There's been some fishing news for the freshwater anglers recently, with some big fish stockings done by the Victorian Fisheries Authority. On the fishing front the western lakes have been producing quality trout for those keen enough to brave the cold, with Lake Wendouree the standout. Fishing surface lures or hardbodies just under the film is a good way to illicit a savage strike from an angry trout as they chase smelt around. Customer Grant fished Lake Tullaroop last week in search of some of the lakes large redfin and he wasn't disappointed. Grant landed some very nice fish on small 'bream' style jerkbaits and plastics fished around isolated pockets of weed. These western lakes have been producing some nice redfin for the lure anglers and now is the time to be chasing them.


Just recently Victorian Fisheries opened a new fishery close to Melbourne. Ferntree Gully quarry was never a secret, but only even had unofficial species in it. Just recently it had a dozen murray cod and golden perch stocked into it, along with over 300 trout! There have been some decent sized put in as well, with staff members Chris and George going up to the lake for a look. While they were there they saw some large trout in the 5 - 6lb size cruising, along with 2 of the cod. Just prior to school holidays it was topped up with yearling rainbows for the kids to catch. Powerbait and dough methods have been working on these fish, with quite a few hitting small spoons, hardbodies and soft plastics also. The natives should respond to bladed jigs and lipless crankbaits fished deep, and the lake will also lend itself perfectly for swimbaiting for the cod. 


Back in the states' west, Victorian Fisheries have been busy in the crater lakes, with a recent trout stocking. Lake Purrumbete received 1600 'cheetah' trout for the first time ever just this week. The cheetah trout is a sterile hybrid between both rainbow trout and brook trout and just another addition to the already booming trout fishery in the west of the state. While these recently stocked were only in the advanced yearling size they should respond to coarse and dough style fishing similar to that of other stocked lakes like Eildon pondage.

 

The western crater lakes and surrounding waterways have been fishing well of late with a good number of people interested in Bullen Merri in particular, which has been fishing well for the chinook salmon and trout. Many anglers catch both fish on various trolling methods, generally with the use of a downrigger as the lake is very deep. Fishing around the thermocline can produce good results along with actively searching for bait schools.


Friend of the shop John 'Mr Jinkai' has been out in the crater lakes recently where trout and salmon have been caught. John's most recent trip was last week where some big salmon were caught deep bait fishing. The bait of choice were pilchard strips, fished on a simple running sinker rig around the bait schools. Cubing with pilchards also helps tremendously to keep the schools of salmon around. Small metal 'flutter' jigs fished around the schools have been working well also.


Customer Ryan and mate Nick have been fishing some of the western lakes in search of some bigger redfin. The larger redfin seem to proliferate the western lakes, so if big redfin are your target - west is best! The guys have been fishing slightly bigger lures to weed out the smaller fish, with 4'' plastics and also yellowbelly sized vibes getting the interest of the larger fish. Some of the larger fish have been belting the lures as they are burnt back through the water as fast as possible, so it always pays to mix up your lure style and retrieve speed also.

 

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!

 

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!

 

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 Western Lakes have still been fishing well for some good size trout, with anglers from the shoreline and boats both doing well. The average size trout coming out of Lakes Tooliorook and Toolondo has been around 3lb, with 3 - 6 fish per session average for most anglers which makes the fishing well worth the drive.

Customers Paul and Filip fished out at Tooliorook with Trevor from Victorian Inland Fishing Charters recently where they did well on some cracking brown trout to 2kg, all taken slowly trolling white tassie devils around the lake margins.

 

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.

 

Victoria's Western lakes have been fishing well for trout and redfin for the last few weeks. While the weather might be average and may take a bit to persist with, the quality of fish on offer is well worth it. Some of the lakes that are fishing well at the moment include; Bullen Merri, Purrumbete, Wendouree, Wurdibuloc - along with the lakes over near the Grampians - Wartook, Fyans and Toolondo.

Customer Tim purchased a few new trolling outfits during the week and over the went he went across to the Grampians with a few mates where they did some trolling in a couple of the lakes. While it took some moving about to find the fish, the guys ended up with 17 nice trout averaging around 1.2kg on a variety of lures. The best performers over the weekend were plain white winged 'tassie devil' style lures.