Get into the action before the heat comes
  |  First Published: December 2013

I remember not that long ago checking the BOM website (as I regularly do) and noticing the long term forecast for south eastern Australia. From memory it read something like this; “below average temperatures accompanied by above average rainfall.’ How true that simple but poignant statement has become.

Believe me I am quite happy to swap some possible 38C plus days for a few that provide welcome moisture from the atmosphere and cooler temperatures but it often never works out that way. Does it?

However what it does guarantee at present is an extended salmonoid season. With all of our lakes full or not far off it, water temperatures have yet to warm to alarmingly high temperatures which (in the past) have had a tendency to put our trout stocks under severe stress; or worse still, fish kills. But presently it is all looking good.

Lake Elingamite near Cobden has been slowly filling due to the saturated surrounding water table so slightly larger watercraft can now launch without too much bother. Prior to that tinnies to 4m have not had many problems and now slightly larger craft owners may as well try their luck.

The returns are fantastic with two year old browns and rainbows approaching 3kg whilst last year’s releases are coming in well over 1kg.

Redfin that reside here are huge, and many fish will pull the scales down to well over 1kg. Recently Ballarat angler Shane Stevens did rather well here with the prize fish of the day coming in the form of a beautifully coloured brown trout that was released two years ago; almost to the month. The trolling and casting of a wide variety of lures and plastics has been the best approach however bait fishing by presenting live mudeye under a float adjacent to the weed beds has, as expected accounted for quite a few fish.

Lake Bullen Merri has been consistent for rainbow trout around 1kg with best results occurring from the bank with Powerbait and locally-netted gudgeon either suspended under a float or fished weightless on the bottom.

Lake Purrumbete has been hot for trophy browns taking lures down deep with the biggest pulling the scales down to 6kg! In saying that most ‘bigguns’ range between 3.6-4.7kg and they are not common but they are out there and anglers that show patience and perseverance are the ones coming up trumps. Trolling minnow lures from 10-20m has been the way to go.

For brown trout absolutely full of fight one may as well head to Lake Tooliorook near Lismore. These recent releases (less than two years ago) are approaching 3kg and are being taken in shallow water due to the abundant weed growth. Forget the rainbows of a similar size or the kilo plus redfin, anglers in the know are coming here for the feisty browns and personally I don’t blame them!

Just make sure that your gear is up to scratch otherwise these trout will eat you up and laugh in your face.

Shane Stevens came, saw, and conquered at Ellingamite.

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