This time of year the best
  |  First Published: April 2013

This is a great time of year to be fishing in the Wimmera with all species fishing very well.

Trout are starting to become more aggressive as we head toward the spawning season and native fish are starting to feed up heavily before the cooler weather comes. With water temperatures now more fish friendly during the cooler autumn months, good trout fishing can now be had right throughout the day as opposed to having to fish at first and last light and after dark in summer.

Wimmera river

The river has been fishing very well indeed over the last few weeks with excellent catches of yellowbelly, redfin and catfish coming in from Glenorchy all the way to Lake Hindmarsh near Jeparit. There has been a number of very large yellowbelly up to 4kg taken at Jeparit lately along with some big redfin to 1.5kg as well and most have been taken on lures.

I have found that the best fishing for me lately has been below Horsham Weir and then out toward Quantong and Polkemmet. I have been mostly walking the banks casting lures at snags and getting some very nice yellowbelly to 2kg along with a few redfin as well. The water has been very clear lately which has been great for lure casting. The best lures for me have been small spinnerbaits and divers such as the Ballista Dyno 60. Lure colour doesn’t seem to be important but placing the lure right into the snags is for the best results.

Bait fishing with yabbies and worms has also been working very well on the yellowbelly and catfish but there has been heaps of carp about so it doesn’t take long to go through a lot of bait while you hook one carp after another. Recently we spent a night on the catfish out the back of Pimpinio and while we only got three to 33cm but we did manage to catch a number of very nice yellowbelly averaging around the 1.5kg mark on peeled yabby tail.

For a long while we have known there was a huge number of good-sized silver perch in the river but we had struggled to get them over 30cm. We weren’t sure if it was because they often go vegetarian once mature or perhaps it was something else. It was starting to get frustrating as we could often see these huge silver perch swimming around but couldn’t get them to bite. So we started experimenting with smaller baits such as little pieces of peeled yabby tail, tiny shrimps and mudeyes fished on small hooks and the results so far have been very promising.

We are now consistently getting good silver perch to around 40cm and the bigger ones sure know how to fight. We often fly fish below the Horsham Weir chasing carp and redfin but I was pleasantly surprised recently catching a beautiful 35cm silver perch on a small Bead Head Woolly Bugger fished in a stretch of flowing water below the weir. It put up a great little battle on the light fly gear too.

Taylors Lake

This has been a top little spot lately with some nice yellowbelly and redfin being caught along with a number of small Murray cod and small silver perch. The carp have also been out in force here as per usual. The yellas and redfin are averaging around 1kg and are mostly being taken on baits such as worms, yabbies and gudgeon fished right in close to the snags. The best fishing has been in the mornings and evenings. Not many people have been lure fishing due to the discoloured water but often the water clears at this time of year so divers and spinnerbaits would be well worth a try. There are some big Murray cod in here but they are seldom targeted. Most of the big cod are hooked by accident by anglers chasing yellowbelly and most are lost on the lighter gear.

Lake Toolondo

The trout fishing here has been fantastic, I know it’s a big call but in my opinion this is the most consistent trout water in Victoria. Plenty of rainbows and browns to over 2kg are being caught along with a number of redfin. Most of trout are around 1-1.5kg and are being taken on all methods. Trolling with Tassie Devils is most popular, with pink, fire tiger and white the best. Bait fishing from the shore or from boats using Powerbait on a running sinker or mudeye under a bubble float has been catching heaps of trout as well.

Flyfishing has been excellent with trout coming in very close to feed particularly in the evenings. Walking the banks looking for any rises or trout cruising along the sandbars is a lot of fun here or just wading out and blind fishing wets at likely areas such as weed beds will produce good results pretty easily here. Good flies have been Woolly Buggers, Tom Jones and Mrs Simpsons.

Rocklands reservoir

The redfin have been going well with great catches taken by trolling lures in Brodys, Glendinning and at the wall. Divers such as Stumpjumpers, Rapala shad raps and Ballista Dyno 60s are working very well. It’s just a matter of moving around until you find the schools. Bait fishing with yabbies, gudgeon and worms is also working but the carp have also been out in force and they waste a lot of time as most of them are very large.

Trout have been a little on the quiet side lately but should fire up now the weather is starting to get a little cooler. Yabbying has been good after dark, especially at turkey neck and brodys.

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