School’s in at Bullen Merri
  |  First Published: December 2008

It’s nice to travel around the local lakes and see plenty of anglers about. It is even better when you pull in at Bullen Merri and see 100 school kids lined up along the southern bank.

The four Colac state schools have an annual competition based on catching carp. This year, due to the low levels at Lake Colac, they took the comp to Bullen Merri. Andrew Barber from the Colac Otway Shire organises funding and plenty of helpers, and makes these days something that all the kids enjoy.

Teachers, parents, members of the Colac Angling Club and even the bus drivers all pitched preparing food, supplying bait and helping the kids just get their rods in the water. The day was a great success despite only three small rainbows being caught. The biggest was 365g and was caught by Noah Spokes from Elliminyt State School, giving them the bragging rights for a year. The effort the 100 kids put in and the way they stuck at it for five hours was impressive.

In other reports we are still seeing some big fish being taken from both Bullen Merri and Purrumbete.

A few anglers have been concentrating on the old method of fishing deep (21m) with pilchard fillets in Bullen Merri. They have caught Chinook salmon to 3.2kg.

There have also been some nice fish for the deep trollers and bait anglers along the edges. Even a couple of nice rainbows to 2.2kg have been caught from the angling club jetty on PowerBait.

Purrumbete has been a little quieter, but a 4.8kg salmon taken trolling recently has had the locals talking. Gary Holt from Colac has weighed in salmon to 3kg and brown trout to 3.25kg, so even if the numbers are not huge the quality is certainly right up there. Redfin are also being caught in good numbers.

West Barwon is worth a look for those casting lures, whether it is for trout or redfin. A recent report of redfin taking Squidgy Bugs from the surface opens up another method for those using plastics.

I hope everyone has a great and safe time at Christmas. My tip for those parents buying their children fishing gear as a present: Don’t be afraid to spend an extra $20 or $30 on an outfit that won’t let them down. It could make all the difference in hooking them on fishing for a lifetime.

Ella Bourke-Tinker (left) and Tyler Murnane (right) caught these rainbow trout in Lake Bullen Merri during the Colac State School Challenge.

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