Over the last few weeks, Lonsdale near Stawell has given up some of the best redfin seen for years. There have been great trophy fish to 1.9kg, and I have even heard of 2.8kg monster!
This lake is very low with a maximum depth is 2m, and as the water warms the fish will be found in the deepest parts.
Trolling Hogbacks in bronze, Blue Fox Spinners, Ondex Lures and StumpJumpers has been the preferred method but the ever-reliable live yabby has also accounted for its fair share too. So far the yabbies have been very quiet but I expect they will start to crawl at night from now on, so don't forget the drop nets.
Wartook continues to both delight and frustrate even the experienced angler. It is a lake with such a great population of fish but runs hot and cold.
Brown trout and redfin are prevalent in here and persistence and patience should see some rewards. The odd rainbow shows up but they seem hard to tempt.
I find trolling is better in the early morning and late afternoon around Bear Island and the wall area. Mix it up with Tassie Devils and maybe a StumpJumper or minnow style hardbody.
Bait fishing mudeyes under bubble or quill floats or unweighted yabby tail, prawn or a scrub worm should produce the goods.
The trout, especially in this lake, are easily spooked and a stealth approach is needed to fool these well-conditioned fish. Set your mudeyes deep under floats for best results.
Fyans for the last few years has been the most reliable lake in the Halls Gap area, but it has suffered with lower water levels and massive fishing pressure. Now there are more options, it's slowly making a comeback and starting to produce the great fish it has in the past.
A few good redfin and trout are starting to emerge by trolling the trees and along the wall area. The best times are early morning and late afternoon. Once again a mudeye under a bubble float for the trout and live minnow or gudgeon for the redfin are preferred methods.
Plastics will also see you hooked up. Flicking the edges and weed beds should produce in the first light/last light scenario.
Flyfishers also love this lake lately, due to its ease of casting from the bank or boat with great success. Average trout are around 1.2-1.5kg and the redfin around the 800g to a 1kg. Bigger redfin have been taken lately but their numbers have dwindled with the fishing pressure.
Bloody Ripper, plain white and the yellow wings in Tassies also do well, along with hardbodies, but the weed makes it hard to run deeper divers in most areas.
This picture-postcard setting a few minutes from the Halls Gap Township is a great producer the odd big trout and redfin, although only the smaller variety. This is a great family fishing spot off the edges and lake surrounds.
Bellfield is also producing some great sporting chinook salmon, which were released a few months ago. The growth rate of these feisty little fellas is amazing and some are up around the 800g mark already.
Worms under a float, hardbodies and mudeyes should produce the goods especially early morning and late afternoon. Power boating is not permitted here being a water supply catchment.
Great Lake with so much potential and prime native habitat that is starting to surrender a few nice yellowbelly now the warmer, longer days have kicked in. Small yabbies and worms as well as gudgeon have been best baits here and the bank anglers as well as boaters have hooked up.
A few silver perch and some very nice redfin have been caught in the lake. The ever prevalent and pesky carp have provided some entertainment while waiting for the quality fish to arrive.
Best zones are the tree-lines and up towards the inlet as there is still some water flowing in. With the water being still dirty I would lean towards scrub worms as preferred bait.
After a very slow start this year Rocklands is now coming to the fore with some redfin playing the game for anglers who persist. Trolling the tree-lines and shallows has been a rewarding method but you have to sift through the smaller fish to get some keepers.
StumpJumpers in pink, brown/orange, natural colours are working the best, but be prepared to lose a few lures as well.
As is the case with most redfin they are never too far from snags and logs so you have to put the lure in their zone for a strike.
Don't rule out a good trout here either as flat lining a Tassie or similar will often produce that surprise capture.
Bait fishing with yabbies will come on soon and worms will be scooped up by the massive population of carp but will snag you the odd redfin too. Yabbies are just starting to come on so once again, don't forget the drop nets.
Bolac is the sleeping giant as far as the trophy rainbows are concerned this year. To date, there has not been a lot of action due to our weather patterns and abundance of windy days.
Turbid water has made for difficult conditions and I feel when we see some settled weather the fishing will improve.
Local whitebait and Powerbait have seen a few fish taken and when water clarity is restored, mudeyes under bubble floats and trolling lures will see some good results. I don't expect this to last as evaporation will take its toll and without significant rain this lake will suffer.
Often I'm asked the right trolling speed and I know it's hard to reach a compromise when running Tassies and hardbody lures together. My advice is set your throttle at what you think is a good speed then run your lures beside the boat, and then observe what speed give the most appealing action.
Tassies have to have their ‘swagger’ to full effect and hardbodies that shimmer will attract and seduce the fish. Note the speed and try to maintain it for best results.
Often I run a sea anchor off the rear to slow the troll if going downwind. Don't be afraid to run on your outboard as I'm finding most of the trout are coming into the wake of boats looking for stunned and dazed baitfish. I have had larger trout follow almost to the back of my boat lately with the motor running. They see and hear boat traffic and have pretty much become immune to it. This may not always be the case with the XL sized smarter fish, they don't get big by being dumb!
Vary your direction of travel too, clockwise and anti-clockwise, and note what produces best. Troll the wind tunnels on lakes (smooth patches) and always try the foam lines on the windy days as trout love to ambush from these areas of cover.
Joe Koros and his PB 1.85kg redfin from Lonsdale.
Jet Waters with his 1.87kg brown trout from Toolondo.
Darryl Oshannessy with a pair of Rocklands redfin. Despite a very slow start this year, the reservoir is now coming to the fore.
The author with a cracking pair of trout: the rainbow went 2kg and the brown was 2.1kg.Reads: 1200