The trout fishing in the lakes has been good recently, as the conditions have been perfect for them! Cold weather with rainfall really triggers the trout to feed up and move in their annual spawning congregations. Lake Eildon has been fishing well around some of the arms like Jews Creek and Big River. Customer Mick fished the main arm out from Eildon boat harbour in search of a few trout, and he did catch a few small browns trolling tassies behind downunder sinkers. 

Customers Rene and Andrew also fished Lake Eildon recently, where they camped out and did some trolling. The guys trolled a mixture of lures like Tassies, Merlins and Rapalas - with a few pelagic browns taking a mixture of lures. The guys trolled around Jews Creek and Big River to find their fish.

The western lakes normally fish well at this time of the year, and this year has been no different. Bullen Merri, Purrumbete and some of the northern lakes like Wendouree and Toolondo have all been producing fish. Lake Bullen Merri has been producing some quality size fish from anglers trolling and baitfishing. Young angler Gabrielle was fishing out in the lake with live bullhead minnow when this massive brown trout got hungry. At around midnight her bubble float went under and this 4.3kg trout came up. What a cracker!

 

 

The Western district lakes have been producing fish lately for freshwater anglers chasing trout and salmon. Customer Mick has been finding some quality chinook salmon in Lake Bullen Merri over the past week or so, with most fish averaging around 1 - 2kg. The salmon have been found in schools and have responded best to bluebait and glassies fished on lightly weighted rigs. A few have also been taking lures worked around the school.

Around Ballarat, keen angler Tyler has been catching some nice trout on lures in the nearby lakes. Some of the better sized fish have been in the 50cm size range like this brown, with bullet lures working the best. The redfin colour has been the most effective on the larger trout as well.

 

While the trout streams around the state have only just recently opened up, the lakes and rivers in the states' West have been fishing very well. Many of the sea run streams are running full and discoloured, which are actually the best conditions for chasing some trophy trout in them. The Hopkins and Merri Rivers towards Warnambool are just two which fish well at this time of year. 

For the lake fisherman, both Purrumbete and Bullen Merri have been performing very well for both trout and salmon. Customer Mick has been fishing the lakes recently, and over the weekend he went down with a couple of mates. Mick fished Bullen Merri with two mates in search of a few chinook salmon. The best method to catch these salmon was to sound around and try to mark the fish up, and once a decent school was found it is a matter of presenting baits to them. Bluebait and whitebait has been the most effective on the salmon when fished on light line and with very small sinkers. Some of the salmon Mick caught over the weekend were up to 2.2kg in weight.  

 

While the weather around Melbourne's inland lakes has been as cold as we've seen, the fishing for trout has still been productive. Thermals, a thermos for hot coffee and tea, and a decent selection of lures are some of the essentials for winter trout fishing. The Eildon area has been good, along with the Western lakes such as Bullen Merri, Purrumbete and Toolondo. 

Customer Daniel fished Eildon recently with a group of mates in search of a few trout, with a few boats all out on the lake trying their methods out. The trout were a bit slow on the particular days that the guys were fishing, but trout to around 1kg were still caught on lures. A fair few different lures were used, with 13.5g tassie devils the stand out in the area that the guys were fishing. Pink and orange colour patterns were also the best. 

Customer Monica has been fishing the Eildon pondage recently, and reports that there are some nice fish being caught - with rainbows up to 6lb coming to the bank. Monica has found that for most general fishing. dough baits set under a float are the best option, with many of the bigger rainbow trout aggressively swiping at spoon type lures such as Gillies naturals and Strikepro Bob'n Spoons.

Customers Andrew and Rene also fished Lake Eildon recently, were they had a very slow day. Although they had nothing to write home about, they still caught a few smaller fish - with the new Strikepro Bob'n Spoon in tiger pattern the only lure they had that produced any interest on the troll. Make sure you've got a couple!

 

The crate lakes out towards Camperdown are still fishing well for trout and salmon at present. Although we have had some seriously rough conditions, the resident trout push right in close to the shore where they can find food stirred up in the cloudy water. For these conditions land based fishing can be excellent, with many trout taking both baits and lures fish from the shore. For shore based anglers, mudeyes and minnows fished under a float are a very good option. Walking the lake edges with a lure casting outfit can also produce results in rough conditions.

Customer Mick fished the crater lakes twice last week after some good results a fortnight back. Mick has done well using pilchards and glassies suspended off the bottom, after locating the schools of fish on the sounder. The Chinook salmon have been more prolific, with the odd rainbow trout taking the baits as well. Mick has found the fish in around 10-15m of water on most occasions. 

 

The crater lakes around Camperdown in the state's West have been producing some good trout, redfin and chinook salmon for anglers recently. Both Bullen Merri and Purrumbete have been fishing well and should continue to do so through most of winter. Most of the action at the moment seems to be on the chinook salmon in the lakes, with plenty of fish in the 1kg mark. 

Diego from Black Magic Tackle has been fishing the crater lakes using a few different methods recently, including down rigging and flatline trolling. He has had success with most methods, mainly on chinook salmon. Most of the fish have been taking tassie devils trolled both ways. Diego has also been trialling a new prototype lure from Black Magic with great success, which will available shortly.

Customer Eddie fished Bullen Merri last week to land a few nice salmon to around 1.1kg, along with 2 redfin between 37 - 41cm. Eddie caught his fish while drifting along the edges of the lake, with scrubworms and salted whitebait hanging from a paternoster rig.

 

While most of the rivers in the state are closed for trout fishing, there are still plenty of lake options if you're a keen trout angler. Whether you want to drive 90 minutes from Melbourne, or don't mind a casual 4 hour drive - there is some quality lake fishing to be had throughout most of winter. 

