Wendouree is number one
  |  First Published: May 2015

Anglers in and around the Ballarat area are blessed with some magnificent waters to fish, and there’s none finer than Lake Wendouree located in the middle of the city.

Lake Wendouree is an incredibly diverse fishery, with the quality of the fish on offer nothing short of amazing. Ballarat locals should count their lucky stars that they have a fishery of this class and quality right on their doorstep.

Fisheries like Lake Wendouree don’t just happen by chance and are the result of hard work from many different people and organisations. Victoria Fisheries, Ballarat Fish Acclimatisation Society, Ballarat City Council and Central Highlands Water have all played important roles when it comes to Wendouree. Structured and thorough stocking, along with effective waterway management, have combined to create a waterway and fishery that is truly exceptional.

The management of the waterway to make the lake drought proof and a weed reduction program that ensures the lake doesn’t become choked with weed and unfishable, are just two measures and practise in place that have helped create this magnificent fishery. All those that have and are involved in the creation and management of this fishery should be heartedly congratulated.

Reports are in

The fishing at Wendouree over the last month has been nothing short of sensational with all angling methods producing the goods. While the weather, especially the nighttime temperatures, has cooled off over the last few weeks the fishing is still hot, with fish active throughout the lake. If you can get an overcast day it’s game on.

The flyfishing scene has really fired up recently, thanks in most part to the occasional mayfly hatch. Trout are taking full advantage of their abundance, and are actively on them and the minnows and whitebait that make Wendouree home. Garry and Mick McKay have been drift fishing the lake and catching some magnificent rainbow and brown trout up to 4.5lb stripping black and orange coloured Woolly Bugger fly patterns.

Damien Keirl, a member of the Ballarat Anglers Club, has been getting amongst the trout catching some magnificent browns fishing mudeyes suspended under a bubble float. Damien has been anchoring clear of the weed in open water and has great success, catching plenty of fat, well conditioned browns. This same method will work all over the lake, whether fishing from the shore or boat. Using soft plastics has really taken off in Lake Wendouree with plenty of anglers taking up the method, many with excellent results

Big Browns

Well-known tournament angler Michael Newman has been fishing Wendouree and is amazed at the quantity and quality of fishing on offer. From 5lb brown trout to excellent eating redfin Michael sees it as a lake that has the lot. I recently took my kids out on the lake to give them a few lessons on casting plastics and we caught a heap of redfin, including a cracking 43cm fish that ate a 4” Nories shad tailed soft plastic. The fishing should only get better over the coming months as the trout and redfin feed up in readiness for their winter breeding season.

Plenty in reserve

As I mentioned last month Newlyn Reservoir has been fishing well, and just keeps getting better. Brown trout have been on the chew, with plenty of fish falling to mudeyes fished under a bubble float. I’ve never heard or seen the fishing as good as it currently is.

Tom Kulczynski and Darryl Lutrell once again have been getting amongst the fish. Hitting the water before the sun gets up the pair have been fishing with the wind at their back and fishing bubble floats above the weed along the shoreline to catch their fish.

Gordon Thompson is another angler who doesn’t mind getting up early, and has been fishing Newlyn Reservoir with the same approach, and with the same result, catching plenty of quality brown trout.

Redfin once again have been on the chew at Moorabool Reservoir, with soft plastics fished along the steeper banks doing the damage. The best results have come early morning and in the evening. The standout lure has been the 3” Z-Man curl tail grub in motor oil colour. If you’re intending to fish Moorabool check with Central Highlands Water before you go as the lake can often be closed due to blue green algae booms.

Dean Reservoir is located not far from Ballarat, and despite only being a small waterway offers excellent fishing for trout and redfin. Dean is stocked yearly with trout, and while not being able to handle a lot of angling pressure does produce some quality fish, particularly during the coming months.

Tullaroop Reservoir is a sleeping giant of the area, and it expected to wake up as we head into the cooler months of the year. Home to a healthy population of trout and redfin, autumn and winter see Tullaroop’s trout move into the shallow bays and shoreline in search of smelt or small minnows that move into spawn during this time of the year.

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