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Don’t dust of the down-riggers yet!
  |  First Published: December 2014



As we rapidly approach Christmas the weather is certainly warming up but our deeper lakes are remaining cool with no need to reach for the downriggers just yet.

In saying that, now is the time to start targeting the big redfin that inhabit some of our waterways.

Mount Emu Creek

This is a meandering waterway that is annually stocked at several locations with brown trout and some superbly coloured specimens to 800g are currently responding to Celta style spinners fished at various depths in the deeper pools. Fishing them closer to the bottom might risk striking a snag but this is where the big reddies hang out. As these styles of lures are fairly cheap, losing one or two per outing is worth it in my books as long as a couple of stud redfin are landed in the process.

Lake Elingamite

This is another destination definitely worth exploring for huge redfin as specimens approaching 2kg have been taken recently.

The new season’s release of browns and rainbows are proving to be a nuisance to anglers, but please release carefully using a wet towel as this lake only gets a couple of thousand of each species per year.

The Chinook salmon are now approaching 2lb on the old scale but I prefer to release these fish in the hope that they stack on some more weight.

There’s plenty of brown and rainbows approaching 1kg to be had with a few of the previous year’s release still about and these fish are exceeding 2kg.

Unfortunately, the lake is currently under an algal outbreak and will probably get worse before it gets better so be cautious when it comes to taking home a feed of fish.

Lake Bullen Merri

Bullen Merri also has blue-green algae, but this is nothing new as it happens nearly every year and doesn’t stop anglers taking home fish for consumption. I wouldn’t take a feed from this lake, but that’s up to the individual.

Chinook salmon to 2kg are still on offer with bottom bouncing baits such as pilchard chunks in up to 10m depth is still working.

Rainbows in 2 release sizes (1 and 2kg) are taking Loftys Cobra style minnow lures flat line trolled in 4-6m depth. Following the lake’s perimeter preferably under quiet electric power at first light is yielding the most fish.

Lake Purrumbete

Purrumbete has picked up in the brown trout department with some lovely coloured specimens from 3-4kg being taken around the lake’s fringes by casting a variety of shallow diving minnow lures right in close to the weed beds. More often than not, takes are visual and this has to be the most exciting form of angling. Seeing a large, silvery shape shoot out of the weed growth and attack your offering has to get the adrenalin pumping. Make the most of this style of fishing now because sooner rather than later these fish will head down to the thermocline layer to escape the heat of summer and down rigging will then become the norm.

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