Big Trout from Camperdown Crater Lakes
  |  First Published: September 2005

A little bit more daylight means a lot more fishing pressure. That seems to be the order of the day at both Purrumbete and Bullen Merri as the days lengthen out leading into spring.

The last weekend in July saw a club trip to Bullen Merri by the Southern Fly Fishing Club from Melbourne. The results weren’t too bad with 15 fish for the weekend. All were Chinook salmon with five fish weighing in at over 1.3kg. Smelt patterns on sinking lines were the most effective.

Boat anglers have been doing nicely as well, although there have been a lot of smaller fish boated around 450g. These fish have to be handled carefully if they are going to be successfully released. The better salmon and browns are taking trolled red Tassie Devils with black spots. The larger size lures are your best bet.

A chat to local fly tier and guide Muz Wilson is usually an informative exchange and my last encounter on the shores of Bullen Merri was no exception. Muz was up in arms about the lack of Fisheries Officers at Bullen Merri. His major gripe was that some trollers and bait anglers have been using more than two rods each. Some even had four rods each. I wonder what local officers do during the winter? Maybe a check on the most popular salmonid lake in the state would not go astray!

Local rivers have been closed to salmonid fishing for the last few months, but most of these rivers have a section near the mouth that is left open for supposed sea run browns. The Gellibrand is one such river where this occurs but rarely do we hear of any of these sea runs. Well-known local Colac angler, Doug Lucas, changed all that in late July when he landed a sea run of over 10lb in the old scale on a trolled broken back Rebel.

When you pick up this mag most of us will be all fired up about the opening of a new trout season. The boat opening at Purrumbete is always a big event and all this boat action usually means the fish becomes a bit skittish. The flyfishing fraternity, being aware of this, have been giving the lake a fair work out over the last couple of months from the shore.

Trout chasing minnow behind the weeds have been about in good numbers. Local fly fishermen from Camperdown and Colac have been taking the opportunity to lower the trout population prior to the arrival of the top guns fishing the Victorian Championships. Raymond Baulch from the Tie and Try Flyfishing Club at Colac took a magnificent 4.2kg brown in early August using a green Woolly Bugger.

With some run-off rains, the lakes and rivers in the west will be a good place to be in the spring if you’re after some big trout!

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