Yes it is cooling down, but the fishing in the western district is heating up.
While most areas are lamenting the closing of their local trout waters, our big attractions, Purrumbete and Bullen Merri, remain open the entire year.
Bullen Merri is making a bid as the top spot to be at present, with good numbers of rainbows. These fish are around the 2-2.5kg mark, and as usual with Bullen Merri fish, they are very assessable for the land-based angler.
Powerbait has been the stand out bait, but the reports of many fish busting into schools of minnows that will have anglers arriving early morning. It has been a few years since we have seen this type of action and it was plastics that did the damage in the past.
Gulp in pearl watermelon minnow is a good starting point.
The north shore is a hot spot, along with Potters Point. Hardbodied lures in slim minnow patterns, especially some of the Ecogear patterns should also be part of your arsenal. This can be great fishing, but it can also be very frustrating, with fish chasing minnow all around you.
Flyfishers have also been taking some of these lovely conditioned fish and there are sure to be plenty of boats trolling as the action continues to increase.
Purrumbete has been fishing ok for rainbows and browns. Most of the fish caught at present have been in the 1-2.5kg range. Mudeyes either fished under floats or trolled behind cowbells have been successful, as have bullheads fished deep.
A report of a brown taken at 20m on bullhead weighing 5.9kg (13lb in the old scale) is as good as I have heard over the past month.
Redfin perch anglers have been having a ball, with good bags being taken on minnow fished on the bottom.
While reporting on Purrumbete I most mention the passing of Bernie Place.
Bernie has been the backbone of the Purrumbete Angling Club for decades. It has been his tireless work that has seen the park at the lake grow into one of the best fishing facilities in the state. If there was something to be done or something to be said he was always there leading the way.
It is a fitting tribute that the new rotunda is named in his honour and a plaque erected to commemorate his contribution to make Purrumbete Lake what it is today. Bernie was a true gentleman, a good angler and a good bloke. It is great to see his sons carrying on the Place tradition at the lake.
Wurdi Bulloc is still fishing exceptionally well, with good browns to 2.6kg taking flies and redfin to 1.5kg being caught on lures flies and bait. This water seems has been getting very little attention from anglers of late but with some of the reports coming out at present I would expect to see a few more anglers about shortly.
West Barwon is another water that has been producing plenty of fish on lures but with spawning on their mind a lot of the trout in this water will become inaccessible as they move to their spawning grounds.
With the local rivers closed it is good to hear that the Mount Emu Creek has received an annual stocking 3500 fish.
As the above suggests it seems that the Western District is and will be the place to fish this winter.Reads: 5222