Weather permitting the number one destination for salmonoids would have to be Lake Bullen Merri.
The number one method for those equipped with a boat is flat line trolling winged lures such as Loftys Cobras with favoured patterns being white and pink-white. There is simply a plethora of Chinook salmon with many exceeding one kilogram in weight on offer. In saying that please only take what you need and allow the fish to try and reach trophy sized standards. Avid anglers are certainly looking for a possible return to the ‘good old’ days’ when Chinooks in excess of 9kg were angled from these waters. The stocking of predatory brown trout for two consecutive years was halted in an attempt for the ‘chooks’ to stack on the pounds and so far, so good.
Rainbows in excess of 2kg plus browns approaching 4kg are in the shallows and currently taking lures and plastics either trolled or cast. Bank anglers fishing local minnow or gudgeon from the bank are also picking up plenty of fish.
On two occasions in late June I managed to get out onto Lake Elingamite with minimal water to support my four metre boat’s flat hull so I had to pole out and back from the ramp. I was the first to do so for the season besides a few avid kayakers in the know. Unfortunately the fishing was a very hit and miss affair with the brown and rainbow trout, which would have to be exceeding 2kg by now, hitting and either immediately dropping the lure or at the boat’s side. However the triploid (sterile) Chinook salmon released here as an experiment are doing quite well and are still schooling out in the deeper section of the lake. By the time of publication and going on the sheer amount of rain falling as I type this, the lake should well and truly be open to most boaters for the foreseeable future.
Lake Purrumbete has been very hit and miss for most of this year with the exception of smallish schooling redfin but the lake has somewhat settled down with browns and rainbows well over 2kg hiding amongst the abundant weed beds that surround the lake lying in wait for prey. The cooler water temperatures have well and truly brought on a salmonoid feeding frenzy, which should extend well into spring and hopefully the early days of summer.
Unfortunately Lake Tooliorook near Lismore is presently a bit of a low water lemon and the abundant weed growth doesn’t help but with solid rain there’s every chance that this lake will recover by spring and restocking of some sort can continue.
Further inland is Lake Bolac and the stocking of estuary perch has been considered a success with the fish now approaching legal size. Not to mention the rainbow trout on offer with the average weight of the rainbows going well over 2kg. Trolling shallow diving minnow lures or simply bait fishing from the bank are methods that are working well.Reads: 682