Despite the drought like conditions affecting the south west in recent months our trout are slowly making a comeback.
Cooler weather has lowered the water temperature to a degree where the fish are less heat stressed and beginning to act normal.
Our deeper crater lakes have suffered the least with only a small blue-green algal breakout occurring at Bullen Merri but this almost annual phenomenon was considered minor by other year’s standards and has already dissipated.
Even Lake Tooliorook at Lismore is still producing rainbow trout to well over 2kg despite the falling water levels and the massive influx of weed growth in the shallows. It’s nigh impossible to launch here at present without rolling up the pants and getting wet but the bank angling scene is still going strong.
Anglers employing baits such as Powerbait in either chartreuse or pink and mudeyes fished under a float or entirely unweighted have produced the goods. However bank anglers need to get wet or use waders as the baits mentioned above need to be cast out beyond the bank side weed growth. The same process needs to be repeated when hooking up to, fighting and landing a fish. The redfin here are quiet but a few are being landed as by-catch to the trout and some are approaching 1.3kg, which is a decent fish in anyone’s books.
Lake Elingamite is still out of the question. Low water levels make it impossible to launch any craft here and those willing to risk it with small craft such as kayaks are only risking their lives. The quicksand like mud bottom will easily swallow an angler attempting to push any sort of craft out to more viable water levels.
Both Bullen Merri and Purrumbete are currently receiving their allocated stockings of chinook salmon. Fish released have varied between 20-80g and so far over 20,000 have been released in these two deep water crater lakes. It’s all looking good despite the distinct lack of brown trout stockings all due to possible predation. So anglers can look forward to a lack of browns in a year or two in lieu of a possible chinook bonanza.
Presently Bullen Merri has lots of rainbow trout topping 1kg taking Powerbait fished unweighted and allowed to slowly sink in the water column. The north shore directly above the north shore boat ramp and jetty continues to be the number one spot. It’s here that the sudden drop off is only metres from shore.
Lake Purrumbete has plenty of brown trout from 1.4-2.2kg taking Powerbait and mudeye close to the weed beds that inhabit much of the shoreline. First light to sun up is the prime time to soak a bait. The same thing can be said for lure anglers. Get out early and present your offerings up close to the same weed beds and be prepared to not only witness but experience browns coming out of there weedy hidey holes and scoffing your offering.
Once again we pray to the rain gods to provide plenty of liquid sustenance for our waterways and for our fish. Long may it rain! And soon.
Big browns like this are readily available at Purrumbete.Reads: 691