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.