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Winter brings tactical changes
  |  First Published: June 2014



With winter upon us, a change in tactics and methods has seen some great results from the Wimmera lakes.

Bait fishing has slowed down and the aggression levels of trout have dropped but I suspect not for very long as we have seen fish close on spawning. Once this occurs they will become very hungry and aggressive again, nailing almost any bait or lure presented.

Growth rates have been terrific with an abundance of food on offer combined with ideal conditions, apart from low water levels in some places. As I write, we are experiencing some much needed rain throughout Wimmera with prospects looking good for the future.

TOOLONDO

Toolondo – what more can I say except magnificent! It has once again thrilled many lucky anglers and frustrated others who haven't done their home work.

Working on lower level barometers (1015 and below) have seen some anglers do it tough, but those who have persisted and moved about the lake have nailed some great fish. Best lures once again have been the Fishooka Dragonfly Vibe (on clearer days) and the Diawa Double Clutch. Standout lures have been the Strike Pro Bob N Spoon, dark red colour, honeycomb and the glow.

Despite doing it tough over the warmer months, rainbows have emerged bigger and very feisty from their summer slumber. The catch rate at present is 3 browns to every rainbow.

The best fish I know of in the last month was a 4.09kg brown taken by Geoff Stock, however I did hear of a fish taken over the Anzac weekend in the Victorian national fly titles of around 4.5kg.

ROCKLANDS

Some mixed bags of redfin and trout have been taken from most areas of the lake. The best methods have been trolling diving lures around treelines. Nevertheless, one good angler found a school of larger redfin in very open water and managed to bag out in no time.

Gudgeon and yabbies are best baits for these tasty offerings and a drift through the trees or sounding up schools will see you hooked up in no time. Worms also work very well if you can get them past the masses of hungry carp that infest these waters.

Once again the Stumpjumpers were the standout on the redfin and the trout preferred Rapala Diving lures and Shallow Runners. Diawa Double Clutch and Presso Minnow also accounted for many fish of both species.

LAKE BELLFIELD

There has been some really good action here of late with redfin being the dominant species, although not in XL sizes.

Chinook salmon continue to thrive and will be a great source of fun come spring.

Once again, the odd larger trout has been taken by the adventurous flyfisher and lure presenter. Work away from the wall area and get off the beaten tracks for best results.

LAKE FYANS

Finally we are seeing this great lake getting back to its former pre drought glory. Some good numbers of redfin and trout have been landed and I'm confident that most anglers can now plan trips with dreams of the large trout on offer, as they were in the seasons pre drought.

Maryborough fishing guru Tom Shaw related a story of last week polaroiding large fish off the rock wall and losing a big brown around the 8lb mark. Tom sighted many fish on his stroll and is very excited about the coming months. My contacts there also tell me of rising water levels in the lake and it is expected to be very close to full soon.

Great news for the Lake Fyans Caravan park and my good friends at Grampians Edge Caravan park at nearby Daddswells Bridge as these once thriving businesses have suffered enough at the hands of Mother Nature with drought and two recent bushfires.

LAKE WARTOOK

Wartook has not opened up to the public as yet and I will advise you all when it does.

GREEN and TAYLORS LAKES

Green has been the pick of the two lakes of late with some good numbers of redfin being caught on both bait and lures.

The secret is to locate the schools, which has proven to be the difficult bit! Once located, anglers have enjoyed good numbers and reasonable sized fish. Potentially next year should be great.

Taylors remains very discoloured and hard to fish but is still a good option.

WIMMERA RIVER

The Wimmera has been up and down the last few weeks fish wise, but those anglers who persist and spend the time locating fish have done okay.

Some good yellas to 1.2kg and catfish have been taken around snags and trees on both lure and bait; the bait will be dominant if the rain continues. Look for small run-off spots where fresh edibles get washed in and these locations should produce fish gathering for a cheap and easy feed. Spinnerbaits should rattle a few fish up for you as well as the Jackals and noisy divers.

Just a little friendly reminder to those visiting these great spots, please take your rubbish with you and dispose of it in the nearest bins provided. I have seen a few examples of people abandoning campsites and leaving rubbish behind and it is annoying that a small minority still do. If we don't look after our spots we will lose them. It's not hard to clean up so please do it.

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