Lake Wendouree is back bigger better than ever. The Ballarat and district anglers are currently experiencing some awesome fishing action on the lake.
There were a few doubts about how the lake would respond after the devastating drought. Fisheries released nearly 100,000 fingerlings back into the lake followed by yearling brown and rainbows. Then we had dredging on the lake for nearly 18 months to deepen the rowing channel of the lake for other lake users and this still has effects on the water clarity. We wondered if the weed would grow back in the lake and would the food chain recover enough to sustain a population of fish. The answer to all those questions is yes and I believe the fishing will only get better now there are systems in place to make our precious lake drought proof.
All methods are working well in the lake. My son Will and I have had a couple of sessions up on the lake fishing mudeyes suspended 1m under bubble floats, mostly around the main weed beds. Other anglers have had success with mudeyes under floats, small yabbies on the bottom and Powerbait, catching brown and rainbow trout to 2.5kg.
Wayne Atkinson, Geoff Hetherington and a few others have been flyfishing after dark and catching trout on floating mudeye imitations. Steve Taylor has been trolling small lures on the lake catching excellent bags of trout and redfin up to 1.5kg. Luke Barby has had a couple of sessions flyfishing off the shore during the day catching and releasing rainbow trout up to 2kg.
The trout have started to come on the bite with one shore-based angler I spoke to recently catching his bag of five rainbow trout up to 2.5kg using green/chartreuse Powerbait on a running sinker rig. He mentioned that the rougher the day the better the trout seemed to bite. The best action came from the north end of the lake anywhere from 500m-1.5km from the boat ramp to get the best fishing.
The lake should fish very well during the winter months going on last year’s results with lots of rainbow and brown trout being caught trolling and flyfishing. Bright flies and lures seemed to work the best and anywhere there was some rocky shore lines the trout seemed to be there in numbers trying to spawn.
The redfin are still on the bite with anglers catching good bags of fish up to 1.2kg casting lures and fishing bait. Flyfishers have been catching brown trout on smelt patterns, as the cooler weather has bought the smelt in close to shore. Trout have moved in chasing them. This normally happens on most waters during the cooler months.
About 40 minutes from Ballarat the trout in this water have started to move into the shallows chasing smelt. They vary from 1-2kg with the odd thumper thrown in. Tullaroop is an excellent fishery during the winter months and sometimes a forgotten fishery by anglers and well worth a visit.
Lake Bolac has started to produce some fishing action again. While not to the lofty heights of a couple of years ago, rainbow trout to 1-1.5kg have been caught using local minnows or smelt fished from the shore. Powerbait has been effective with a running sinker the best rig.
I would suggest anglers try trolling lures such as Tassie Devils or small hardbodied lures, as this was all the go a couple of years ago when the big fish were on the go.Reads: 8226