Time for Trout in January
  |  First Published: December 2006

January: holidays, relaxing, time for the family to spend together and time to fish. So what do Colac’s anglers have to look forward too this January from a fishing perspective?

There is plenty of water to go around, especially at Purrumbete and Bullen Merri. Theirfish wise things have had a slow build up to the busiest time of the year.

Purrumbete has definitely been the pick of the two, with some good browns to 3kg taken by anglers using mudeyes under a float, fished around the weeds in up to 4m of water. Anglers are also catching plenty of Chinook salmon, with lots of small fish mixed in with the kilo keepers. Salmon can’t resist berley when used with glassies, fished just off the bottom. Redfin will only continue to get better in the coming months and there are always plenty of fishers willing to catch a feed of these, with either bait, bobbers or plastics.

Bullen Merri has been tough for a while. The much anticipated big run of trout and salmon during the spring never eventuated. Now everyone is looking forward to the bass invasion. There have been reports of a few bass being taken, but the algae blooms have been keeping most of the fish away. Pea soup would be a good way to describe what has been floating around in the lake. The aerator is working overtime and is a good place to start looking for fish, as fish often feed near moving water.

If you arrive at the lake and there is a pile of boats stacked up off Potters Point or along the north shore there is a fair chance the bass are on. Bank angling, using lures, from both the north point and Potters can result in some good bags of these Aussie natives. Their eating qualities are poor, so if you’re into catch and release it may mean some bigger fish next year.

The best of other local waters have been producing a few trout would have to be Wurdibuloc. Evening rises to beetles have seen browns and rainbows in good numbers, along the eastern bank. Redfin are also on the bite taking live minnows, yabbies and lures. Reports of fish to 2kg+ have made the reddies worth chasing, with the eastern side the most popular.

West Barwon has had some brilliant hatches on the sultry afternoons leading up to January and this should continue. Flyfishers will be in with a chance but those willing to toss a Tassie or soak a mudeye are always in with a chance at this reservoir.

January is holiday time and thousands flock to the coast; don’t disregard your Otway coastal streams for trout. Xavier Lunn with his mate Oscar Perret fished the Erskine River during last year’s holidays and caught several good brown trout.

The blackfish season opens at the beginning of January and plenty of local fishermen can’t wait for it to start. With recent articles written about blackfish we can expect some extra anglers chasing them this year. When these fish are biting, large numbers can be taken quickly, so if you find yourself in that situation consider the size of your catch, as it could be you complaining in a few years time that all the blackfish are all gone.

Xavier Lunn and Oscar Perrett and the brown trout they caught in the Erskine River at Lorne.

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