Preparing For the Big Lake Fish
  |  First Published: May 2006

It seems that most of my reports start with a run down on the weather. Forgive me but I live on the land and the weather is important to me for two reasons, fishing and farming. We’re now slipping into the cooler months and that means feeding hay for the farmers and feeding salmonids for fishermen.

There’s a fair bit of anticipation down this way and it’s all to do with when those big fish in Bullen Merri will start feeding along the shore. The all-night bait fishermen will be out in force over the next month looking for that prize brown or Chinook feeding along the edge on bullheads or maybe even sucking down some PowerBait.

The plastic flickers will also be about hoping that some of these monster fish that were about last year in early spring might show up even earlier this year.

Don't forget the ever-reliable approach of trolling in Bullen Merri either because at this time of year, it can be the best method of all.

As for the bass, I think we can look forward to next year, especially after seeing a photo of a belly full of minnows that a kilo plus bass had consumed.


Purrumbete has shown a distinct improvement over the last month with good numbers of fish falling to mudeyes suspended beneath floats. Flyfishermen have also done well.

Both of these methods should continue to take browns and also rainbows, which seem to be about in better numbers than we’ve seen for a while.

Trolling will also work well in Purrumbete – red with black spots on a Tassie or Lofty – yes, that’s the Eildon 99 pattern for the mature anglers that remember the good old days – shouldn’t be overlooked at this time of year.

As for flyfishers, if you’re willing to put up with cooler days, the action around the east side along the beach, will be well worth the effort. Don't be surprised if you have company because this stretch of water becomes very popular at this time of year.


Another water in the area worth a look is Wurdibuloc Reservoir. In early April there were several good reports coming in of rainbows to 1kg and browns to 3kg.

Baitfishers using mudeyes are accounting for their share but it’s the flyfishers who are really doing well. Fishing is at a premium early morning and in the evenings with a beetle or mudeye pattern. Those putting the hours in during the day are also being rewarded, especially if you fish a smelt pattern along the weed beds.

Winter is approaching. It may be cold and hopefully wet, but don't let that put you off because there’s going to be some monster fish just waiting to be caught in our western district lakes.

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