Bullen Merri reports promising
  |  First Published: July 2007

That long-awaited rain has finally appeared in some areas. We could do with plenty more, but at least it has started.

Purrumbete, Ellingamite and Colac lakes all need plenty of water before boats can safely fish these waters, whereas Bullen Merri has remained fishable for all forms of fishing throughout the summer and autumn. Now it’s just a matter of the fish doing the right thing.

Once again reports from Bullen Merri are promising. Brown trout to 2kg are taking baits along the shoreline. Late evenings have been the most productive, and of course at this time of the year we get those diehards that manage to sit through the chilly nights. Any fish these guys catch they surely deserve.

Evening anglers are using glassies, mudeyes and minnows with some success. The all-nighters seem to prefer the local bullheads. All these baits can be fished either under a float or on the bottom. Remember when wading in Bullen Merri, when you get to the edge of the lip you have gone far enough. Take one step more and you’ll probably fill your waders.

A few rainbows and Chinook have also been showing up in anglers’ bags, especially for those trolling with either downriggers or Downunder leads. Winged lures are hard to beat when trolling, with purples, pinks and whites some of the better colours.

Purrumbete is gaining in area slowly and, as most fly fishermen know, we are coming into prime time for those smelters along the eastern beach. There have been good numbers of fish along this area for the last couple of months with 2-3kg browns being taken in fair numbers. If the lake continues to rise these smelters will only get better.

Our local rivers have already received a flush or two. The Gellibrand stays open below the ocean road for the trout fishermen. This section is a proclaimed sea run trout area, and although it’s a bit early it is always worth a look down around Princetown if you are into chasing trophy-sized trout. These big fish can often be found out of the current, in the backwaters behind snags and in the little bays along the edge. A Rebel Broken Back can sometimes bring these big fish undone.

The blackfish season is still open, although these natives seem to disappear during the winter. They’ll be back.

Lake Wurdi Bulloc continues to fish very well for redfin. The lake is receiving water from the channel, which in turn is covering a lot of fresh ground. This should mean some excellent flyfishing for trout, as some of these freshly grassed areas are covered.

West Barwon Dam will also have some hungry fish about, feeding along the rising waters. Although not big fish, they readily take lures – and with the rising water levels the humble worm will be worth a try.

Just remember your waders if you are coming to the western district in July.

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