Travelling anglers rewarded for efforts
  |  First Published: May 2008

The fishing around Ballarat is basically a non-event at the moment. Anglers are faced with ever increasing challenges as our water storages are down below 8% and there have been no fish stockings for a couple of years. I recently drove around a number of local fisheries and could not find a single angler anywhere. This is an indication of how tough the angling is.

Anglers who are dedicated are now having to travel longer distances to wet a line. Lake Bullen Merri is a perfect example of this. Approximately 1.25 hours south of Ballarat, Bullen Merri is fishing very well at the moment, with excellent catches of rainbow and brown trout, as well as Quinnat salmon. Paul Williams and a group mates recently fished down there, catching browns up to 1.8kg and rainbows to 1.3kg. The method the boys used to catch these fish was to troll orange Lofty cobra lures, with a single hook instead of a treble. The lures were trolled down around the 9m with downriggers.

Other anglers were fishing off the shore for mixed results. It seemed a bit of luck was needed to catch the fish that were holding deep.

Bellfield, Fyans and Wartook lakes up in the Grampians region are all excellent prospects for catching a fish. As we move into early winter they normally fish very well, Belfield and Wartook in particular. Morning is the best time for flyfishing, with midge moving on the surface usually until the sun comes up. If you get a cloudy morning with not much wind, the fish will stay up for longer periods. Small midge patterns are best. Lake Wartook is one of a few waters that has received regular fish stockings and is an excellent all-round fishery for all forms of angling.

Tullaroop Reservoir located near Maryborough fishes very well during the winter. Trout can be found chasing smelt all over the lake so the most successful methods are flyfishing or casting minnow shaped lures from the shore.

Cairn Curran is also a very productive winter fishery, and the same angling methods as described for Tullaroop will be successful.

Talbot Reservoir is a small dam that has had a fish stocking in the last 12 months. It fishes well during the winter months and is well worth considering. The most successful methods of angling are flyfishing or bait fishing from the shore.


With poor angling conditions around Ballarat, local anglers have had to travel. Paul Williams has been catching some excellent trout and Quinnat salmon at Lake Bullen Merri.

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