Trout firing at Wartook
  |  First Published: June 2008

Now the cold weather has definitely set in, the trout fishing action has improved markedly, with good catches of brown and rainbow trout being taken at our two favourite Grampians lakes, Bellfield and Wartook.

The native fish have slowed right down for their winter hibernation and waters such as Taylors Lake and the Wimmera River will not be very productive until winter is over. Good redfin are often caught during this time of year though, and larger than average specimens are often caught in winter. Our waters are still suffering from extremely low water levels, so let’s hope this winter we get some decent rains.

Lake Wartook

The water here may be the lowest I have ever seen it, but the trout fishing has been very good – much better than at the same time last year.

The boat ramp is now well and truly out of the water, but small boats can still be launched with care.

Small to medium-sized rainbow trout of around 1kg have been providing most of the action. Mixed in with them there are a few brown trout to 1.8kg. Anglers trolling lures such as Tassie Devils and small minnows have been catching the best fish here lately, but flyfishing and baitfishing has also been good.

Baitfishing off the wall with peeled yabby tail, PowerBait and scrubworms has been working well. I had a trip here recently and took a beautiful brown trout of 1.3kg off the wall by casting a pink Tassie Devil lure. I also got a few smaller rainbows on PowerBait.

There were many people fishing off the wall that day and I was amazed to see many ignorant trollers coming right in close to the wall and running over peoples lines with their lures. I had never seen anything like it here: perhaps the wall was the only spot where the trout were swimming that day.

The police paddock dams

There has been some surprisingly good fish taken in the Police Paddock Dams lately. Bait anglers fishing with worms and gudgeon have been picking up some very nice redfin to 1kg, along with the occasional tench and eel-tailed catfish. There are a few different waters on this reserve, but the largest dam has been fishing the best.

A few rainbow trout are also present in this water and are often seen free rising on a calm evening.

Lake Bellfield

The frantic redfin fishing of last month on Lake Bellfield has now started to slow down, but a few nice catches of reddies are still being taken on the right day, mostly on trolled lures.

The rainbow trout fishing continues to be very good here with boats powered by electric motors doing very well trolling Tassie Devils and Rapala Minnows. The average rainbow here is 500g-1kg, but fish to 1.5kg have been also been caught.

Baitfishing with worms or gudgeon under bubble floats has also produced some nice trout, as well as a few redfin. If you can still get mudeye they would be dynamite, I am sure.

The trout seem to be biting well here right throughout the day and on some days can be seen rising all over the lake. If you’re keen on flyfishing, this lake is definitely well worth a visit or two.

Rocklands reservoir

Despite the very low water levels, many anglers are still giving this once great water a go and have been rewarded with a few very nice redfin and the odd trout.

The redfin have mostly been taken on gudgeon and trolled lures, and these reddies have been up to around 1kg. A few brown trout to nearly 2kg have been taken on trolled lures but they have been few and far between.

The wall area still holds a good depth of water and small boats can be launched with care, but be aware of the many submerged stumps and rock bars. Shore-based fishing can also be very good at the wall and access here is very good.

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