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Mayflies live up to their name!
  |  First Published: May 2016



Fishing reports in and around the district have really quietened down, mainly due to the low water levels in a lot of our waters and an abundance of weed. The footy season has started up, which may explain the lack of reports! The weather has cooled down a little as well, but that hasn’t stopped the diehards hitting the water and reaping the rewards.

Lake Wendouree is back on top of anglers’ lists with lots of reports filtering through word of mouth (the old angler’s grapevine) and social media like Facebook, which has become a fantastic tool to find when the fish are biting and what they have been caught on. Wendouree is firing on all cylinders at the moment with the lure, bait, trollers, soft plastic fishers and fly fishers starting to catch some of the rainbow and brown trout and trophy redfin that lurk in Lake Wendouree’s waters.

My son Zach and I have been trolling the main rowing channel like a lot of others with some excellent results. Zach has been top rod recently, landing some lovely rainbow trout. His personal best for Wendouree was achieved with a 51cm cracker on Bullet Lures in a mixture of rainbow pattern with gold being the most effective. We have fished Wendouree at first light for a couple of hours to gain the best results as it seems as soon as the sun comes out, the fish stop biting. The trout are not the only ones that have been on the chew. I landed some lovely redfin as well on some Norries Lures recently. The secret to trolling Wendouree is to use shallow running lures and don’t have your lures too far out the back of the boat as they can dive too deep and get caught on the rowing lane ropes or weed up.

Anthony Sakic is another angler who heard the fish were on the chew at Wendouree and made the trip up from Melbourne. He wasn’t disappointed, and managed to land a couple of redfin and a rainbow trout. One redfin was an absolute stonker 2kg, at 50cm on a Shimano Wax Wing lure.

Jo Howe has been catching some lovely trout again on mudeye. Jo commented to me that the fishing had been a little quiet but with things cooling off, the trout and redfin are really on the chew again. Jo recently bagged some magnificent brown and rainbows fishing in the rowing channel with mudeyes suspended under bubble floats.

Craig Mitchell has been flyfishing Wendouree with success on both rainbows and browns stripping wet flies in the open clear water of Wendouree. The most successful patterns have been the Woolly Bugger patterns in various colours with the standout olive or magoo pattern. On an even brighter note for flyfishers, I mentioned last month in my article we would hopefully see the second hatch for the season of mayfly and they are back. I went up for a look the other day with perfect overcast conditions for them to hatch normally, and to my delight I did see quite a few hatching. I will certainly be back on the water after seeing this, and full of optimism!

Lake Wendouree will continue to fish well over the next few months as the weather really cools down the water temperature that dictates the feeding habits of the trout in our lake. If this time last year is anything to go by, the next month should be a cracker, especially with the brown trout that have been in hibernation it seems over the warmer months that start to show up. Last year we saw plenty of brown trout in the 50-60cm range caught on all forms of angling methods.

Fishing reports around the district have remained very patchy but this should not deter anglers from getting out and having a crack at catching some fish that are lurking in our districts waters.

Waters that I would certainly be looking to fish over the winter months that hold good populations of both trout and redfin within an hour of Ballarat include Newlyn Reservoir, Cosgrove Reservoir, Dean Reservoir, Moorabool Reservoir, Bostock Reservoir and Tullaroop Reservoir. All these waters are land-based fisheries where anglers using lures, baits and flies certainly have the chance to nail some magnificent trout and redfin.

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