The opening of the trout season has come and gone for another year. The weather has turned the corner, but best of all over the last month there has been some very impressive trout fishing taking place in the southwest.
It was interesting to hear that the park at Purrumbete was booked out for the first two weekends of the season. It seems there are still plenty of anglers who recognise September as the opening of the season, even though Purrumbete is open all year round.
The Red Shed crew from Altona fronted up at Purrumbete in early September and caught some nice fish for the weekend. Brown trout from 2-4kg were a feature of their bags, with a lot of fish falling to trolled Tassie Devils. Bright pink seemed to work best.
A number of anglers are pulling out some old-fashioned tricks and using cow bells and Ford fenders as part of their flat lining techniques.
There have also been good numbers of fish taken by anglers walking the shores. The methods have once again been varied and include fly, lures, bait and plastics, but the best method seems to have been wading and casting lures. Rapalas in the rainbow colour have been the best, but other similar lures will also do the trick. There is some talk about the temporary boat ramp being open by Christmas, but no one is making too many predictions at this stage.
Some excellent fish have been coming from Bullen Merri as well, with bank anglers out fishing the boaters. Land-based anglers have been using PowerBait during the day for some nice rainbows, and bullheads after dark for some big browns. There have also been reports of very big fish being taken by anglers walking the banks casting hardbodied lures.
Ellingamite has surfaced as a good alternative to Purrumbete and Bullen Merri. Rainbow, browns and redfin are all being taken in good numbers. Ellingamite may not be big, but it holds some very nice fish. Small boats are definitely the order of the day and those trying to launch bigger boats will end up having a very frustrating time. Once again Tassie Devils, either trolled or cast from a drifting boat, should see you hooked up to some very hard-fighting, well-conditioned fish.
The local rivers have started off with some good reports of brown trout taken by the bait anglers. With the wetter winter we have experienced this year, higher water levels mean the humble bunch of worms will give you the best results.
For the southwest angler the local fishing is good and with more anglers getting out on both Purrumbete and Ellingamite, I reckon the season is going to get even better.
Brandon Riches with a 30cm brown trout he caught on worms in the Gellibrand River.
Shane Jeffrey with a lovely rainbow trout that took a mudeye under a bubble float on Lake Purrumbete. Bullen Merri and Ellingamite are also good options (photo: Shane Jeffrey).Reads: 1231