Fish firing with the drought broken
  |  First Published: October 2016

July was definitely a wet one, a very wet one indeed. Considering that for many months the South West has suffered almost drought-like conditions, which didn’t see the weather patterns begin to change until May, July’s massive rainfall was so, so welcome.

Lake Purrumbete’s water levels where almost to the point where tinnies could not be launched, and now the springs in the nearby Stoney Rises are working and the run-off is going straight into the lake. In fact, a waterfall of water is currently pouring into the lake.

Some lovely browns have been caught, exceeding 8lb (4kg) in recent times. These fish are not being landed in huge numbers, but they are being found very close to the lake’s rim and especially over near where the inflow is currently pouring into the lake.

Shallow diving lures fished at first and last light are nailing a few. So too is fishing a mudeye suspended under a bubble float allowed to drift in quite close to the weed beds and the shallows. You must consider the strength of leader used as well as the drag setting, as these areas mentioned are rather tight to play a large brown. I suggest a minimum of 8lb fluorocarbon leader attached to at least 6lb braided line.

Late July saw some of us finally get out onto Lake Elingamite. Canoes, kayaks, small punts and boats such as mine can now get out onto the lake. My boat is a 4m vee-nosed flat bottomed tinny with a bow mounted electric that when run in shallow drive will get me away from the boat ramp and finally out fishing on this exceptional body of water.

So far my adventures have seen plenty of redfin boated on minnow lures including Damiki Saemi 50s and Pontoon 21 Cablistas in a variety of colours and patterns cast and trolled. The run of redfin includes one thumper measuring 46cm and pulling down the scales to almost 1.5kg!

There’s been no trout as of yet, but remember only 400 instead of 4000 got released last year. They are about, it’s just that I have to connect up with one. Others certainly have, and the catches have included a couple of three-year old release fish that each pulled the scales down to well over 8lb.

Lake Bullen Merri continues to carry on in its typical wintery way, with fish being caught on a regular basis. The fishing remains tough, as the sheer amount of gudgeon and galaxias that are currently available in this impoundment is literally astounding, and the fish are growing extremely fat living off this bounteous banquet. Rainbows and Chinooks are mostly caught, with bank anglers offering up live minnow under a float receiving the most attention.

These fish are literally coming out of the lake in the shape of footballs! They are so well fed that our offerings seem to be playing second fiddle! Patience and perseverance is the order of the day and those calmly wiling away the hours along the shoreline seem to catch more than those actively working from boats.

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