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Freshwater scene still excellent in spite of hot weather
  |  First Published: February 2013



Even though we are half way through summer the freshwater scene is still hot with plenty of salmonoids coming to the fore.

Besides the hot, dry days we normally experience we have had slightly more than our fair share of humid weather and the accompanying rain that generally goes with it. Is it all part of global warming? Well, in the short term anyway the rain has freshened up our lakes and rivers and kept the trout on the bite. This has slowed down the evaporation rate and reduced the occurrence of blue-green algal blooms which has to be a good thing in the short term anyway.

The new boat ramp and jetty works at Lake Elingamite have been completed in time for the summer holidays and the trout and quality redfin have not let anglers down. A month’s complete shutdown of fishing on the lake has most certainly helped in the catch rate. Please remember that this lake is a boat only proposition due to the marshy, bog like surrounds.

Lake Tooliorook is still a tad up and down for redfin to a kilo and rainbows to 2kg. The fish are certainly there in huge numbers but the summer weather and slowly receding water levels have apparently affected the general bite on a given day. However trolling Loftys Cobras in white over by the southern shore in 3m depth has brought some good results in the form of solid rainbow trout. As we seem to be copping more than our fair share of southerly blows, the water can become rather turbid on the lake so white-style minnow lures seem to be the one and only option that consistently works.

Sea run brown trout are making their way downstream in the Aire River near Apollo Bay. Bream anglers are hooking up to what seems like a record bream but inevitably turns out to be a solid brown and some fish are often reaching 3kg. Shallow diving minnow lures are doing the job here.

Mount Emu Creek has some beautifully coloured browns to 1.5kg taking revolving-blade style lures cast and retrieved with red and green taking the majority. The run out side of deeper pools is the area in which to stealthily cast a lure or two. Floating rather than sinking minnow lures are the way to go. Retrieve and pause on and near the surface before sunup has produced the goods.

Lake Bullen Merri’s brown trout are beginning to find depth however from first light until sunup browns to 1.5kg are falling to flat lined minnow lures trolled behind a boat especially in the deeper waters close to shore directly above the north shore boat ramp. Otherwise during the day depths from 10-18m have to be reached in order to come in contact with a brown or rainbow. Night-time fishing using local gudgeon or minnow fished unweighted around the shoreline is also enticing fish, mainly browns to bite.

A similar story is occurring in Purrumbete however many fish are still using the cover of bank side weed beds in which to ambush prey. First light and after dark is the prime time here. Otherwise during the day jigging in 20m depth is producing redfin from 200-900g as well as the odd salmonoid as it appears that’s where the thermocline layer is situated at present.

White style winged lures are taking some great rainbow trout in the Crater Lakes.

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