Crater Lakes firing in the shallows
  |  First Published: October 2015

The recent wet weather trend has not let up, with water levels in our lakes slowly rising. With scientific warning of a severe El Nino on the cards we should appreciate every drop that falls from the sky while we can.

The temperature is finally rising and as the days gradually grow longer, heralding the birth of spring we can see more favourably comfortable conditions to get out and fish on the horizon.

Lake Elingamite

Lake Elingamite near Cobden is currently open, but not to all watercraft. Canoes and kayaks have been able to access the lake for some time, but now small boats can get onto the water, keeping in mind the following conditions. Boats cannot be over 4m in length and must be flat bottomed or bass boats. Electric motors for use in shallow drive are a necessity and it is recommended to take a pole on board as the shallowest section of the lake is out past the first two sets of buoys. Be aware of the weight in your boat and don’t overload.

Currently some excellent browns and rainbows ranging between 1-2kgs are succumbing to a wide variety of lures and plastics either cast or trolled. There have been some healthy browns from around 1kg to over 2kg caught in Lake Purrumbete. These fish are found around the lake’s fringes close to the weed beds by using shallow diving minnow lures cast in amongst the weed and then twitched out into the open. Mudeyes fished live about a metre under a bubble float and allowed to drift towards the weed beds have also proven very effective to target trout.

Lake Bullen Merri

Lake Bullen Merri has been constant for rainbow trout and chinook salmon weighing in well over 2kgs. These fish are caught close to shore either from the bank using local gudgeon minnow fished on the bottom with little or no weight, or under a bubble float. Mudeye and even power bait in pink or chartreuse can work just as well.

Flat line trolling minnow lures in depths of between 4 and 5m have caused some excellent strikes. Remember to have the lures out a fair distance - 30 metres is a good place to start. The boat’s hull has a distinct habit of spooking fish, however salmonoids have no lasting memory so hopefully by the time your lure swims past, the fish have ‘forgotten’ about the large dark shape of your hull and resumed feeding.

A collapsible minnow trap that can be picked up at most tackle stores for less than $10 is ideal for trapping the lake’s local minnow. The minnow, or gudgeon are the number one food for Bullen Merri’s fish. Baited up with seafood flavoured cat pellets and left to soak in at least two metre’s depth and preferably overnight should see a session’s worth of bait for anglers.

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