As I merrily tap away on the keyboard, I ponder over the fact that the full strength and accompanying heat that comes with a typical summer has yet to fully take effect in the south west.
As far as our sweet water lakes and rivers are concerned this has to be a good thing. In our shallower lakes such as Tooliorook, Deep and Bolac, the trout are still active and don’t appear to be stressed at this time of year caused by rising water temperatures. The need for downrigging in our deeper lakes such as Bullen Merri and Purrumbete has yet to become a summer time necessity.
The upside of warmer water temperatures does encourage species such as redfin to bite in an often frenzied and tenacious manner but the downside of this annual phenomenon is that trout will go to ground and currently that is occurring but only during the middle of the day.
At first and last light and after dark, the trout are as responsive as they were back in the depths of winter. So we anglers may presently growl about the distinct lack of hot, lazy summer weather (which will no doubt turn up any day now and with a vengeance) at least trout are still a viable option for the angler.
Even though the water level at Lake Tooliorook has diminished by over a metre since the winter rains ceased, Rainbow trout approaching 2kg are still being caught by both bank and boat anglers. Mudeye and Powerbait suspended under a float are enticing many fish to strike. Local minnow is still presently hard to gather due to low numbers. Flat line trolling minnow-styled lures is also picking up many fish. Often after a stiff southerly blow, the water clarity diminishes somewhat and I have had found success trolling Lofty’s Cobras in white. The colour white being most visible at depth or reduced clarity.
Deep Lake at Derrinallum has rainbows in two size releases. Again fish approaching 2kg are plentiful whilst rainbows nearing 3kg are still about in numbers large enough to constantly appear in angler’s creels.
Bait fishing from the bank is still by and far the most popular fishing method here with artificial bait, scrub worms and mudeye fished either unweighted on the bottom or under a float.
Lake Elingamite is steady for redfin averaging around 1kg and browns to 2kg taking a wide variety of minnow lures either flat line trolled, cast or jigged from a boat.
Lake Purrumbete has seen brown trout to 4kg falling for mudeye fished under a float and with the rig cast towards the shoreline weed beds. The prime times have been either at first light to sunup or after sunset.
The best chance of getting stuck into a solid brown over 3kg from Lake Bullen Merri is to fish local gudgeon close to the bank on the bottom unweighted. The best time to do this is after dark and on a warm night, I’m hard up to think of a better way to spend an evening.
The author with a hen rainbow taken trolling on Lake Tooliorook.Reads: 1005