Well, what a long and cold winter we have endured up this way. The miserable weather over the last few weeks has kept many anglers at home, and who could blame them? The good news is we have had some very handy rainfall, which has freshened up our lakes and rivers.
This time of year is a typically productive time to be fishing in the Wimmera, with all our popular fish species becoming much more active now that the water temperatures are rising and the days are getting longer.
Over the last month the trout fishing at Lake Wartook has been inconsistent, which is normal when the trout have just finished spawning. I fish here a fair bit and found the going a bit tough this winter, but on the good days I came across a few nice brown and rainbow trout after putting in a lot of time and effort.
By baitfishing with mudeyes and peeled yabby tail, I have been catching browns and rainbows to 1.5kg, along with a few small redfin. Trolling and casting lures such as Tassie Devils and small minnows has also been working well.
The flyfishing has been a little quiet but will get better as the days and water warm up a bit over the coming weeks. A recent competition up here between the Horsham flyfishers and the Ballarat flyfishers produced very few trout for a large number of skilled anglers flogging the water hard for two days.
The flyfishing here usually is at its best during the spring months, as the water temperature rises a bit making the insect life, yabbies and minnows more active. This in turn will bring the trout out feeding again.
Taylors Lake is still very low but the redfin fishing has been good over the last couple of weeks, with some nice fish being taken on worms, yabbies and gudgeon. The average redfin here is 500-800g and they are often caught in good numbers.
In September the golden perch usually start to fire up here as well, particularly if the lake level rises a bit. The most productive way to catch the goldens here is to baitfish with worms or yabbies right in close to the timber. Spinnerbaits and lures cast at the snags can also work well here at times.
Small boats can still be launched here with care but most anglers have been fishing from the shore.
Lake Bellfield has remained one of our more consistent waters over the last month with good rainbow trout to 1.8kg still being taken. Lure casting small minnow lures and Pegron spoons from the shoreline has been working well. Baitfishing with mudeyes and worms has also been successful, particularly in the mornings and evenings.
The lake level here has been steadily rising after all the rain we have been getting. I would suggest flyfishing the flooded lake margins would be a very good option here at the moment, with wet flies such as Mrs Simpsons and Woolly Worms.
With the water starting to warm up a bit I would expect the redfin to start to fire up here again very soon. The best method to catch reddies is to troll lures from a boat powered by an electric motor, or to baitfish with gudgeon or yabbies.
The recent rains have raised the water levels here and in turn some good redfin catches have been made. Lure casting the banks has been good at locations such as Cherrypool, below Rocklands and at Fulham Reserve. Good lures to use here are small Rapalas, Stiffy minnows and StumpJumpers. Baitfishing with worms and yabbies has also been good, particularly at Cherrypool where a few tench and blackfish are also being caught.Reads: 1219