Buckets of winter rain make for great late spring fishing
  |  First Published: November 2012

It seems like buckets of rain have fallen in the southwest since May. It’s all been good for our rivers and lakes levels and flows.

At least that’s what we anglers keep telling ourselves!

With spring well and truly in the air it won’t be long until some real warmth returns.

Near the township of Cobden lies Lake Elingamite, which is stocked annually with trout that always seem to pack on the pounds in such a short time that the lake is considered by many as a trophy lake.

Currently fish both browns and rainbows approaching 3kg are coming out of the lake and into anglers’ creels as well as plenty of fish to 1kg. Many methods are working here: the most popular is to flat-line troll winged lures in pinks/whites in depths of 3-4m. Just make sure that the lure is at least 30m out the back of the boat.

The beauty here is the distinct possibility of licking up large redfin. By large I mean fish from 1-2kg. You’ll certainly know if and when you hook up to one of these leviathans!

Lake Bolac has been firing with fish being landed in two distinct sizes. Table-sized rainbows averaging around 1kg plus the added bonus of tackling a rainbow approaching 3kg is always on the cards.

The bonus is that bank anglers using either the local minnow called galaxia or Powerbait in either pink or chartreuse are landing the overwhelming majority of fish compared to boaters.

Fishing either on the bottom unweighted or suspended under a float has been the way to go. The shoreline 300m either side of the boatshed has seen the majority of captures.

Fisheries recently conducted a survey on the stocked estuary perch population in the lake. All reports suggest that the fish are doing well and are now averaging 90mm in length. This is all good for the future angling of this species.

Lake Tooliorook has redfin to 900g falling to soft plastics slowly rolled just off the bottom with the north shore presently a favourite spot to target. Bank anglers have been landing rainbow trout to 2.8kg simply by fishing either mudeye or local minnow under a bubble float.

Lake Bullen Merri has seen browns to 1.5kg being taken by flat line trolling winged lures in pink in depths of 6-8m. The prime time has been from first light to dawn.

Lake Purrumbete has redfin to 700g taking scrub worms either fished on the bottom or suspended under a float.

Browns from 1.2-1.5kg have been caught trolling winged lures just metres out from the shoreline. Its seems that Fisheries Victoria are going to halt the stocking of brown trout at Lakes Purrumbete and Bullen Merri for two years in the hope that this will increase the size of Chinook Salmon that they plan to release in the near future.

I believe this way of thinking will bring on a certain amount of debate (both for and against the reduction in stocking of browns) amongst anglers in the time to come.

The author with a lure-caught Elingamite redfin.

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