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Get pumped for Purrumbete
  |  First Published: May 2009



Although the trout season is finishing early this month in the local rivers I can’t help but mention just how good the local streams have fished this past season. Yes I know everybody comes to the western district to fish the lakes and give very little time to the rivers and there are plenty of locals that would like it to stay that way.

The Gellibrand River, better known for its blackfish, along with the Carlisle River and some of their smaller tributaries have had one of their best seasons for a long time for trout. Like a lot of streams, the fish are not big unless you go to the lower sections of the Gellibrand where browns taken on bibbed lures and Tassie Devils often weigh in at 2kg or better.

There are always trout caught throughout the season by the bait anglers but with the better then usual season for grasshoppers and crickets this year, it has been the local fly fishers having a ball. There has also been an increase in the numbers of trout taken on soft plastics and hard body lures. These waters are classed as self-sustaining and have not been on the stocking list for a number of years, but it appears that trout numbers have never been better.

What about the lakes?

Purrumbete is still fishing the better of the big two. Chinook to 4kg browns to 3.7kg and rainbows to 1.5kg have all made their way into the local caravan park logbook. Yes there are still plenty of redfin being taken as well but they will definitely slow as the temperatures cool.

Bait fishing with mudeyes under a float has again been the best method of taking both browns and rainbows for the boaties in the lake. Winter at the lake brings on those rough days, which in turn brings a group of fishos that wade the shorelines casting lures. It’s not for everyone but these guys deserve all the fish they catch and they catch some rippers.

Whether it is lures, plastics or flies the eastern side of the lake is the place to be when the weather turns wild. It’s not always browns that haunt this shoreline as Bob Baring of Wallington found out recently when he caught a 4kg Chinook while casting lures.

Although the reports from Bullen Merri have not been that great, winter usually brings another group of tough bank anglers that put in long hours in the dark fishing bullheads under floats chasing big brown trout. Boat anglers will start trolling close to the banks at Bullen Merri over the next couple of months, targeting rainbows. Once again winged lures in combinations of pinks, purple and white are probably a good starting point, but we all have our preferences.

There have already been releases of new stock into both the crater lakes and this will continue over the coming months. Remember to handle these small fish carefully when you are releasing them.

Another bass season has passed and without getting too carried away the genuine reports of fish caught could only be described as dismal. What has happened to all those fish?

There have been some good reports over the last month from Wurdi Buloc. Browns to 2.5kg and some thumper redfin have been taking baits, lures and flies. The lake level is lower then last year with fish chasing smelt in the deeper gutters. Well worth a look.

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