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.

 

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. 

 

 

How is this for a trout! This massive brown trout was caught by angler Andrew downrigging in Lake Purrumbete. The Western lakes are still producing some quality fish as these photos show, with Purrumbete, Bullen Merri, Tooliorook and Fyans producing fish on both bait and lures. Customer Andrew caught this nice brown from Lake Fyans over the weekend trolling lures around the weed edges in the lake.

 

The Western Victorian lakes are still red hot for some thumping trout at the moment. The most productive lakes have been Tooliorook and Purrumbete but Bullen Merri and Toolondo have also been good as well. Scott Gray has been fishing a few of the lakes over the past week and he has found the fishing excellent.

Trout to 3kg have been pretty much around average, with a few better fish coming out as well. Most anglers have been flatlining lures such as tassies and shallow running hardbodies to catch a few, however anglers working the weed and timber edges casting both lures and flies have been a bit more successful due to the stealth factor. Small mudeye imitating soft plastics have caught their share of fish along with lures such as Rapala flat raps and xraps.