Searching for salmonoid
  |  First Published: March 2014

The summer weather has arrived late in the South West with some hot days still around but the nights are just beginning to cool off bringing some relief to our impoundment trout population. Early mornings, evenings and at night are definitely the prime times to wet a line in search of a salmonoid.

Lake Elingamite’s water level is constantly falling and by the time this report makes print, possibly the only craft capable of launching will be kayaks and small duck punts. This is a definite shame as the trout fishing has been exceptional, but the same cannot be said in the redfin department.

Some reddies are being caught but nothing of any decent size, which is definitely down on previous years. Brown and rainbow trout in two release sizes are common; fish approaching 1kg making up the majority of catches with the less prolific but still available, weighing in at over 2kg.

The recently stocked Chinook salmon are growing well with the fish now topping over 30cm. A similar situation has occurred in Lake Purrumbete and Bullen Merri where much greater numbers have been stocked. Please consider carefully releasing all Chinooks as these fish grow quickly and most anglers would love to tangle with them in a year or two. By then many will weigh in excess of 10lb in the old scale. Instead of taking a feed of easily caught pan-sized fish now, think of the sport these fish will provide in the near future.

Lake Bullen Merri has rainbows topping 1kg taking local gudgeon and Powerbait fished from the bank either suspended under a float or unweighted and allowed to slowly waft down to the bottom. Flatline trolling Loftys Cobra style lures at first light is also picking up a few but once the sun’s rays hit the water, these fish go deep. Once again an outbreak of blue-green algae has occurred and it is advisable not to eat any fish currently being caught here.

Purrumbete remains insipid, with bait such as mudeye out fishing lures at present. However many baits are being taken by small Chinook salmon and redfin. First and last light anchored just out from the weed beds has been consistently taking fish. Downrigging lures and trolling at depths exceeding 20m has also picked up a few trout on a given day but currently bait fishing is the more consistent method to employ.

Lake Tooliorook has been rather disappointing in the last 12 months. Receding water levels, excessive weed growth and the disappearance of the redfin has lowered this lake’s once excellent reputation. However, a few rainbows over 1kg are still being caught by those persevering. Shallow diving lures cast or trolled are working along with Powerbait, worm and mudeye fished shallow under a float. Again the water quality here is not good and consideration should be given when deciding whether or not to take fish for general consumption.

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