Blackfish season opens
  |  First Published: December 2004

The river blackfish season opened on 1 January and now is a great time to get out there and target these great freshwater native fish.

The minimum legal length is 22cm with a possession limit of five fish, however, catch and release is a great alternative.

The Gellibrand River has been fishing well for brown trout. Flyfishers have been taking these rising fish in the evening. A small caddis imitation or even the reliable Red Tag will do the job.

Our lakes have still been performing quite well. Bullen Merri is still the pick of the lakes and the method of fishing seems to vary from week to week. Glassies under a float fished at just 1m have proved deadly at times for Chinook. This method has been especially good in the late evening into dark.

Berleying in 30m of water is still producing some nice fish, but a lot of smaller fish around 800g are taking the baits before the trophy size fish can get to them.

On a few of the calmer hot days there have been a lot of Atlantics up on the surface chasing smelt. Although hard to catch on the fly, when they are hooked these fish will give a very good account of themselves. Ken McCoobe from Colac can vouch for that with a nice fish of 2kg.

As the warmer weather continues the Australian bass in Bullen Merri will also make their presence felt. These fish usually begin to show in late January early February and promise to bigger again this year. Purrumbete is still the place to be if you are chasing a trophy brown with some nice fish to 4kg falling for the old mudeye under a float method.

Both Purrumbete and Bullen Merri have had recent stockings and, although it may be tempting to keep these smaller fish, you will be doing everyone, including yourself, a favour if you take some extra hooks with you and cut these little fish off. Interesting to note that the small rainbows that have been taken have already got eggs inside them. Just goes to show how old some of these little fish are.

Lake Ellingamite has been a good spot to get a feed of redfin and the calm evenings have seen some nice brown trout rising along the edge of the weeds. But if you are looking for a good feed of redfin that all the family can enjoy catching, you can’t go past Lake Colac.

I hope your fishing for 2005 is everything you wished.


Some nice eating blackfish to 700g from the Gellibrand River.

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