Reeling in reddies after the rain
  |  First Published: June 2017

We are approaching the winter months and along with the shorter days and cooler weather, the sweet water fishing has picked up. It’s also good to see that some solid rainfall is accompanying the wintry scenario.

Local lakes such as Elingamite near Cobden, Tooliorook near Lismore and Deep Lake near Derrinallum are seeing their water levels rise sharply, so it will only be a matter of time before they reopen to boaters.

The blue-green algal bloom at Lake Bullen Merri has totally dissipated thanks to the cooler weather and the welcome rain. The great news is the sheer amount of fish being caught in the shallows close to the bank, well in reach of anglers who don’t possess a boat.

Plenty of Chinook salmon of all sizes and weights are on offer. New releases right through to some thumpers exceeding 3kg are currently prowling the shoreline. Throw in some rainbow trout to over 2kg and plenty of fishos are scoring solid fish.

Flat line trolling or static casting medium diving minnow lures such as Pontoon 21 lures in a wide variety of colours is certainly doing the job. PowerBait in chartreuse and pink along with local gudgeon minnows suspended under a float are also working well on a given day.

The big browns are starting to show themselves after dark. For those willing to brave the elements, a few fish in excess of 4kg are being hooked on bait suspended under a float.

Merv Hughes and Jason Kennedy (with camera crew in tow) paid a visit to our Crater Lakes to do a bit of fishing, filming and joke cracking. Good friend Trevor Holmes provided the boat and expertise as well as having to put up with Merv’s antics!

Merv caught his first ever Chinook salmon from Bullen Merri while Jason caught a PB redfin from Purrumbete. Most of the fish were taken on 3 and 4” Fish Arrow soft plastics in Shad and Huddle patterns. Trevor favoured the motor oil colour.

Recently we had friends travel down to our neck of the woods and they stayed at the Lake Purrumbete Caravan Park for the weekend. So that meant I was out early on the Saturday morning with the boat and a good friend and fishing mate Bruce. Between thunderstorms we managed a couple of sessions chasing the redfin.

Over on the northern shore (out of the wind) in around 12m depth we found schools of them that were visible on the depth sounder as huge dark clouds coming up off the bottom.

The fish were finicky, no doubt due to the falling barometer and switched on and off during the course of the day.

Bruce brought yabbies and mudeyes, which the fish left untouched. I experimented with ice jigs and metal vibes, but the fish only took minnow style soft plastics.

The morning session saw us boat well over two dozen keeper fish before the storms sent us off the water. The afternoon session was shorter and quieter. We still caught plenty of reddies before another storm permanently put us off the water for the day.

Other boaters were also bagging out on the redfin and a few are picking up brook trout to 850g and Chinook salmon in all shapes and sizes, just by bottom bouncing bait and lures.

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