Newlyn the best bet
  |  First Published: December 2007

Many Ballarat and district anglers did not receive their Christmas bonus this year. The continuing drought, low water levels, little in the way of fish stockings and another hot summer are all taking their toll on the fishing. Now more than ever, local anglers are traveling away from Ballarat to wet a line.

Despite the doom and gloom, anglers should give the remaining local waters a go, as they do have fish in them. We might just have to try a few different techniques, and fish at the right times (evenings and early mornings), to give ourselves the best chance of landing a fish.

Locally, Newlyn Reservoir provides the best chance of catching a fish at the moment. Shane Jeffrey and John Monteduro have been fishing Newlyn of an evening and landing redfin to 1kg on fly. They have seen a few trout rising and chasing spinners, but they have proved elusive. Newlyn looks absolutely magnificent at this time of the year, and even though the water level is low, the lake margins are very grassy and the water is crystal clear. I will be flyfishing Newlyn heavily during the next month on evening and into the night, using patterns like Craigs Nighttimes, Mrs Simpsons and Muddler Minnows.

Bryan Nyygaard has been successfully fishing Lake Purrumbete from both water and shore. If he cannot get his boat out due to low water levels, he fishes out of his float tube along the weed beds around the lake. Bryan has been catching excellent rainbow and brown trout of around 2kg, fishing live mudeye suspended under a bubble float. He has been varying the depth of the mudeye from 1-3m under the bubble float. He has also been polarising plenty of fish cruising along the weed beds, which provides hope for when we all have boat access to the lake. I suggest giving Lake Purrumbete Caravan Park a call to see if boat access to the lake is possible.

Lake Fyans will well be worth a look over the coming months early in the morning, in the evening and also after dark. The trout should be cruising around the lake feeding on mudeyes at this time of the year. The mudeyes hatch into dragonflies on evening and throughout the night, so this can provide excellent fishing. Again, the best method is to cast flies like Craigs Nighttimes, Mrs Simpsons and also Muddler Minnows into the lake either from a boat or along the shoreline. A slow to medium retrieve is best. Lake Fyans holds some excellent trout of over 2kg, and there is a chance of catching a trophy-sized trout as well.

Cairn Curran Reservoir is well worth fishing during the summer too, for redfin or the trophy-sized golden perch that it has been producing over the last few years. For catching redfin I suggest drifting around the dam wall end of the lake with either yabbies and worms, or jigging Baltic Bobbers or Ice Jigs. The goldens can be caught using the same methods, or trolling StumpJumpers, Codgers and Bidgee lures. The best times for fishing Cairn Curran are in the morning and evening.

Other waters around the Ballarat and district that are worth a look are Dean and Beaufort lakes, and Tullaroop and Wombat reservoirs. As I mentioned earlier, we must fish at the right times, and try different techniques in order to catch a fish.

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