Rainfall set the lakes up to fire this spring
  |  First Published: November 2016

The last few months saw a continuation of rainfall with a large, state-wide event occurring in the middle of September. Almost all rivers and lakes that were struggling in recent times with a lack of moisture are now minorly flooded at least. In the short term, the rain has caused havoc, but in the long, nearly all our inland waterways are once again in a healthy position and producing quality fish – ripe for restocking of salmonoids.

Lake Purrumbete continues to produce amazing brown trout with many approaching the 12lb mark. Mark Gercovich and his young son from Warrnambool paid a couple of visits just recently to fish from late afternoon onwards, and both were rewarded with huge fish taken just on dark. A good friend, Neil Slater, also ventured down from Geelong for a weekend’s fish and although it was quiet for him in the trophy trout department he witnessed other anglers boat a couple of monsters.

The browns are not available in huge numbers, but they’re there. First and last light are the times to target them. From the edge of the boat channel over to Horan’s Point has been a prime area to work. Cast a variety of offerings towards the weed beds in the shallower water. From Horan’s Point around to the disused quarry has been an ideal area to troll.

Shallow to medium diving lures either cast towards the weed beds or silently trolled very slow under electric power have produced fish. So has casting soft plastics. Slow roll the plastic mid water rather than twitching it off the bottom. Fishing soft plastics on or near the bottom will inevitably invite strikes from small redfin.

Some years ago I was invited down to Tasmania to do an article and fish primarily for big bream in the southwestern corner of the state under the expert tuition of local fishing guide Bob McKinley. As many bream waters overlap with trout, I was told I must not, under any circumstances, twitch the soft plastic along the bottom. You need to use a steady retrieve, slow rolling midwater, so as not to spook the trout. Bob was spot on, and I’ve employed the same technique back here with great success.

It’s good to see Lake Tooliorook filling thanks to all the rainfall. The water level now covers the end of the concrete boat ramp and is approximately 8m past the end of the T-shaped jetty. It was already stocked with trout some time ago, but it needs to come up another metre in height, as it’s very weedy and hampers the running of outboard motors.

Lake Elingamite’s level has risen to over 40cm depth at the boat ramp. Boats to 3.6m in length, even V hulled boats, can now get out with little trouble as long as the outboard is in shallow drive. I’ve been in regular contact with Fisheries Victoria and have been told that it’s only a matter of time before this majestic lake is once again stocked with salmonoids.


The author with a brace of Elingamite redfin taken on a Damiki Saemi 50 minnow.

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