September should bring better weather after a very inclement winter.
On those few fine days that increasingly pop up now and again, the freshwater fishing can only be described as sensational.
With the trout season due to reopen this month, the sweet water lakes in the southwest have been fishing exceptionally well for those hardy anglers who have braved the elements.
Right across the board the surface water temperatures are averaging around 10C, which suits the salmonoids down to a tee although the same cool waters have slowed down the redfin bite.
The best bet for reddies is at Lake Tooliorook near Lismore where visiting anglers often outnumber the locals. On any given day anglers are picking up a dozen or so fish to 800g with Powerbait and local minnow the most popular baits being used.
Fished either under a float or weightless on the bottom, this are still the best methods to employ.
The redfin bite at Tooliorook has slowed somewhat due to falling water temperatures so don’t expect cricket score catches in this department until mid-spring. A bag of six fish as opposed to 60 is the norm at present.
Rainbow trout averaging 1.5kg are also being taken on Powerbait in pink and chartreuse, either fished unweighted or suspended under a float. Bank anglers seem to be out fishing boaters possibly due to the fact that the trout are cruising the shallows chasing the local minnow.
Lake Elingamite has been nothing short of exceptional for trophy sized trout, both browns and rainbows but even during the closed season, I was lucky to spot another boat on the water. The fish switch on and off during the day so there is no reason to get up early to target the trout, bank clerk’s hours are fine. The fish are averaging from 2.5-3kg and are falling to a wide variety of winged lures.
I’ve found that working depths from 2.5-3m has been productive. The lake is slowly filling thanks to all the rain and there is just enough water at the ramp to launch boats to 4m and motor out (in shallow drive) to deeper or greener pastures.
Lake Bullen Merri has plenty of rainbow trout weighing in just over 1kg that are falling to winged lures in pink and white. From first light until sun up has been the prime time and flat line trolling close to shore the most effective method at present.
Nearby Lake Purrumbete has seen quite a few browns at 1.5kg with the odd thumper going over 3kg caught using mudeyes suspended under a float in 6-8m depth. By fishing water 6-8m out from the bank side weed beds will see the angler presenting the bait at a similar depth.
As we speak, more rain is falling in the southwest and in the long term this is all good for topping up our local lakes. The short term maybe frustrating but that’s fishing!
The author with a solid rainbow from Lake Elingamite taken flat line trolling.