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Break out the trout gear!
  |  First Published: April 2009



Thanks to reasonably good numbers of trout being stocked regularly into Blowering Dam over the past six or seven years, the trout have now become very worthy targets.

Now that the days are getting shorter and the temperature is starting to drop, it is the perfect time to break out the trout gear.

Most people target Blowering trout by trolling winged Tassie Devil-style lures, which do work well at times, but the big ‘educated’ trout that have been caught a few times generally won’t fall for the same old trick again.

I like to use something a little different to increase my chances of fooling one of those monsters.

Over many years of trial and error I’ve worked out that trout love to hit trolled lipless crankbaits, particularly Prism Murrins, and they seem to have a distinct liking for lipless crankbaits that are predominately gold.

However, I’ve also caught my fair share on white, red, black, striped and trout colours as well.

Paddletail soft plastics rigged on jig heads from 1/8oz to 1/2oz are also great trout trolling lures.

If you haven’t used them before I’d recommend giving them a shot, especially when conventional winged lures aren’t working.

The other major advantage of using this type of lure for trolling is the ability to vary your trolling depth by simply putting a heavier or lighter jighead on.

The abovementioned lures are also great for casting to finicky trout but when casting in particular, I prefer the Rapala CD range, especially the CD-3s.

If it’s really windy I will use a CD-5 in either rainbow or brown trout colour.

Spinners like Celtas, Rooster Tails and Road Runners work great on the trout and the redfin when cast from the bank and retrieved slowly just above the freshly-flooded grass and weed beds.

You might even hook a golden perch occasionally using this technique.

GOLDEN PERCH

Golden perch will also be worth targeting in the shallows this month.

They love to bask in the warmer water and lie in thick pockets of grass or weed, waiting to ambush any easy meal that swims or crawls by.

I like to target these fish with spinnerbaits, Chatterbaits and Rock’n’Runners because these types of lures ride through the weed better then most other lures.

Another technique that has worked really well on these weed-huggers is to cast into the weed with a lipless crankbait and rip it back out, both freeing the lure from weed and attracting the fishes’ attention.

This technique can sometimes turn on the most shut-down fish and is worth a shot if you’re not getting any action on other lures.

MANNUS LAKE

This little lake is becoming more and more popular with fishos every year and it is no wonder.

This picturesque little dam holds a lot of good-sized fish but for safety reasons (the lake is very shallow and full of submerged and standing timber) and for environmental reasons the watercourse has a maximum engine rating of 5.5hp.

Sadly, this maximum rating is ignored by locals and visitors and I would say that a good 90% of boaters who use the lake are not only fishing illegally with boats that well and truly exceed this limit but these big boats cause irreparable damage to the foreshores and weed beds and wreak havoc on anglers trying to fish from small tinnies and canoes.

I have noticed the Waterways and Fisheries officers starting to turn up from time to time at Mannus but, sadly, the people who do the wrong thing are never around when you want them to be.

Eventually their luck will run out and they will get caught. Until then we will all just have to put up with them and continue to write down licence plate numbers for the local Waterways officers.

On a lighter note, the lake has fished superbly for the past few months with cricket scores of redfin landed and plenty of natives willing to take a bait or lure as well.

We have been averaging over 20 fish a client while guiding there over the past month or so and this trend should continue until the end of April, when things will tend to slow down a little.

Spinning from the bank with Rooster Tails, Celtas or something similar is great fun all year round because there is always an outside chance of hooking a monster trout while chasing redfin.

Trolling small shallow-running hardbodies is producing good results at the moment and is always worth a shot at Mannus.

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