Multiple choices close to home
  |  First Published: April 2015

Ballarat and district anglers are certainly blessed with the number of waters we have to fish with about 30 minutes from our CBD. If one water is not fishing well one of the others usually fires up, it’s just a matter of which water on which day the fish decide to bite and you have to be there to get the rewards.

Newlyn Reservoir

Newlyn Reservoir this month certainly turned on some excellent fishing with some magnificent brown trout and redfin being caught.

Newlyn is one of those waters that sees plenty of angler numbers throughout the fishing season and you hear lots of reports, some good and some not so good. Anglers that have fished the water over a number of years seem to do very well and reap the rewards. Tom Kulczynski and Darryl Luttrell are two such anglers that have been scooping the pool recently catching plenty of brown trout on Couta Mud eyes fished under bubble floats ranging size from 0.9-1.5kg. The boys have been fishing all different areas of the Reservoir, mainly on the steeper banks with the wind behind their backs and casting the bubble floats out over the ribbon weed close to the shore and letting them drift around. They have been catching lots of little pesky school redfin and the odd bigger specimen.

Tom mentioned once you’re out past them the trout seem to be on the chew. Darryl’s best session was 4 fish caught and released and Tom’s was 3.

Morning and evening are the best times but if you get an overcast day the trout have been on the chew all day. Tom, who keeps records of all his trips over the years, mentioned that the fishing will only get better over the next few months as the water level continues to fall due to irrigation records show.

Lake Wendouree

Lake Wendouree continues to shine whether it is during the day, in the evening, after dark or early morning. Anglers just keep catching plenty of trout and redfin. Lake Wendouree must be one of the most versatile waters in the district with anglers being able to fish from boats and the shore. Most angling methods work which I believe is the real winner for the anglers. You don’t have to be an expert to fish Wendouree and catch a fish.

Wayne Atkinson and Dave are a couple of very keen fly fishers that fish Lake Wendouree after dark during the summer months out of float tube and catch plenty of fish. You can drive around at night sometimes and see red hazard lights flashing on the lake and it’s the boys out there fly fishing. The lights are so and boats can see them so they don’t run over them.

The guys over the last couple months have been doing very well catching plenty of brown trout on a Black Rabbit Fur Fly pattern. A very slow ‘figure-8’ retrieve has proved to be a winner and the fish are averaging the 3-4lb mark. Warm balmy evenings are best.

Wayne mentioned that any night when the moon is out and full hasn’t been productive but the nights when there is no moon, it’s game on! The best nights effort has produced 3-4 fish per angler. Currently, yhe trout are mooching around feeding on big mud eyes before they hatch into dragon flies.

Matt Greagan has been doing the yards casting and trolling lures on Wendouree and has been cleaning up the redfin. The reddies have certainly come on the chew with plenty around the 20-30cm mark with the odd clunkers at 40cm and over as well.

Matt has been concentrating on trolling the main rowing channel until he finds a few fish and then he anchors up and starts casting either Norries hardbodied lures or the 4” Norries shad tail soft plastics. Matt mentioned that the overcast days and evenings are best, which seems to be the norm around the Ballarat District due to the shallowness of our waters.

Nathan Ward, my nephew, has been catching some lovely brown and rainbow trout on mud eyes suspended under bubble floats. Nathan and a couple of his mates have been fishing after school from some of the many jetties located around Wendouree and the fish have ranged in size from 500gm-1kg.

Hepburn Lagoon

Hepburn Lagoon just down the road from Newlyn Reservoir is still producing some magnificent brown and rainbow trout. The water is getting harder to fish due to the water level continuing to drop because of irrigation and the weed is a massive problem. However, there are plenty of pockets of clear water on the southern shoreline to fish and a few on the north as well. Find the clear patches and you will certainly catch some fish.

Powerbait has been doing the job catching the rainbow trout and mud eyes under the bubble float have been picking up the brown trout. Anglers casting lures need to find the clear water spoons and wobblers are two of the best lures to use at this time of the year. Long casts, slow retrieves are the order of the day.

The fishing around the district will start to improve as we are now in the autumn months, which is the best time of the year. Cool nights beautiful sunny days and light winds.

The water temperatures will start to drop, which the trout in our shallow lakes prefer and really start to feed up and be very aggressive in readiness for their annual winter breeding season.

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