Simply Unbelievable
  |  First Published: December 2011

Fantastic, unbelievable, sensational are just a few words that can describe some of the fishing action that the Ballarat and district anglers have experienced at Lake Bolac, 100km west of Ballarat.

Lake Bolac like others waters around the district was just a dust bowl about 2 years ago, and previous to that the lake was a renowned redfin fishery of approximately 650Ha. With the lake full at the end of the drought fisheries stocked the lake with 5000 75g yearling rainbow trout in the spring last year and to everyone’s amazement the fish have grown to weights of 3.5kg!

That is phenomenal as far as Australian trout growth rates go. I have heard of fish in other countries growing to these sizes that quickly but not a hour from my back door. Anglers have been heading down to the lake catching these rainbow trout on a variety of methods, with the most successful trolling pink Tasmanian Devils.

Shane and Ben Jeffries had serious day’s fishing landing 10 rainbow trout and losing plenty of others to 3kg. The guy’s kept 5 trout and released the others all around 2.5kg, something unheard of in Victoria!

Hardbodied lures such as StrikePro and Ecogear SX40 in a variety of colours have also been doing well.

I have also been down with my children fishing from the shore, which can be fished from all over the lake. There had been plenty of reports of the rainbow trout being caught on Powerbait, mainly in the orange, green and yellow colours fished with a running sinker rig.

My son Will managed a lovely rainbow of 2kg on this method. On the next trip we trolled a variety of lures and managed to land two lovely trout around the 2.5kg mark.

I would recommend anglers to head down and give lake Bolac a go, but it’s not easy. Some days you will get a fish and other day’s you could troll lures all day and get nothing but it is well worth a go. The way the fish are growing we could potentially have trout to 14.5kg in the next 6 months: amazing seeing as the lake was dry only 18 months ago.

Lake Fyans

Lake Fyans has been fishing fantastically well as it always does with plenty of good catches of trout and redfin. Steve Angee has been up there and following a couple of tips from a previous article they drifted across the lake using worms and yabbies for bait. They struck a school of redfin, catching approximately 50 redfin in two hours of fishing mayhem.

Steve said he’s never seen anything like the redfin that varied in size to over 1kg. Try and keep them around the boat or keep following them where ever they go because it can be a long time between getting that sort of action again.

Lake Wendouree

Lake Wendouree in the heart of Ballarat is just starting to fire with plenty of fishing action taking place. You can actually drive around the lake and find anglers on every shore of the lake fishing baits, casting lures and flyfishing. There are plenty of trout and redfin being caught between the 500g-1.5kg. Again this is amazing as a little over 18 months ago we had a dry lake like everywhere. We haven’t seen our renowned hatches of mayfly on the lake which it is famous for; it may take a little longer than we expected.

Hepburn and Newlyn

Hepburn/Andersons Lagoon and Newlyn Reservoir over the next month will see the fly fishing action fire up with mayfly hatches in full swing. The best times of the day are between 11am-3pm preferably on an overcast day.

I would suggest we will have some fantastic fishing during these times using nymphs first and then changing to emerger patterns and then finally changing over to imitations mayfly dry flies patterns.

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