Trout season opens with a bang
  |  First Published: October 2014

The Ballarat and district anglers new trout season really kicked off with a bang.

The cold old winter’s only a distant memory and it is now time to focus on the real thing.

Spring is the best time to fish for trout in our district as the water levels have risen over the winter months the trout who have now changed their focus from breeding mode to feeding mode. They will move into the shallows in search of food that has been flooded out of the ground like worms and grubs. Spring also brings us some warmer weather when we will start to see a few insects start to hatch and get the trout really excited, but not as much as us anglers, it’s game on!

Bostock Reservoir

Bostock Reservoir only 30km from Ballarat and has been a surprise packet. A much underrated fishery over the winter months, it has come into focus with some excellent brown trout being caught up to 3kg.

Chinook salmon were released last season as an experiment by fisheries to get the fishery back on the angling scene. Bostock like a few other waters had them released and they are doing very well, averaging the 800g mark. They can be caught flyfishing, casting lures and fishing baits. Bostock is only a shore-based fishery with limited access, so be prepared to put in a few miles to get the best results.

Moorabool Reservoir

Moorabool Reservoir waters close to Ballarat are expecting big things from over the new season. The water level is rising over new ground and the trout are certainly lurking around feeding on whatever they can find.

Fern McGuigan, a local to the district around the Moorabool Reservoir, has been catching magnificent brown trout up to 3lb on the ever-reliable old garden worm, this proves they are on the move.

We look forward with the anticipation of some more spring rains. The reservoir will rise way back into the shallow bays and the trout will follow this water in search of food.

The Moorabool Reservoir is also well-known to the fly fishermen for its mayfly hatches and I know that many of us are just waiting for them to start hatching as they will in the coming months and the trout cannot resist them.

Lake Wendouree

At Lake Wendouree, not much has to be said but this place is awesome and the fishing over the coming spring months will only get better. Whether you’re a bait fisherman, fly fisherman, lure caster or troller, fishing from a boat , kayak or the shore, the trout and redfin await you.

The fishing is not as easy as that though, they will certainly not just jump onto your hook, using the right flies for the fly fishermen to represent what the trout are feeding on at that time will certainly put you in the game.

For the bait fishos, mudeyes fished under bubble floats would be the only bait I would use, but it’s not the only bait available. Trout certainly like power bait and worms fished on a lightly-weighted running sinker rig.

Finally, the trollers and lure casters. Well, the sky’s the limit, just keep trying different lures until you find the one that the trout take a liking to. Ben Young and his son Jacob have been out catching plenty of trout on the lake recently with young Jacob nailing trout up to 4lb with no help casting from dad. Ben said the most successful lure so far has been the Norries Lay Down Minnow pattern.

Lake Wendouree fishes the best on overcast days and the trout will certainly bite all day, but if you get bright sunny weather, I would stick to first light and into the evening.

Hepburn lagoon & Newlyn Reservoir

Hepburn Lagoon and Newlyn Reservoir are both full of water and the trout are definitely on the move, searching the flooded margins eating whatever they can.

The coming months will see the trouts’ feeding patterns change on both of these waters. The mayflies will hatch during the day, in the evening and into the night, and the mudeyes will start to move too. The trout will certainly have both these insects high on their menu.

Anthony McGrath has been fishing Newlyn Reservoir recently with success, catching and releasing some lovely brown trout to 4lb flyfishing. Anthony mentioned the fish were chasing smelt and he was lucky enough to finally hook one after a few follows.

Tullaroop & Cairn Curran Reservoirs

Tullaroop and Cairn Curran Reservoirs, another two very similar waters, should fish well over the next couple of months before the weather gets too warm.

I recently fished both waters and the water clarity at both is excellent. We can only hope for a bit of spring rains for both waters as they are down substantially compared to a lot of other waters around the district. If we get the rain, the trout will both come over grassy banks and out of the deeper water and feed along the shallow grassy bays that both waters are renowned for.

Early mornings and evenings will give the anglers the best chance on both of these waters.

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