That one day in September
  |  First Published: September 2008

Why does September mean trout time to so many anglers? With most local lakes open all year round, you’d think every month would be the same for southwest trout fishers – but not September.

Trout season starts early in September and, for thousands of older anglers in Victoria, as the date approaches the memories of those childhood trout openings with family and friends come flooding back.

The local rivers, the Gellibrand and the Carlisle, will get some traffic as the new season gets into full swing. Bait anglers will be looking for that rise in the river, which will bring brown trout up to 1kg on the bite. Earthworms will be the choice of bait for most, with a few anglers floating a mudeye if the rivers are clean enough.

Mount Emu Creek will be another water that attracts some attention, with brown trout to 2kg likely. With good spring rains all the streams will rise and fall, and timing your trip to match a rising river could mean the difference between fish and no fish.

The local lakes will also get some extra attention as the weather warms and, of course, there will be some more time for fishing as soon as the footy season finishes.

Purrumbete has risen a little. Again this year we can only hope that spring rains raise the level enough for the caravan park boat ramp to be back in use. The temporary ramp that has been marked out with red flags, it now seems that red tape is the only hold up.

As for the fishing in Purrumbete, there have been some excellent catches of brown trout to 3kg. It seems most methods have been working, whether it be mudeyes from the rocks, trolling or bait fishing from the few boats that are getting out. Flyfishing or casting soft plastics along the east side is also productive.

The lake has been receiving stocks of fish over the last month or so and, if caught, these newly released fish should be handled with as much care as possible and released back into the lake.

Bullen Merri has also been producing some nice fish. The best seem to be rainbows and again it they have been taken by a variety of methods. Bait anglers using mudeyes, PowerBait and bullheads have all had success. A few fish are falling to anglers either trolling or drift spinning in the rough conditions.

Flyfishers have also been landing a few fish along the beaches, where fish have been moving around in groups while in spawning mode. Browns have also been taken but rainbows to 2kg are your best chance. New release fish are also being taken from this lake.

Don’t forget a rising Wurdi Buloc as an early season option. West Barwon is also on the rise and, of course, all those coastal streams around the Otways can be good for a trout early in the season.

As you can see there are plenty of spots to try if you have the inclination to get out and about on that one day in September.


Colin Witcombe with a couple of lovely brown trout from Lake Purrumbete, which he caught while flyfishing. The best is a whisker over 3kg.

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