Wet winter needed to fill lakes
  |  First Published: July 2013

Mid-May finally saw the weather cool off and some rain begin to fall.

We need a very wet winter to replenish our lakes and put a half decent flow back into our rivers. The rain is falling down in decent quantities and the weather is sliding into the decidedly-wintery category.

First and foremost I have always considered myself an estuary angler with the number one fish on the list being bream. But gees I never realised how much I would miss the trout and redfin action. I am but minutes from three trophy trout lakes and I generally put precedence on travelling a bit further to chase bream and perch. Have I got my priorities a tad askew? Many would believe so.

Lake Bolac is fishing extremely well with rainbows coming in two sizes (just over 1kg and the other well over 2kg) for anglers choosing to fish from the bank near the caravan park. Local smelt is doing all the damage when pinned through the lips live. Suspend the bait under a bubble float or fish unweighted on the bottom. Both methods work extremely well.

Lake Tooliorook has some solid browns to 1.8kg taking a wide variety of lures cast from the boat towards the bank side weed growth. Bank angling for rainbows and redfin has been very quiet but good rainfall and lower temperatures will soon remedy this.

Lake Elingamite is still out of bounds due to extremely low water levels but stay tuned as all this rainfall (if it continues) will see anglers once again out and about on the lake.

Lake Purrumbete has seen some lovely brown trout up to 3.75kg taking minnow lures down-rigged to 16m throughout the day. Again the thermocline layer should shortly dissipate due to all the rain and lowering temperatures and sooner rather than later the trout will once again be in the shallows with the urge to breed overwhelming.

Nearby Lake Bullen Merri is currently in a similar situation. The chance of hooking to a decent fish here without down-rigging comes in the form of rainbow trout just nudging 1kg.

While we are talking about Bullen Merri, many anglers are catching new release chinook salmon and they already approaching 400g. Please think of the future; handle these fish carefully and release, not keep. In a year or two (fingers crossed) you’ll have fish way over 2kg and beyond that, maybe 8-10kg, just like it was in the good old days not that long ago.

My summary this column is for once sounding decidedly upbeat. The rainfall and cooler weather will bring the trout on in a huge way and make boat launching across various impoundments much easier. The redfin are not just a warm weather proposition either. They still need to eat so I can tell you that in southern Victoria lakes like Elingamite will have plenty of reddies available throughout the winter months and these fish will readily top 1.5kg. I simply cannot wait to get out there and chase some solid freshwater specimens!

Lake Elingamite from the new ramp taken just prior to a massive rain event.

Reads: 1927

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