Spring will lift trout and redfin prospects in crater lakes
  |  First Published: September 2013

With the worst of winter behind us and spring all but here, for once the fishing in our south western lakes is finally approaching its peak.

More heavy rains in July gave yet another welcome top up to our waterways and the trout, let alone the anglers are thoroughly enjoying this positive fishy scenario.

Lake Tooliorook is fishing reasonably well for trout with browns approaching 2kg and rainbows over 1kg with some left from the previous stocking around 2.5kg. Prior to the July rains the lakes level petered out at 3.5m (normally 5.5m when full) and the subsequent weed growth is posing a problem for many fishing methods.

I recently wet a line there and to overcome the thick bottom weed growth was to troll ultra-shallow diving minnow lures such as Cra-Pea flat shallow runners and Damiki Baits in natural baitfish colours.

It didn’t take long to attract the attention of a brown which put up a magnificent fight which dragged on for quite some. The fish preferred to consistently roll rather than leap and it was only a matter of time before the front treble pulled. Oh well, that’s why they call it fishing, not catching! However a couple of solid redfin caught shortly after helped heal the wound!

Lake Elingamite near Cobden is still off limits to boaters but kayakers can access the deeper water from the boat ramp and some solid browns and rainbows pushing 2.5kg have been taken on the troll or by casting minnow lures in the gaps and channels amongst the weed growth on the southern edge of the lake. A few redfin to 1.4kg have also been caught using the same methods. Hopefully by September shallow draught tinnies will once again be able to get out on this trophy lake.

Lake Purrumbete has rainbow trout to 1.3kg readily taking lures and well-presented baits suspended under a float. Presently new release chinook salmon approaching 250g are currently posing a nuisance to anglers but thankfully most fish are being released with care.

Brown trout seem to be presently scarce with only the capture of fish averaging 2.2kg taking mainly mudeye under a float.

The Hopkins River upstream from Tooram Stones to the tiny township of Wangoom has seen some beautifully coloured brown trout to 2kg taking a wide variety of minnow lures cast and retrieved all along the river bank.

The Merri River from Dennington upstream to the Woolaston Bridge has some solid redfin to 800g as well as brown trout to 1kg taking cast and retrieved lures as well as mudeye, earthworm and small yabby presented under a float.

Thanks to ‘better late than never’ rains our freshwater scene has finally kicked into top gear.

Long may it stay that way.

A Tooliorook redfin taken on a weed-avoiding shallow diver.

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