More Anglers, Better Fishing
  |  First Published: April 2009

If you ever want to see fishing improve stick a few more anglers in an area.

The fish coming from Purrumbete over the last month have been testament to the saying many hands make light work, only in this case it is many anglers catch more fish. With reports of up to 30 boats on the lake at weekends we are now seeing enough anglers on the lake to give it a good test and find out just how many are on the chew and how big the fish are in the lake.

This month I have been talking to the park caretakers and bookings continue to grow, as does their catch book. Redfin have been in good numbers and fish to 1.3kg have been frequent in anglers’ bags. The excellent quality of the water in Purrumbete makes the local redfin much sought after as an eating fish. Anglers have been taking these reddies with bobbers, vibes, plastics and baits all fished close to the bottom.

The real news is with the salmonids. Brown trout to 3.2kg, rainbows to 1.5kg and, would you believe, quinnat (Chinook) salmon to 5.78kg. Now that’s the type of news all taxidermists have been waiting to hear. I suppose you could say David Sobko was the lucky angler but that is probably taking away from his ability. David landed the monster quinnat while fishing a live minnow in 24m of water. Well that’s what he is telling everyone. Fishing minnow or glassies a metre off the bottom is a recognized method to bring quinnat undone, so maybe we are getting the facts.

The browns have been taken in a variety of ways, the most successful being the ever-reliable mudeye. Whether you fish it under a float a couple of metres down or trolled behind cowbells on a downrigger, there aren’t too many better baits. As far as getting a supply of mudeyes goes the park usually have plenty available, but it may pay to ring and order some before you arrive. Trolled bibbed lures and winged lures have also been catching fish. The colours that are doing best are whites with pink heads or the old red with black spots. Some of the bibbed lures being used with success are not small, so give a few of those bigger lures that have been hiding in the tackle box for a while a run.

The flyfishers are not getting left out either with fish still coming to those fishing deep from boats. Not to be overlooked over the next month will be the surface action for the flyfishers. We are having one of the better seasons for crickets in the area just don’t tell the farmers I said that. Warm nights will mean big black crickets will be landing on the lake and I am betting they wont get back to the bank.

Following up on the cricket theme there have been a couple of tuned in flyfishers getting some very nice fish from Mount Emu Creek with cricket flies. And then there are those estuary perch at the Hopkins that just cant resist them. Sorry Mark I am sure you have got that covered.

What about Bullen Merri you may ask? Well I think it may be better to concentrate on Purrumbete. For those who have a concern about the temporary boat ramp at Purrumbete, boats to 5m have been launching there, towed by two wheel drive sedans and there is plenty of parking. A couple of the pontoons from the park have also been shifted over to the new ramp to make things better.

I have not forgotten the local rivers. Blackfish and trout have still been taken in good numbers and yes the best bait is a cricket. Reports from Wurdi Buloc suggest there are a few fish moving but the water level is much lower then last year so it’s a bit harder to access these cruisers.

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