Winter has well and truly set in here and the fish know it!
Some rain is starting to fall in the catchments and hopefully we will see some inflows of much needed rain into the lakes and streams. The redfin have become scarce at Toolondo but the brown trout in particular have become very active and aggressive, willing to take most lures presented, but once again a bit reluctant on bait. Other areas have seen some great catches of trout and redfin on bait and lure, but from my reports the fly anglers have struggled to tempt fish.
This place never ceases to amaze those who make the effort to fish it with the massive growth rates and seemingly endless supply of great action.
Over the last month trolling has become much easier with most of the weed now breaking off and floating to the banks. Bait fishing has been very tough but those anglers persisting have had mixed results with the browns and rainbows. Trolling Tassie Devils in pinks, whites, orange, holographic and yellow wing versions have done well but the white clown is the standout. We have also been trolling the Fishooka Hoodlums with the bigger fish seeming to prefer these offerings, great lures that I will be also using in the deeper lakes on downriggers as well as flatlining.
Those expecting the early winter run of redfin in here have been very disappointed to date with catches now dwindling off and the bigger fish just didn't show up this year.
Locals are at a loss as to why and I'm sure the answers we will know in time or they may be making a late run this year. Those bobbing live yabbies and gudgeon on or near the bottom have done ok, but bag numbers were well down on previous years. On the plus side some good trout have been active in the mornings and late afternoons with Tassie Devils doing well as well as shallow running minnow-style hardbodies. Carp continue to pound the bait fishos and the catch ratio of carp to redfin increases all the time. Maybe these unwanted pests are taking over the lake and redfin and trout numbers are declining?
Green Lake has, over the last few weeks, produced some good redfin to those willing to put in the time to locate the tight knit school and manage to stay with them. StumpJumpers and diving hardbodies getting into the fish’s zone have done best. Taylors has seen a few nice redfin come in to those who troll the tree lines and some golden perch and some smaller cod taken on spinnerbaits and big StumpJumpers.
Bellfield is becoming a bit of a surprise packet.
Located just south of the Halls Gap township and only accessible to anglers with electric powered boats, the back end of the lake is giving up some great redfin of the XL size on gudgeon fished deep once a school is located. Some good trout are also being taken on shallow running lures cast to banks and treelines. Chinook salmon are on the go and are snatching the hardbodies and any baits meant for other species. Theses feisty fish are now on excess of a kilo and give a very good account of themselves once hooked. They seem to have a strong preference for scrubworms too!
I reported last month of the resurgence of Fyans and many anglers have since driven away disappointed but some delighted too!
With water levels still rising it has become a bit tricky to fish as the abundance of tasty morsels including galaxias, gudgeon and small yabbies has made the feeding patterns spasmodic for both trout and redfin. Early starters have done very well trolling the wall and inlet areas but I must stress the need to troll the correct speed and, being winter, these fish are a bit lethargic so troll very slow, and cast and retrieve at a slower rate than normal to compensate this. You may be surprised at the increase in hook-ups!
The best lures here are the Tassie Devils and StumpJumpers and other diving hardbodies. Troll the shallow areas early and work the deeper ones as the sun gets higher. Fish take cover in weed/trees/stumps to hide from predators but will take a well presented offering close to their comfort zones.
Bolac has turned on some nice fish in particular the area in front of the caravan park and near the rowing sheds for bank anglers who fish local white bait or minnows as well as glassies from the packet. Powerbait has taken a few fish as have the Tassie Devils in pinks and whites. Persistence is the key here and working out the feeding patterns will put you onto some nice fish. Rainbows have been up to 3kg on rare occasions but the average fish is around the 1.2-1.5kg mark.
Finally Wartook is open and accessible to the public, but I must stress caution is still to be exercised here with ongoing works to stabilise the area and rebuild after the horrific bushfires continue.
To date reports are scarce but some local anglers have done well in the wall area trolling as well as the tree lines and rock faces around Bear Island. I've had no reports from bait anglers, but this time last year peeled yabby tail or prawns fished on the bottom produced very well. Live minnow or gudgeon have always done well too, so they may be worth a go too. Don't be afraid to troll deep once the sun gets up and a downrigger or two in here should put you in the fish zone for both redfin and trout.
The Wimmera has seen a late run this year and in early July was producing some very nice golden perch to those bait fishing and willing to put up with the carp to edible fish ratio of about 6 to 1. The further reaches have also produced some nice cod on scrubbies and spinnerbaits, so venture out of town a bit to the less fished areas and you might just be surprised! Fish the snaggy areas and you may have to sacrifice a lure or two, but that's all part of putting yourself in the fish zone too.
With further success on the Tassie Devil new range of colours, give these rippers a run as they have produced very well for us and they may do the same for you. Pinky #121 hasn't failed me yet and I'm sure you will do the same.
• With Toolondo producing so well right now I'm concerntrating on this lake and if anyone wants to have a go at these monsters I offer some great accomodation/fishing packages so give me a call on 03 5388 1338 or 0438 132 130 to discuss. Check our webpage www.victorianinlandcharters.com.au or our Facebook page, Victorian Inland Charters.Reads: 780