Late winter action in the Wimmera
  |  First Published: August 2008

This is a great time of year to be chasing trout and redfin around these parts, with often the bigger than average fish showing up in angler’s creels.

The trout in the Wartook and Bellfield lakes will now have finished trying to spawn and will be ready to get back into feeding again.

The redfin, however, will be getting more aggressive and starting to form larger schools as they get ready for spawning, which usually happens in August. A slight rise in water temperature is all that is needed to start them off.

Waters such as the Wimmera River and Taylors Lake go very quiet over winter and generally only start to fire up during early spring, if previous years are any guide.

Low water levels are still a major cause for concern at all waters so here’s hoping this month is a wet one.

Lake Wartook

The trout fishing in Lake Wartook continues to be good, with most anglers getting amongst good rainbow trout to 1.2kg, along with a few browns to 2.2kg. Baitfishing with unweighted scrubworms and peeled yabby tail has been working well from the wall or from an anchored boat. Trolling with pink or gold Tassie Devils and small minnow lures has also picked up some nice trout.

I am also happy to report the flyfishing has been good, with yours truly taking a beaut 2.2kg brown trout last week on the fly while drifting along a rocky shoreline. I also got a smaller rainbow as well. Small wets such as Mrs Simpsons, Hamils Killers and Roughies work well while drifting or prospecting from the shore.

Good trout are being taken in most areas of the Lake, but the wall and island areas have been best.

The redfin fishing here is still a bit on the quiet side, with only small fish being caught.

The boat ramp isn’t in the water now, due to low water levels, but small boats can be launched with care.

Glenelg river

The good redfin fishing continues in the Glenelg, with some good catches being made by anglers walking the banks casting small lures. The best lures have been small minnows, Ondex spinners and StumpJumpers. Good areas have been from below Rocklands all the way to Fulhams Reserve. Cherrypool has also been worth a look. The best fishing has definitely been early in the mornings.

The average size reddie has been around 500g but there have been a few larger fish around as well. I would expect the good fishing here to get better as we head toward spring when the reddies will school up ready for spawning.

Lake Bellfield

The good rainbow trout fishing continues here, with a small run of fresh water recently really bringing the trout on. Most anglers have been doing well trolling Tassie Devils and small minnows from small boats powered by electric motors.

The south end has been a popular area, right where the water has been running in. Most of the rainbows are around 1kg, but I know of a large 2kg version caught a couple weeks ago.

Fishing from the shoreline is also well worth a try, with baits of gudgeon, mudeye and worms fished under bubble floats very productive when favourable weather prevails. Lure casting and flyfishing from the shore also works well here. The redfin have been a little quiet with only a few smaller fish about, but they will fire up again in the next few weeks.

Rocklands reservoir

The fishing has been a bit tough at Rocklands, with only a few redfin being taken along with the very occasional trout. The fish that have been taken have all been of a decent size though, with some of the reddies approaching 1kg.

Trolling and casting small minnow lures and Pegron spoons has taken a few fish, and baitfishing with gudgeon is also well worth a try. I would expect the reddies to fire up here toward the end of the month before spawning.

This place has had many visitors lately as the lake is presently extremely low. It is well worth a look and it is very interesting to see the place as it is now.

The wall area is the best place to fish from the shore and to launch small boats, but be aware of the many submerged stumps and rock bars.

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