Cooler water temperatures combined with the back of summer being broken has seen most of the Wimmera waterways produce some great catches of late.
The trout continue to dominate the reports but some great redfin action is available for those willing to venture out and target what I regard as the best eating freshwater fish available. Larger female redfin school up and start to hunt and feed freely, but you still have to do your homework as to the best times and conditions.
With the onset of autumn we can expect to see trout becoming more aggressive towards lures as the natural hatches decline and the abundance of food source like mudeyes and insects wane. The trout have been very consistent on a rising barometer and in my opinion a reading of 1015 is the trigger point for these beaut fish to feed. Don't get me wrong here, fish will still be taken on lower readings, but to have them in the mood to feed and be at their best, a higher reading is desired.
In the cooler times don't be scared to venture to the shallow water and on the clearer days look for big fish sunning in the shallows. Lately, thanks to Spotters and Jason Portelli, I received a some of the Penetrator Spotters and believe me the amount of fish I'm now seeing in deeper water has increased dramatically. Quality polarising glasses are a must to spot fish as well as giving you the UV protection required and give you a shield against high speed lures that un-snag and flick back at you!
Some trophy fish are showing up here and the action has been thick and fast the last few weeks.
The best fish I have seen caught was a hen brown by Ray Doolan from Geelong on a Fishooka Dragonfly Vibe. Many fish have been caught and released on my charter boat over 3kg and we have also taken several trophies to keep the taxidermists busy!
Some very fat and aggressive rainbows are also turning up in the catches late in March and I believe this is the onset of the spawn for these big girls as the aerial displays of late have been awesome.
Redfin to 1kg are also being caught but it's a matter of locating them and sticking with the school to produce numbers.
Trout lures to do well have been the Fishooka Dragonfly Vibe, Strike Pro Bob n Spoon, Diawa Double Clutch and Tassie Devil Holographic. Bait fishing has been very slow and trolling virtually impossible due to weed – both floating and emergent – as water level continues to drop and expose more beds. Flyfishers are also finding it tough going in these conditions, but the adventurous ones continue to take a few fish.
The redfin have finally decided to come out and play in the last few weeks and many anglers have enjoyed great success on these tasty critters. Although they are spread far and wide, once a school is located there have been good numbers produced and I know of a few coming over the 1.5kg mark, which are great fish. The average size is around 900g and I regard these as the best eating fish, sweet and very tasty.
StumpJumpers, once again, are the preferred choice of lure but many of the hardbodies such as Daiwa Double Clutch and Presso Minnow have done well too. Plastics like Fish Arrows, Squidgys and Damiki Grubs work well too when flicked into the schools.
Taylors hasn't lived up to its reputation this year despite being topped up and primed for fishing. Some goldens and carp have been taken as well as a few redfin but the clarity isn't there and visibility of lures is virtually non-existent.
Bait has been the saviour here with common worms and scrubworms both taking fish on a running sinker rig on the bottom. Live yabbies have also produced a few fish but the angling hasn't been great.
Green has been the better of the two highway lakes and some fantastic catches of redfin have been taken in the last few weeks as the water cools. Ski boat numbers have declined and the fish have come on.
Pretty much all rattling lures and vibes have produced on the troll, as well as drifting gudgeon and yabbies with the wind.
The river now is giving up a few gems that it is renowned for and my mate Ken Carman and nephew Jarryd had a great session there just recently taking silvers, goldens, catfish and a few redfin on scrubworms and yabbies. The goldens were averaging 1kg and the catfish slightly smaller.
The boys also spent a few hours on Toolondo the previous day for a beaut brown of 3kg.
Wartook remains closed after the fires and Bolac has produced very few chances for constructive angling. Nevertheless, some nice rainbows to 2kg have been taken from the bank near the rowing shed on Powerbait and locally caught minnow.
Bellfield, although still slightly discoloured, continues to produce some great action on cast and retrieve methods using hardbody lures and plastics. The Chinook have thrived in these conditions and provide a fantastic fight for their size.
Redfin are also in plague numbers up near the wall and edges around the trees.
Fyans has been the sleeping giant of the Wimmera for some time now and seems to be making a great comeback through careful water management and stocking. Rainbows and redfin dominate the catches here but the odd brown is being taken as well.
Bait anglers are doing best on the redfin using live gudgeon and slow trolled lures, which will see you connected to both trout species. Fyans is definitely worth a bit of your time.
The fishing will only improve over the coming months as the water cools further and the fish get ready to spawn. They will get more aggressive and this means they’ll attack more offerings. So get into the western district in the next few months as it will be well worth your time.Reads: 737