Cooling Crater Lakes bring comfort
  |  First Published: May 2015

Much cooler, autumnal weather has well and truly arrived in the South West with the start of winter only a stone’s throw away.

The mild summer and autumn has been kind to our trout and salmon waters with thermocline layers failing to fully form in our deeper crater lakes. Boaters have been sending down offerings to depths around 10m during the day but proper down rigging to much deeper waters has not been necessary.

Of an evening, after dark and at first light, browns and rainbows have been on offer for bank anglers taking baits such as mudeye and gudgeon under a float or unweighted and allowed to waft slowly down to the bottom.

Lake Purrumbete has seen a flurry of activity with boaters employing both bait and lure for brown trout to 2.8kg around the fringes of the lake. Banks that have a steeper drop off have been the best spots.

Boats can be holding in water and weed growth just metres from the bank but still be in depths of 6-10m. The browns have been cruising this narrow corridor and mudeye suspended under a float or shallow to medium diving minnow lures cast right at the weed structure and worked back to the boat has seen some very visual takes.

Lake Bullen Merri has been fishing slightly different with trolling taking many fish as opposed to static casting. Trolling medium divers well out the back early in the morning or evening in depths averaging around 4m has seen rainbows to over 2kg responding with some browns just starting to come on the chew as well.

Chinooks are still actively taking bait such as pilchard in depths from 6-10m depending on where you are fishing around the lake. Some banks drop off deeper than others like they do at Purrumbete, so a sounder is crucial for new anglers launching on the lake.

Bank anglers have picked up Chinooks and rainbows around much of the south beach area, but the bank running northwards from the old north beach boat ramp has been a real spot to cast a deep diving lure or soaking a bank. It’s here that you don’t have to cast far due to the steep drop off that exists along much of this shoreline.

Just south, the shallower bay area has been popular with fly anglers either wading or casting direct from the bank. There’s plenty of shoreline here for you to walk and cast but wading will bring an angler closer to the large weed bed that lies in the northern corner of the bay.

Lake Elingamite near Cobden still remains off limits to boaters due to low water levels at the ramp. A decent rain event that could dump up to a 100mm into the lake would open it up once again and keep it open until the following summer at least. Here’s hoping this happens sooner rather than later…

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