Orange you glad to catch a few!
  |  First Published: August 2016

Whether the mornings are sunny or overcast and rainy it’s certainly an effort to crawl out of a warm bed and get out there fully exposed to the elements and onto the water in search of a fish or two.

Lake Purrumbete continues to be quiet, although many anglers have been polarising some huge browns cruising along the bank side weed growth ­– it’s certainly a different matter when it comes to enticing them to bite. Often the fish are right in the shallows between the weed growth and the bank. This puts most fish out of reach to boaters casting lures but not to fly anglers walking the bank. The hot spot for placing a fly from the bank continues to be the eastern shoreline and ‘The Quarry’ is a standout place to work a dry fly or a shallow diving lure. Of course stealth is required and a bit of camouflage helps.

Lake Elingamite’s water level continues to slowly increase and one more huge rain event will see the lake once again reopen to kayaks and small boats at the very least. But in the meantime rain showers are very slowly raising the water level and as long as this continues the lake should be accessible to some by August. Fingers crossed.

Lake Bullen Merri is firing well for all three species on a given day and Chinook salmon, brown and rainbow trout can all be found cruising the shallow water around the lake’s perimeter. Fish can be seen visually or show on a sounder anywhere between 3-5m+ depth. It’s simply a matter of putting in the time and waiting for the fish to switch on.

The fish switch on for around half an hour at around 3pm, but I am yet to work out when they switch into feeding mode in the morning.

Many anglers have witnessed some thumping Chinook salmon; mostly in excess of 10lb herding and smashing small schools of new release fish. On a recent trip I launched on the lake armed with two barramundi baitcaster outfits rigged with large minnow lures (130-150mm) in the hope that they may be mistaken by the Chinook for newly released trout.

Within minutes of trolling the distinct drop-off along the north shore near ‘the cave’ I hooked up to a massive Chinook that leapt from the water and gave a couple of solid head shakes which, unfortunately dislodged the lure. Three other anglers trolling nearby all saw the fish as it broke the water’s surface tension on this still morning. To say I was disappointed would be a massive understatement because as that was my only good bite for that session. But now I know it works I will continue to work this somewhat over gunned method until I hopefully land one.

Bank anglers using worms, mudeye and PowerBait with orange colours featured are catching rainbows around 1-2kg+ throughout the day. Those flat line trolling or casting minnow lures around the lake’s fringes are having success on a given day.

Damiki Saemi’s and Pontoon 21 Greedy Guts, Cablistas and Crack Jack medium divers are attracting hits from Chinooks, rainbows and the odd brown to 2kg+ on a given day. Like the PowerBait, orange seems to be the flavour of the moment for fish, so any lure sporting a splash of orange will do the job. As long as the rain keeps falling our local lakes can only keep improving.

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