Redfin to finish up this autumn
  |  First Published: May 2017

Late autumnal weather continues to provide some excellent fishing opportunities for many and none more so than chasing the redfin at Lake Purrumbete.

The reddies are in full spawning mode and plenty of schools can be easily located by a boat’s sounder in depths of around 10-15m, which can be easily located by a similar length from the shoreline.

Bait anglers are setting minnow traps in nearby Lake Bullen Merri and catching plenty of minnows. Suspending the minnow just off the bottom on or near a school of fish one usually doesn’t have to wait too long for a strike.

Lure enthusiasts are using a variety of lures and plastics jigged just off the bottom, some of which include metal blades and ice jigs. Grubs in 2” and 3” have been proven by many to take cricket score catches of redfin out of the lake.

Trevor Holmes has taken many anglers to Purrumbete with most taking home several feeds of redfin fillets at the least. The plus side to chasing reddies using the bottom bouncing method has been the distinct chance of hooking up to either a Chinook salmon, rainbow or brook trout or all three if you’re fortunate enough.

Once a school has been located it doesn’t really matter the time of day. It’s simply a matter of fishing until the fish switch on, which usually doesn’t take that long at all.

The blue-green algal bloom in Lake Bullen Merri has all but dissipated. Thanks largely to a mild summer, a thermocline layer did not fully form. This meant that it has been largely unnecessary to fish much deeper than 10m in order to locate fish.

Chinook salmon to over 2kg on average are rounding up baitfish at various times of the day quite close to shore. Flat line trolling or casting medium to deep diving minnow lures to 70mm in length has attracted quite a few hits. Fishing soft plastics in minnow patterns such as Pontoon 21 3” Shads and Huddles have also worked, especially for bait anglers. Cast out into the deeper water and allow it to sink almost to the bottom. Then a slow and steady retrieve back into the shallows will produce some action.

The Gellibrand River in around the hamlet of Chapplevale has been firing for river blackfish to 1.46kg. The prime time has been right on dusk and often lasts for a good hour before a lull kicks in. Using small, bait sized live yabbies as well as scrub worms fished vertically next to any structure such as submerged logs is a good place to start.

All in all the freshwater fishing looks great as we approach the winter months. This points to some great times ahead on the water.

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