To say that it’s ‘been hot’ would be an understatement! Throughout the state, temperatures have been a lot warmer a lot earlier this summer with the hottest months still to come. This heat hasn’t stopped the trout and redfin from biting in and around the Ballarat district, and anglers have reaped the rewards by fishing smart.
Over the next few months most of the water in the district will really suffer from the hot weather and water levels will drop dramatically due to usage and evaporation. This adds stress and strain to the fish, as well as an increase in water temperatures. Some of the waters in the district that have good levels will be heavily fished in the coming months, and reports from some of the smaller waters will be scarce. This could be an opportunity for anglers who don’t like to put up the crowds to get out and fish some of these smaller waterways.
Lake Wendouree will be the drawcard for a lot of anglers from others areas of the state that like to chase trout and redfin. Wendouree, unlike most other waters, is not suffering from the long dry spell we have endured in the last 12 months. The lake has plenty of water, and as I have mentioned on many occasions has been made drought proof, which is a bonus not just for us in Ballarat, but also for all anglers in general. More positives are yet to come with the late release of 3,000 two year-old rainbow trout in early November, which are providing anglers with some excellent sport – and let’s not forget about the magnificent brown trout and redfin that are lurking in the lakes waters.
Jo Howe has bagged plenty of rainbow and brown trout from both the bank and boat. Her most productive method to catch Lake Wendouree trout is to fish a mudeye suspended under a bubble float and drift from the shore with the wind at her back. She makes sure her lines are well greased to make them float and cover plenty of water. Jo uses the same method to fish from the boat, except she anchors the boat on the edge of the main weed bank and drifts her mudeyes into the main rowing channel. Jo chooses the right times of the day – either early morning or on evening to achieve the best results.
Ben Young has snagged some lovely rainbow trout and redfin on Lake Wendouree with a few crackers in the mix. The largest specimen he discovered was a magnificent 49cm. Redfin of this size lurk around in Lake Wendouree with quite a few reports filtering through of redfin over the magical 50cm, which are certainly classed as trophy sized in fishing circles. Ben loves to cast lures and soft plastics and lauds his most productive lure – the Norrie’s Laydown Minnow BR74 and the Eco Gear Power Shads. Ben likes to fish off the structures and jetties that are dotted around Lake Wendouree.
Newlyn Reservoir is still producing the goods with both quality brown trout and redfin caught. Tom Nguyen is a keen lure angler who travels up from Melbourne every chance he gets and has certainly caught some magnificent sized redfin in the 46-47cm range. Tom has waded through the ribbon weed that stubbornly line the whole shoreline of Newlyn to cast Bullet Lures in the 5cm Redfin Pattern and 5cm Paceys Perch Pattern, with a slow to medium retrieve. Tom puts in the hours to get fantastic results. He mentioned you could cast lures for a few hours on end, and cover plenty of shoreline for nothing and then, all of a sudden, you could come across a school of redfin and it’s game on.
Tom said his two best redfin came within five minutes of each other. Other anglers have caught redfin on soft plastics and brown trout on mudeyes fished over the weed in the deeper water and suspended under bubble floats. Once again, the time of day has had an effect on results, with early morning and late evening continuing to be the best times to fish.
Moorabool Reservoir has had excellent trout and redfin captures on both bait and lures. The water level is very low at Moorabool, so if you head out there, be prepared for the mud. Colby Lesko has snagged some football sized redfin and the odd big brown trout out there by casting lures. Colby mentioned it’s just a matter of doing the miles and slugging it out through the mud to be rewarded. Other fishers have caught redfin on yabbies and the humble old garden worm.
Tullaroop Reservoir is still worth a visit, even though reports have become few and far between. I recommend starting early in the morning, be there on first light and fish the steeper banks for redfin with yabbies on a running sinker rig. In the shallower areas of the reservoir, fish mudeyes under floats at first light and on evening. For those guys who like to cast lures, casting hardbodied lures and plastics at the steeper banks will certainly produce the goods in the early morning and evening.
(Photo courtesy of Jo Howe)
(Photo courtesy of Ben Young)
(Photo courtesy of Tom Nguyen)
(Photo courtesy of Colby Lesko)Reads: 2043