We are now in the grip of winter and the temperature is decidedly chilly. The salmonoid fishing is now in full swing. Just pick a day where the wind isn’t blowing a dog off its chain and the rain has held off. Believe it or not there have been plenty of benign days lately. It’s simply a matter of rugging up and getting out there on the water.
The jewel in the crown continues to be Lake Purrumbete. The redfin fishery is still performing well with schools of fish being found in depths around 10m and roughly the same distance from the bank. Using a sounder to locate clouds of redfin rising up from the bottom is easy and indicates to the boater where to carefully drop anchor or hold station and work the bottom jigging.
Chinook salmon averaging around 8lb and the odd brown to 12lb have been caught trolling minnow lures, flat lining down to depths from 5-8m. The catches of these trophy fish are now becoming more common.
Lake Bullen Merri continues to fish extremely well for Chinook salmon, with fish averaging 1-3kg. Flat line trolling medium diving minnow lures are catching fish. I recommend red lures for this area, Purrumbete and Elingamite. The by-catches have been rainbows up to 2kg and the fish are being caught around the 4-6m depth – very close to the bank indeed.
The current gossip is that browns to 12lb have been caught by bank anglers braving the elements and fishing well into the night. Live, local gudgeon minnows presented under a bubble float in the shallows or fished unweighted on the bottom have been the trick.
With the rain falling on a fairly regular basis Lake Elingamite’s water level continues to rise. Without a doubt those in kayaks and small duck punts can now launch without too much difficulty.
This month flat bottomed bass boats up to 4m in length (like mine) should have no trouble. Using an electric motor in shallow drive should be a viable option. If you don’t own an electric, I suggest poling out until the minimum depth to run the outboard in shallow drive has been reached.
There are plenty of browns and rainbows that should be fast approaching a kilo in weight on offer, not to mention those trophy-sized redfin that easily exceed 1kg in weight. Weather permitting, it’s all looking good.Reads: 650