Anglers Head West
  |  First Published: April 2008

Ballarat and district anglers have been heading west to the picturesque Grampians region to wet a line and catch a fish.

I have previously mentioned in my recent articles of the quality fisheries we have up at the Grampians that have reasonable water levels and good fish stocks.

The Ballarat and District Anglers Association recently held a competition for the BDAA Shield. The competition was held at Lakes Wartook and Fyans over a two-day period. There were 51 anglers participating from seven angling clubs from the district, and excellent catches were recorded from both venues. The Ballan Anglers Club won the BDAA shield with six fish weighing 6.25kg. The heaviest fish caught for the competition was 2.465kg brown trout from Lake Wartook by Ballan angler, Thomas Hardy. There were a total of 23 fish weighed in for the weekend consisting of one rainbow trout, nine brown trout and 13 redfin.

Lake Wartook is the place to be at the moment, Dean and Des Hodge, and Sam Stewart fished from the dam wall during the fishing competition with the best results I have heard of for a long time. The boys were using coarse fishing methods of ground baiting and berleying from the wall.

They were fishing light lines and quill floats, suspending worms at around 18ft deep. Just off the bottom, they managed to catch and release 26 small rainbows on the Saturday afternoon between 1.5kg and 800g. Other anglers fishing Wartook were successful trolling lures, flyfishing and bait fishing from boats.

Nevertheless, Lake Fyans was not going to be outdone and excellent catches of redfin were recorded.

Anglers had to change their tactics from the normal trolling of bladed lures to trolling soft plastics lures upturned with single hooks, to keep them from getting fouled up with weed. The successful plastics were Red 3” shads and 3” purple grubs, redfin were caught up to 1.8kg with plenty around the 1kg mark.

Trout have also been landed, with John McNeight catching a lovely brown around 5lb on mud eye suspended under a bubble float.

Lake Fyans water level is low with only about 7-8ft of water, but it hasn’t seemed to worry the fish. Care should be taken when boating Fyans as there are plenty of submerged trees in the lake.

Next month should see plenty of trout chasing mud eyes after dark, before and after the full moon. Flyfishing will be the best method of catching these mud eye feeders and I would suggest using Craig’s Nighttimes, Mrs. Simpson wet flies and also Muddler Minnows.

Closer to Ballarat things are very quiet at the moment with not many anglers venturing out Newlyn. Dean and Cosgroves are about the only waters we can fish locally, with evening and first light being the best times to wet a line.

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