The colder months are now upon us, and Wimmera has seen most species being spasmodic in their feeding patterns. Trout are now becoming harder to tempt but the bigger fish are more willing to feed openly. Many fishos are reporting chases and follows but without takes of massive fish.
Toolondo in particular has seen fantastic growth and some real surprise catches of fish in excess of 4kg.
Redfin have been active as the big girls get really hungry for the next month or so then become practically dormant over winter and early spring. Although some rain has been experienced in parts of the Wimmera much more is needed to see some lakes through next summer.
Once again the showcase lake in the area as far as trout go is Toolondo. Most people are casting/retrieving to tree-lines and over weed beds. Best lures again have been the Strike Pro Bob n Spoons, Diawa Double Clutches and Presso Minnows, as well as an old favourite the Pegron Tiger Minnow. Plastics have also accounted for some nice fish, as did the Fishooka dragonfly vibes.
Bait fishing has been patchy but those persisting with mudeye have taken some nice fish as have the locals that trap gudgeon or live yabbies. The fly has been very successful for many with surface feeding fish willing to take insect and moth imitations.
Toolondo’s water level is very low and launching is best in a 4WD. However, on the plus side the algae bloom has all but gone and the weed problem experienced all summer has eased considerably to the extent that trolling lures is now possible in parts.
Fyans is alive and kicking again with some very nice catches of trout and redfin coming in for most anglers. Its water level is almost 90% and the fish are thriving.
Recently Tom Shaw fished the rock wall on a clear day dropping a brown he estimated at 4kg and polaroided many big fish from the same area only to be frustrated by their apparent lack of interest in everything presented to them.
I fished Fyans in early May and landed several nice redfin to 1.3kg on StumpJumper Finesse lures in the pink and orange/brown colours and also on the smaller Diawa Double Clutches trolling the tree-lines and rock wall areas.
Fly fishers fishing the twilight and after dark have taken some cracker redfin on wet fly in the trees out left of the ramp and caravan park.
There will be some great fishing coming up, as Fyans is getting back to its former glory and consistency.
Wartook is on the verge of opening back up. The clean up and safety construction after the bushfires has taken longer than anticipated.
Check the Parks Victoria website for opening date as with virtually no fishing pressure for months I can see it producing some great catches.
Once again Bellfield has been producing plenty of redfin and some very nice trout, especially browns, for the lure fishos.
Vibes have been the flavour of the month and those willing to risk a lure by letting them sink and working them up the rocks and edges have done best enticing the bigger fish out of hiding places and into the strike zone.
Plastics have also done well in this scenario with the reds and greens being the best option. Chinook salmon haven't been as prevalent as in the warmer months but those in the know have taken some up to 900g on both scrub worms and retrieving hardbody minnows in natural colours.
Green is still giving up some nice reddies to 1.2kg if you can locate the schools and stick with them as they seem to be very mobile and tight knit.
Trolling lures and locating the schools, Jamie Stock from Colac recently landed 18 in a morning’s session on StumpJumpers and the age old Hogbacks in bronze colour, which he weighed down with a lead keel. Proof that persistence and experimentation pays off.
Reports from Taylor have been scarce. I haven't fished it lately due to turbid water but some locals have reported the redfin starting to move there, but nothing bigger than 1kg.
The natives appear to be have gone quiet as the water cools and it may be summer again before you can fish for them with any confidence.
Redfin continue to dominate the reports with some good bags being taken on yabby and gudgeon after locating schools or fishing old marks and known haunts. There has been some good fish amongst them too with a 1.7kg being the better specimen I’ve heard of lately.
Tree-lines are my favourite trolling spots at the lake. StumpJumpers in all sizes will produce, as well as Rapala Minnows and Double Clutches.
Trout have been taken by anglers targeting them and the ever-reliable Tassie Devils, Strike Pro Flatz Minnows and Rapalas have been best.
Once again the annual spurt of rainbow trout that seem to evolve after a cold snap have been on offer to those willing to brave the elements and persist. Beaut fish to 3.5kg have been taken on glassies and local minnow, as well as Powerbait. These fish are not in big numbers but well worth a shot if you’re after a trophy rainbow for the wall.
Trolling should also reward with Tassies in lumo pink and the beetle bomb #87 being my favourites.
• Wigston, the makers of Tassie Devils, have produced 10 new colours to their range and I have just secured a box of each. Can't wait to hit the water and test drive these exciting lures. Look for them in your tackle shops. Victorian Inland Charters operates on all the above lakes so if you would like a day’s guided fishing visit www.victorianinlandcharters.com.au or if doing your own thing appeals more, we have just purchased another Polycraft boat which is available as a hire/drive vessel on Toolondo, Rocklands, Fyans, Green, Taylor's and Wartook. Call Trevor to discuss: 0438 132 130 or 03 5388 1338.
Tommy McBride 9yo with a beaut brown taken at Toolondo using a lumo pink Tassie Devil.
Daniel ‘Nugget’ Holz caught this Toolondo brown on a Diawa Presso Minnow in natural colours.
Gary Hobbs with a cracker brown taken on a Strike Pro Bob N Spoon in glow colour.Reads: 940