kg using PowerBait fished using a running sinker rig. Keith said the secret to using PowerBait at Bullen Merri was to leave your line slack. Don’t tighten the line, otherwise the PowerBait will be dragged down into the weed, making it hard for the fish to see. When your line is slack the PowerBait floats up from the bottom and sits above the weed. The only colour PowerBait that anglers caught fish on was orange/green/red combination.

Bacchus Marsh angler Peter Longhurst has also been catching rainbows at Bullen Merri, with his best fish of 2.6kg being caught trolling a Tassie Devil.

At Lake Purrumbete, Brian Nygaard reports those anglers lucky enough to be able to launch some sort of water craft have been catching brown trout up to 3kg trolling Tassie Devils. Brian also reports a few fish starting to move along eastern shoreline along chasing smelt in close the sand banks.

Lake Wartook in the Grampians continues provide excellent fishing and is proving to be one of the state’s most consistent performers.

John Monteduro and Neil May recently flyfished up at Wartook for a day with no luck, but John said a group of anglers fishing from the dam wall caught plenty of rainbow trout of around 600g on baits of worms and yabby tails fished on the bottom.

John also called into Lake Bellfield on the way home and mentioned that the water level was very low. That has not bothered the redfin, with one angler having caught a lovely bag on bait.

Back closer to Ballarat there are still a few waters worth having a look at. Tullaroop and Cairn Curran are both proven performers during the winter months.

Talbot Reservoir fishes very well during winter, and all forms of angling are suitable. Although Talbot is only a small water it occasionally produces some fish of up to 4kg.

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