Belated blessing for fresh
  |  First Published: February 2014

The late arrival of summer has been a blessing when it comes to chasing our freshwater species. Water temperatures are currently below par and this is good news for our lakes, especially the shallower ones.

As a general, by February overly warm waters often stress trout populations to the point where minor fish kills occur but fingers-crossed we may just have escaped that annual threat.

Lake Purrumbete has been reasonably quiet with few big fish caught. In saying that some solid rainbows to just over 2kg have been taken right along Hoses Rocks and out from the bay nearby.

Mudeyes have been the number one bait but casting deep diving minnow lures as close as possible to shore has also picked up a few.

Lake Bullen Merri has rainbows to 1.4kg and chinook salmon to over 1kg taking locally sourced gudgeon and minnow suspended under a float. And you don’t need a boat as bank fishers are reaping the rewards.

Flat line trolling at first light is picking up quite a few chooks and rainbows of similar weight.

Deep Lake at Derrinallum is suffering from poor water quality, but plenty of rainbows exceeding 2kg in weight are falling to bait anglers using worm, mudeye and Powerbait fished under a float from the bank. The question is should people be, are you taking these fish home to eat? I think not.

A similar situation is occurring at Lake Tooliorook near Lismore. A real pity really as this lake was shaping up to be the next trophy trout lake and nearly pulled it off. Rainbows to 3kg+ were the big hit and so too were an almost unlimited amount of redfin approaching 1kg. Then brown trout were released and quickly reached weight of 2.5kg+. Bait fishing from the bank or boat caught heaps and so too did trolling or casting a wide variety of lures. Fly anglers also certainly reaped many fishy rewards. However, today it’s a totally different matter. The redfin seemed to have disappeared. The browns are scarce to the point where some say that their life cycle may appear to be over. Some rainbows are still being caught but the number one bait, the local smelt, have also disappeared. Weed is almost choking parts of the lake and blue green alga is again threatening.

Lake Elingamite’s water levels are steady and angling from a boat is the only way to go. The redfin have finally come on the chew with some thumpers to over 1.5kg are being landed. So too are browns and rainbows that are well and truly exceeding 2kg. All fish are taking lures either flat line trolled or cast and retrieved and bait, such as mudeye, fished under a float.

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