Big fish options despite the floods
  |  First Published: November 2016

The best thing about fishing South West Victoria is the massive variety of angling options available across the course of the year. This has proved to be the case recently as, even with serious flood waters affecting all local rivers, there has been some first class angling. A series of significant rain events during September put all the local waterways in high flood with plumes of dirty water extending well out to sea.

Even though local rivers fish well for trout during times of high flow, most rivers were running well too fast and high even for productive trout fishing. Good trout fishing should be an option right through November as the rivers should be still flowing well, particularly when compared to this time last year when we had very little rain. With the rivers out of action, there’s been another venue for keen trout anglers to focus on with nearby Lake Purrumbete producing trophy fish.

The fish have not been easy, but with most browns weighing in around the 4kg mark, the effort is definitely worth it. These trophy fish have been in great condition and put on a serious display once hooked. The biggest ones to be landed so far have been Nick Murrell’s 5.9kg and new Purrumbete caravan park owner, John Clements’ 5.8kg fish.

The new 95mm Daiwa double clutch lures have been dynamite on the troll, while the 75mm model and Gulp Smelt soft plastics have been the go-to lures on the cast. Bait anglers have been having success on the browns with gudgeon under a float. The odd big chinook has been taken on deep set baits like pilchard fillets.

The other big fish option has been the barrel tuna. Last year’s late season barrel tuna run has repeated itself again, without the long periods of fine flat weather from this time last year. Most fish have been in the Portland and Port MacDonnell region, but there have been fish taken locally like the 118kg model taken by Dan Hoey of Salty Dog Charters. With the school tuna having moved on, it can take dedication to put in a long day trolling. Once again, the rewards are there for those who persist.

The other productive option for these flood times has been quality school and gummy sharks taken offshore. November is usually always a fantastic month for fishing locally. It should be especially intriguing this year, after the flood water recedes, to see what effect it has on the fishing.


Monster Purrumbete browns – Nick Murrell with a 5.9kg and Jo Rowland a 4.8kg fish.

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