The lakes in the district are full of water and fish and the fishing action is red hot.
My tip to all anglers is to rug up and go and wet a line; you will be well rewarded for your efforts. I have fished six different waters and have been able to catch fish at each water, which is something unheard of for many years, indeed some of those waters were just dry paddocks this time last year.
Lake Tooliorook or Ettrick is located at Lismore only 70km to the south west of Ballarat. It is fishing extremely well after being stocked heavily with yearling rainbow trout. Trolling Tassie Devils and using Powerbait has seen plenty of rainbows around 750g. The lake has two jetties located on the eastern side of the lake and also boat launching facilities and can be fished from the shore but you have to walk unless going by boat.
We fished off the jetty for a couple of hours fishing green Powerbait on a running sinker rig and caught eight magnificently conditioned rainbow trout all around 750g. The lake reminds me of the same fishing action we have been having at Hepburn Lagoon, and the action will only get better as the fish get bigger.
Please observe the fishing rules and only take your bag limit and I would suggest you practise catch and release so everyone can have some great fishing action for a long time to come.
Lake Elingamite has been fishing well and I ventured there recently with good friend Brian Nygaard. Our plan was to fish mudeyes suspended under bubble floats for a while and have a minnow suspended under the boat just off the bottom to catch a redfin and then fly fish later in the day.
The action didn’t take long after we had anchored in about 3m of water with a run on mudeye to catch a redfin of 500g then a lovely brown trout of 2kg. Shifting spots saw Brian catch a magnificent brown trout of 3kg and then I caught the best fish of the day, a rainbow trout around 3.2kg. We fly fished for a couple of hours with no luck but. I have spoken to other anglers fishing Elingamite who have caught fish trolling brightly coloured Tassie Devil lures.
Brian Nygaard and I fished the lake to try to get a feed of redfin with excellent results. We cruised around in 10-15m of water using the fish finder until we found a school of fish. This really reinforced to me the benefits of a quality sounder, and I will certainly be upgrading mine. To be able to go out at 2.30pm in the afternoon catch 40 redfin before 4pm certainly makes it worthwhile.
Once Brian found the fish we anchored up and dropped local minnows down to the bottom and jigged them up and down – an irresistible presentation. We also used Baltic Bobbers and caught plenty as well. Brian has been catching some lovely trout on fly and bait all over the lake, not just the redfin.
Anglers all around Ballarat are currently blessed with some magnificent winter fishing action and over the coming months nothing should change. I will certainly be out fishing waters like Tullaroop Reservoir, Hepburn Lagoon, Newlyn Reservoir, Cairn Curran Reservoir, Lake Tooliorook, and lakes Fyans and Wartook in the Grampions region as well as Ballarat’s own Lake Wendouree.
I have never been so excited and enthusiastic about the fishing that lies ahead of us.Reads: 11022