Redfin rule the lakes
  |  First Published: November 2013

Even though we are now fast approaching summer, our freshwater lake’s water levels are still maintaining a high level and cool temperatures. Ideal for chasing salmonoids!

The bureau of meteorology predicted lower than normal temperatures and a higher rainfall than the norm for southeastern Australia over summer and so far they are spot on. It may mean less days at the beach with the family, but surely more days out on the water chasing the sweet water variety of fish for a potential trophy trout extravaganza makes up for it!

So far some exceptional brown trout have come out of Lake Purrumbete, we’re talking between 3-3.8kg! There have been a wide variety of methods and techniques that have been working, such as downrigging Loftys Cobra style lures in 25m depths. Flat line trolling has also pulled up several beauties from the depths as well as soaking a mudeye under a float.

The slight downsize is the sheer amount of this year’s releases of chinook salmon that take your lure and baits. Many of these fish are already weighing in well over 1lb in the old scale and some anglers are taking them home, as they are well and truly pan-sized. This is not illegal but the reason these ‘chooks’ were stocked to the detriment of brown trout stockings is that we may return to the glory days of 20lb+ chinook salmon captures. Please keep that in mind as they grow phenomenally quick.

Lake Elingamite has been coughing up some lovely browns and rainbows in two distinct sizes (or releases). There’s been plenty of fish coming in around 1kg while the previous release has already stacked on the weight to well past 2.5kg. But many, myself included, primarily fish this lake for the trophy redfin on offer and, after only a few sessions, I have already boated a 42cm 1.4kg beauty, which is only a pup really!

Late last year I finally landed a 2kg 50cm+ beast. They are certainly out there and not an uncommon catch. They love deep diving lures cast or trolled close to the abundant weed beds that enclose the lake.

Back to the chinooks, many thousands of fingerlings have been released into Purrumbete and Bullen Merri this year but it doesn’t stop there. There has been an excess in stocks so other lakes have kindly received a taste thanks to the DPI. These include Lake Tooliorook, which received 3000; Deep Lake at Derrinallum in which 1000 were set free and Lake Elingamite near Cobden which got 2000, but this is an experiment. Elingamite’s fish are triploids (sterile) and should grow faster due to not having the ability to waste time and energy trying to reproduce. We will see.

Lake Tooliorook has been fishing exceptionally well even though thick weed still presides over much of the lake and the top most growth is not far from the surface. Anglers using shallow water techniques have been coming up trumps. The standard stocking is rainbow trout and last year’s release are already averaging 1.8kg. But the real story is last year’s release of several thousand browns and these feisty fish are already topping 2.6kg. And boy do they fight! Speaking from experience these browns tend to roll on the surface rather than jump, so pulled hooks and entanglements have become the norm. That’s why they call it fishing, not catching!


Rod with the 1.4kg Elingamite redfin taken on a Damiki Saemi 70 trolled.

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