Lake Eildon and the pondage are worth a crack for somewhere close by, as there are plenty of options on the lake, and the pondage is also an excellent spot to try and tempt some of the biggest trout in the area. Customer Zoran fished the pondage over the weekend in search of some nice trout. Zoran managed brown trout to around a kilo, by using a dough baits like powerbait. Long, sensitive rods help when the shy trout are cautiously picking at the baits as well. Lure anglers have seen some nice fish out of the pondage recently as well, with customer Michael catching 2 nice rainbows around the 3lb mark about a week ago from along the Riverside Drive part of the pondage. 

If you don't mind a decent drive, then places like Lake Eucumbene and Jindabyne are worth the effort. Customer Tim returned from a trip to Lake Jindabyne with some mates are reports that good numbers of fish were caught. Tim used all sorts of methods on the trout, with downriggers set around the 30ft mark, along with drop-weight clips and planing boards all producing the goods. Tim said that trout to around 5lb were caught, with a few select colours in 13g Tassie Devils doing the best. 

Speaking of Tassie Devils; 11 brand new colours have just been released into the 13g size range. A few of these colours have been favourites overseas and are now available to the Australian market. We have just received our order of these new colours and have noticed some real winners in the mix. Drop by and check them out if you're a Tassie Devil fan as they won't last long. 

 

Most people know that the Western district is the place to go if you're chasing SBT, but it is also the place to go if you're a freshwater fisherman. The district is fishing well at the moment if you enjoy your trout fishing, in both rivers and lakes. The crater lakes around Camperdown are producing some lovely fish at the minute, along with most of the rivers nearby.

Customer Mick went across to Bullen Merri after some advice from the guys in the store, where he had a good day on the salmon. Mick hadn't fished here before targeting the salmon so he was steered in the right direction with baits and rigs and also how to find these fish. Mick ended up catching his bag of chinook salmon, keeping a couple and releasing the rest. The standout rig was a small running sinker with size 4 octopus hook, and salted whitebait was the best bait. Mick fished in around 15 - 20m of water and used his sounder to find the schools of fish.

Customer Eddy also fished the lake recently, where he took some of his younger family out for some fishing. Eddy and his family caught salmon around the 1.5kg mark, by fishing near the bottom in 20m of water. Best bait was pilchard fillet, along with small cubes of pilchard to get the fish going.

Customer Samy went across to the Western lakes last weekend where he and a few mates went out to target some trout. They went and hit Lake Toolondo after hearing a few ok reports in search of some quality trout. The guys used mudeye as bait, and had them suspended about 60cm under a small stick float. Most of the fish came from around 1.5m of water, and averaged at around 50cm each with the largest fish measuring 65cm. 

 

The trout fishing around the state has really started to fire up with the last few weeks of cold weather. Many of the rivers copped a drop of rain over the last few weeks which has triggered the trout to start moving for their spawning run. The more rain we get over the next month, the more fish that will start making their way upriver to spawn. This time of year the 'spotted dog' patterned lures are absolute dynamite, as their pattern imitates a smaller 'annoying trout' to a tee. 

Around the Goulburn the levels have still been down but the fishing has been good. Trout to 3lb have been caught up around Thornton by bait and lure anglers. Customer Jeff caught 2 rainbows and 3 browns up to 45cm using maggots and powerbait in 'chunky cheese' fished in some slower moving water. Jeff said that all of the fish were fat and fought well for their size. 

Over in the states' West Scott Gray has been doing well fishing the crater lakes, in particular Bullen Merri. Scott has been catching both trout and salmon using different methods, with the most successful being downrigging. The salmon have ranged in size from 800g through to 1.4kg, and the standout lure by a mile has been the 'spotted ghost' Rapala Xrap (white lure in photo above). Other anglers fishing the lake have had success fishing deep with live minnow as well.  

Victorian Fisheries have been busy with trout stocking recently and over the last fortnight 41,850 were released to improve freshwater fishing opportunities.

Cooler water temperatures better suit the release of trout, which have been bred and raised at our Snobs Creek fish hatchery.

Trout were stocked into:
- Mount Beauty Pondage (500 rainbow trout)
- Eildon Pondage (200 rainbows and 200 brown trout)
- Hepburn Lagoon (5,000 browns)
- Newlyn Reservoir (4,000 browns)
- Blue Rock Lake (5,000 browns)
- Lake Narracan (4,000 browns)
- Lauriston Reservoir (6,750 browns)
- Upper Coliban Reservoir (8,000 browns)
- Lake Wendouree (8,000 browns)
- Hyland Lake (200 advanced rainbows)

The rainbow trout stocked into the Eildon Pondage were ex-brood fish, which averaged 2.1kg each, while the ex-brood browns weighed 1.8kg.

Fish stocking is funded by fishing licence fees and the State Government's $16 million Recreational Fishing Initiative.

A good reminder for anyone thinking of hitting the freshwater in search of few trout over the weekend.


 

As we are starting to come into some cooler weather the freshwater environments will start to fire up. The crater lakes out towards Camperdown have been consistent for good bags of redfin for anglers, with a few smaller trout caught as well. 

Scott Gray has been doing some work down at Lake Purrumbete and has seen most angler catching redfin. Most of the anglers have been locating the schools of reddies on the sounder in around 10m of water where they are taking live baits of minnow and gudgeon. 

A few large reddies have been caught using the same method but most of the fish are in the 20 - 30cm size range. As the water temperature cools down a little more the trout will become more active and move into the shallower water to feed.