Field Testing Presents
  |  First Published: December 2005

School holidays dominate this time of year. Kids have got their new fishing gear and are just dying to give it a try.

Lots of these young anglers will be lined up along the edge of Lake Colac chasing redfin, which should be about in good numbers until the end of the month.

An option for the kids is to get mum or dad to run you down to one of the local rivers where, for the next couple of months, you have a good chance of taking trout, blackfish or even an eel – all good fun when you’re young and enthusiastic.

Local waters experience a lot of fishing pressure during January because of the influx of city visitors. Our proximity to Melbourne means that weekends are also busy. But don’t be disheartened; there are enough fish for everyone.  

Purrumbete will fish well during January with mudeyes under floats the most productive strategy, whether from the shore or from a boat. Trolling is another good option, especially for those who enjoy a relaxing time. Yes, Tassie Devil or Lofty style lures would be my pick. Vary the depths until you find the fish. Flyfishing is probably at its best at this time of year with fish nearly guaranteed to be feeding behind the weeds in the evenings. A drift along the deep side of the weeds a good place to try.

Bullen Merri is going to be the big talking point in January. Will this be the month for those elusive bass to make an appearance in big numbers? I am hoping the answer is ‘yes’. Enough fish have been showing up to suggest that the summer weather could see the start of some big bass catches. There will be plenty of anglers trying lots of different methods, but remember that these fish like structure so get your lures or baits in close. I’ll be there giving them a crack too, probably bouncing a plastic past their nose.

Other local lakes worth a look include West Barwon, another good family spot, and Wurdibuloc, which will probably have prevailing easterlies at this time of year making for good evening fishing with mudeyes or flies.

Don’t forget our rivers. The Gellibrand River is amongst the best and holds a good stock of blackfish. Throw in some free rising trout and an evenings fishing could be very rewarding.  The Mt. Emu Creek is also worth a look. It can be tight but productive fishing, and has been stocked over several recent years by both the Warrnambool Flyfishers and DPI Fisheries.

Finally, if you see some young angler having a bit of trouble then give them five minutes of your time. They’ll probably remember it for the rest of their lives and might help you rig up in 20 years when, even with glasses, you won’t be able to see your line or the eye of your hook.

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