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Red hot redfin
  |  First Published: February 2010



Action, action, action – the redfin are on the go at Lake Purrumbete.

Ballarat and district anglers keen for a bit of sport and a feed of tasty redfin should head to Lake Purrumbete.

Anglers must be getting tired of me continually reporting on this lake, but the results are there and there isn’t a lot of choice in the general Ballarat area in the middle of another long hot summer.

Brain Rivett recently spent a week at Purrumbete catching plenty of fish with brown trout to 2.5kg and redfin around 400-500g. The best bait was gudgeon minnows fished under a bubble float at depths of around 5-7m.

Brian Nygaard has been catching redfin by the boatload. On his most recent trip he caught 100 redfin in three days. These were in about 6m of water using gudgeon minnows for bait. Brian said the secret to catching the redfin, apart from finding the schools, is to keep your bait moving.

Brian uses a running sinker with a leader of around 300mm long and gudgeon bait, then drops the line down to the bottom, then takes up the slack and drops it back down again.

The lake’s bottom is covered with weed and the redfin sit in the weed. When you drop the bait down to the bottom each time, the redfin can’t resist the moving bait and grab it when you lift it back up.

I have caught plenty of redfin using the same method but using mudeye for bait; they just love moving bait.

Amongst the redfin are some magnificent brown and rainbow trout, the best being a brown of 2.9kg. The method used for catching these fish was gudgeon fished under a bubble float in around 5-6m of water. The fish seem to be totally tuned in on minnows at the moment. Brian said the trout had been also feeding on very small redfin as part of their diet.

Other waters

We still have some quality waterways around the district that are well worth fishing. Newlyn Reservoir, Cosgroves, Dean and St Georges Lake are a few waters to mention.

Will Cass and a few friends fished Cairn Curran Reservoir with limited success, although they did manage a couple of very large European carp – the lake is full of them.

Lake Fyans at the foot of the Grampians is well worth trying. The lake holds a healthy fish population of trout and redfin and can be fished from the shore or boat. My suggestion would be to fish in the evening and early in the morning before the heat sets in.

While you’re in the area there are a couple of other lakes that are well worth trying. Lakes Wartook and Belfield hold excellent fish populations and can be fished from the shore.

Don’t forget to observe the boating regulations on Belfield.

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