Night is right for summer
  |  First Published: February 2014

Now that we are in the middle of summer, anglers in and around the district really have to choose the right time to head out fishing to get the best results.

Ballarat’s waters are all very shallow and during the warmer weather the water temperature rises and the trout slow down their feeding habits during the day. However, in the cooler evenings and throughout the night is when they feed, so all the smart anglers change their fishing times to when the trout are feeding and reap the rewards.

Lake Wendouree is still on fire. As previously mentioned, all anglers are fishing the evening right through the night and early morning for some cracking rainbow and brown trout up to 6.5lb.

The trout in Lake Wendouree are feeding on mudeyes that crawl out from the mud and weed swim through the water and attempt to hatch into dragonflies on trees, sticks, reeds, whatever they can find. The trout cruise around feeding on the mudeyes, as this is when the biggest hatches occur, and the best nights are the really dark ones. Avoid the really bright nights when the moon is very full the mudeyes just don’t hatch in the same numbers and the trout are very wary in the shallow water of the lake.

The flyfishers have been catching some of these magnificent trout on mudeye patterns retrieved very slowly. They have been caught from the shore and from boats and float tubes. Successful shore-based flyfishers have caught the trout in very close to the shore, sometimes only 2-3ft from the edge. The trout cruise in that close eating the mudeye just before they leave the water to hatch, so have your flies in close to shore, sometimes the closer the better.

Bait fishers have been having a ball on and after dark using mudeyes for bait suspended under bubble float. They are matching the hatch and the trout are once again cruising around just eating every mudeye they can.

At Lake Burrumbeet the redfin are still biting and, opposite to the trout, the redfin love the warmer weather and seem to bite better in the warmer months. Early morning and evening have been rewarding the anglers most with some lovely redfin around the 1lb mark on either local whitebait or good old reliable garden worms.

Rodney McNeight has been taking his two young sons Justin and Thomas out after work and landing some excellent redfin. Lake Burrumbeet is only about 10 minutes from Ballarat and is well worth the drive for a feed of redfin.

Hepburn Lagoon has had an outbreak of blue green algae over the last month; hopefully it disappears soon. We are coming into one of the best times for flyfishers. The resident trout feed on the massive population of mudeyes and it can be absolutely awesome fishing out there, going on last year’s results. I know we are waiting for it all to happen again and there is a chance of catching that fish of a lifetime in the lagoon.

Newlyn has been overshadowed in recent years by Hepburn, but the reservoir holds a very healthy population of redfin and also trout during the warmer months. When the redfin come on the bite, they can be caught casting soft plastics off the dam wall or fishing worms or a yabby fished on a running sinker rig on the bottom. Once again early mornings and evenings are the best.

The trout normally cruise in around the edges on the evening chasing caddis moths, mudeyes and whatever insects are hatching at the time, so be prepared to changed your fly to match the hatch that is happening at that time.


Anthony Atkinson at Lake Wendouree fishing with the aid of a float tube. Photo courtesy Wayne Atkinson.


Max Mason at Lake Wendouree caught this brown trout with mudeye while fishing from the shore. Photo courtesy Brian Rivett.


Justin and Thomas at Lake Burrumbeet went redfin fishing on local whitebait. Photo courtesy Rodney McNeight.


Daniel Hon had a cracking redfin session at Lake Burrumbeet. Photo courtesy Crain Hon.

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