Never Give Up
  |  First Published: February 2009

Ballarat and district anglers should think themselves lucky after the recent fire disasters that have ravaged our state. To this point we have basically remained unscathed. Our hearts go out to all those who have lost loved ones, their homes and all their belongings. In times like these we all need to stick together and help everyone affected rebuild their lives.

The local Ballarat angling is basically in recession with only a few waters available to fish due to the continuing drought. With recent temperatures reaching levels not seen for a very long time combined with the low levels in our storages, the fish stocks that remain in the shallower lakes must be under threat as water temperature is the key for survival.

Cosgroves Reservoir and Dean Reservoir, about 20 minutes from Ballarat, have been producing a few small rainbow and brown trout of an evening. John Monteduro, a keen flyfisher from Creswick, reports he has been catching them on Woolly Buggers. He also mentioned that at Cosgroves the water level is dropping very quickly, so I don’t know how long the fishing will last there.

Lakes Purrumbete and Bullen Merri are still the best chance to catch a trout reasonably close to Ballarat, with these lakes being only about an hour’s drive from Ballarat.

Ross Goyne recently fished Bullen Merri from the shore catching a lovely rainbow trout of nearly 1kg on a mud eye suspended under a bubble float. Ross mentioned that there were a few trout rising on the surface in the evening chasing caddis moths.

Lake Purrumbete continues to be the best trout water in the southwest of Victoria, mainly due to continued stocking of trout and Chinook salmon. There is also plenty of water, and although boats can only be launched through private property the depth of the lake is still around 30m: so there is nice cold water, which is an important ingredient for fishy friends.

Vern Barby, a very keen flyfisher who has represented Australia at the World Flyfishing Championships, has been catching some lovely brown and rainbow trout at Purrumbete on fly. Over a recent weekend Vern caught and released 24 trout up to 1.5kg. Vern was flyfishing out of a boat, drifting around the shore of Purrumbete in varying depths from 2-5m. The most successful flies were Woolly Bugger style patterns. Vern used both floating and sinking fly lines and varied his retrieve from slow to very fast. He said the fish were feeding on scud, a lake bottom terrestrial.

Brain Nygaard has been catching brown and rainbows of up to 2kg in Lake Purrumbete on mudeyes suspended under a bubble float in the mornings and evenings.

March is normally a good month to catch a few redfin over at Cairn Curran. Water levels are low over there, so anglers need to take care of submerged tree stumps just under the surface.

The best time at Cairn Curran to catch a few reddies is obviously morning and evening, using a variety of methods from fishing bait on the bottom to casting and trolling lures. You never know what you might catch as there are a few thumping big golden perch in the lake as well.

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