Joy at Bullen Merri
  |  First Published: June 2014

The fishing at Lake Bullen Merri has improved lately with chinook salmon to 600g and rainbow trout to 2kg being caught by bank and boat anglers.

Those working from a boat are tending to flat line troll a wide variety of lures well back. Minnow lures, such as Rapalas to Loftys Cobras, are all presently working. Colour and pattern appears to be less important in catch rates than the swimming action of the lure. The more action the better it seems.

Prime time to troll is from first light to sun up. Sunlight shimmering on the water seems to act as a signal to the fish to go deeper but this small window of opportunity to shallow troll is often extended on overcast days. Anglers wetting a line from the bank are doing well using Powerbait favouring red and chartreuse either suspended under a float or allowed to slowly waft down to the bottom under its own weight. Casting or trolling just a few metres from the shoreline will often have you in depths of 4-6m, especially along the north beach.

Lake Purrumbete also has chinook salmon of a similar size plus a few solid browns that are easily topping 2kg and swarms of redfin to 300g. The techniques employed here are quite different to Bullen Merri and suspending baits such chunks of pilchard just off the bottom in depths of 10m has seen plenty of chooks caught, along with rainbow trout weighing in just over 1kg.

Some browns can be found herding baitfish in the shallows at first light but then quickly disappear to similar depths once the sun hits the water. Down rigging and trolling a variety of lures is required to attract a strike from a brown in this situation.

Small redfin can be a nuisance, especially when fishing bait such as mudeye suspended under a float. These mostly smallish pests can and will make a severe dent in an angler’s precious supply of bait so once a school of reddies make themselves known, it’s time to move.

I’ll point out here that successful bubble float anglers are suspending their offerings up to 10m below the float. Apparently the line is greased with Vaseline so as to allow the float stopper to easily slide along the line once it comes in contact with the rod tip when reeling in line.

Lake Tooliorook near Lismore is still low and very weedy. I have it on good authority that quite a bit of illegal netting has occurred, which explains a distinct lack of fish, especially the redfin. Those who have persevered have managed to land the odd rainbow trout to 2kg, however the overall condition of the vast majority of captures has been poor.

Cooler wintry weather should help somewhat in kerbing weed growth and plenty more rainfall wouldn’t go astray either. Then maybe as winter draws to a close the lake’s level and condition may attract another release of trout by fisheries. Here’s hoping.

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