Aggression sessions on the trout
  |  First Published: July 2015

May saw winter arrive early (once again!) with rain and wind accompanied by cooler temperatures well and truly affecting an angler’s chance of getting out to wet a line.

However, the rain is welcome as it is beginning to top up many of our shallow lakes and the cooler weather is placing more aggression in our salmonoids and the bite, especially in shallower water, is on the increase.

The down riggers or lead core line can now be packed up and put away for another season. Even in our deeper crater lakes, browns and rainbows are becoming more available in the shallows as this water is the first to cool off plus browns are forever looking for an outflow (that doesn’t exist) as they have spawning on their minds.

In Bullen Merri and to a lesser extent Purrumbete, bank anglers have been doing well at night as the shallow water around the lake’s fringes rapidly cools down in the dark and big trout move in not only for comfort’s sake but in the never ending search for food. This behaviour is now extending into daylight hours, but the action is hotter at first light and late afternoon.

Mudeye and gudgeon presented under a bubble float or fished on the bottom either lightly weighted or not at all has seen a few solid fish landed.

Flat line trolling a wide variety of lures including the ever-popular Loftys Cobras has now come back into play over down rigging and beginning to show positive results. In Bullen Merri, boaters are still bottom bouncing for Chinook salmon in depths of 20m or so with mixed results. As winter progresses, this method of anchored boat and static bait fishing for ‘chooks’ should improve as fish in excess of 3kg have been caught earlier on this year.

Fisheries have recently released their future plan for stocking these two impoundments thanks to angler feedback. Brown trout releases will now feature more prominently in Lake Purrumbete whilst Chinook salmon releases will increase in Bullen Merri. Both lakes will still receive their allocated quota of rainbows.

The odd Bullen Merri bass to over 1.5kg has been caught on the troll around steep drop offs in depths from 10-20m. Lightly coloured minnow lures from 70-90mm in length have been favoured.

New release fish are currently being a nuisance regarding lure usage in the shallower water. Plenty are taking lures meant for larger fish, but remember, these will soon grow into something more viable and care should be taken when releasing these fish. Using a soft, wet cloth is vital when handling a fish prior to release as their scales are small and delicate and can easily be removed by human hands, which are sometimes fatal for the fish.

Lake Elingamite still requires more solid rainfall to bring the water level up to a point where small watercraft can once again access the trophy trout and redfin that reside here. In saying that, a certain angler launched a small duck punt and eventually got out on the lake and caught browns to over 2kg. A risky undertaking as the exposed mud here is akin to quicksand, so I advise anglers to have some patience and wait for the water level to rise once again.

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