Bullen Merri’s Bruising Browns
  |  First Published: October 2005

The trout season has kicked off with a bang. The much-awaited Purrumbete opening for boats saw the local caravan park full for the weekend.

The weather was perfect and there were some nice fish taken. Purrumbete has been fishing well all winter for fly fishermen. With boat fishing permitted once again, fish that have been hard to get to will see plenty of baits, lures and flies. Mudeyes have always been good bait at Purrumbete; they worked well at opening and will continue to be at the top of the list during spring.

Trolling, especially with Cobra-style lures, is another sure way of catching a feed, with the old red with black spots an excellent standby colour. This lake will get plenty of traffic and if you’re considering staying at the caravan park, call to make sure there are vacancies.

Bullen Merri is producing some great fish for local and visiting anglers using plastics from the bank. Fish in the 4kg bracket are common with a few getting up to 5kg. There have also been some stories of even larger fish being lost. Early morning has seen plenty of browns and Chinook chasing smelt close to the edge. These fish have been in great condition, their stomachs bloated with smelt. Dan Mackerell’s 5kg brown and Steve Parker’s 4.3kg Chinook are two of the bigger fish taken recently. Both of these Colac anglers have sent their fish off to the taxidermist. The brown was thought to be 4 years old and the Chinook at least a year younger. There has been a lack of fish for anglers trolling lures at Bullen Merri but this will also change as the schools of smelt move away from the edge.

The possibility of an evening rise on both these lakes will also increase as the weather continues to warm.

Rivers in the area, the Gellibrand, Barwon and Carlisle will all be worth an afternoon’s fishing. Drowning worms or flicking a hard-bodied lure during the day are sure to have a few trout rising in the evenings.

The West Barwon and Wurdibuloc are two local impoundments that hold a good stock of fish and don’t get the pressure of the Camperdown lakes. Wurdibuloc is a good water for flyfishers and the West Barwon is a good spot for bait and lure anglers.

Just to top the whole lot off, Lake Colac's ample supply of redfin will be on the bite by the end of October.

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