Due to a distinct lack of rainfall over summer the trout lakes and rivers have suffered and so have the fish.
So much so that as of the start of February falling water levels at Lake Elingamite near Cobden has put a halt to all boat launching and fishing. Hard core kayakers may still be able to launch but at their peril. Remembering that the lake’s sucking mud bottom is akin to quicksand so be careful.
The Mount Emu Creek has ceased to flow with only the deeper pools holding quality fish. This can mean a fair walk depending at what bridge you have parked the car. Evenings are the best here with brown trout to 1.3kg taking a wide variety of shallow diving hardbodied lures including the ever-popular Celta variety.
Deep Lake near Derrinallum is still reasonable for rainbow trout with some fish pulling down the scales to well over 2kg. This is amazing as this lake, even when full is hard to top 3m. Currently 1m can be shaved off that total. Powerbait in pink or chartreuse and mudeye all fished under a bubble float are accounting for the majority of fish.
Lake Tooliorook is quiet for rainbow trout again over 2kg and redfin to 1.3kg. The water level has receded from just over 5m to below 4m. Water temperatures are still high affecting the overall fishing here.
The deeper crater lakes are certainly picking up the slack over the shallower waterways.
Plenty of trout have been angled from Lake Purrumbete with mornings preferred. Some good browns to 2kg were taken early on either casting plastics or hardbodied minnows in close to the weed beds or by trolling under silent electric power.
Rainbow trout as well as a few browns to 1.6kg have been taken fishing live mudeye under a float. Plenty of small redfin are about as well. Unfortunately many of these fish are too small to fillet.
Lake Bullen Merri has seen some thumping brown trout taken recently. Again, those fishing after dark from the bank using live gudgeon weightless and allowed to slowly sink are picking up the odd good fish. Using this method can see anglers putting in an all-nighter in the hope of hooking up to a trophy fish.
Another method here that has seen fish to 5kg landed has been trolling. Flat lining from first light until the sun hits the water has been successful for a few. When the sun is on the water the trout seem to go deep and lures need to go down to depths approaching 10m.
At the time of writing decent rainfall is urgently needed to replenish our trophy trout lakes and hopefully in April we get plenty of cool and drenching rain.
A nice bag of Elingamite redfin taken just prior to the lake closing to boating.Reads: 704