Hot to trout
  |  First Published: February 2017

Fishing in and around the Ballarat District over the past month has really fired up, just like the weather. Lake Wendouree is the number one fishery in the district once again. I think I’m starting to sound like a broken record. Reports other than Wendouree are hard to come by.

The fishing over the coming months will all be about timing, as summer is finally in full force. We will have bright blue-sky sunny days somewhere around the 25-30°C mark. The water temperatures in our storages and fisheries will warm up, which is not favoured by the trout.

Some waters are very shallow, so fishing on a bright sunny day is not ideal. We need to start thinking about fishing in the prime times to gain the best results. During the next few months, early mornings, evenings and after dark are the prime times to target the trout that are in our local waters. It doesn’t matter whether you fish fly, bait, plastics or lures, put the ball back into your court and give yourself the best chance of catching a fish.

Waters that should fish well over the coming months around the district for both trout and redfin include the Newlyn Reservoir, Hepburn Lagoon, Moorabool Reservoir, Dean Reservoir, Cosgroves Reservoir and Tullaroop Reservoir. Again, timing is of the utmost importance to gain the best results for effort. Whether you fish bait, lure or fly, these waters have all been well stocked with trout by Fisheries Victoria over the winter and spring months and have resident populations of redfin as well.

Lake Wendouree would have to be Victoria’s number one trout water in the state. I know I’m a little bit bias, but only living five minutes away and being able to drive around the lake, I see fishers on just about every shoreline. On average over a weekend, there are a dozen boats on the water at any given time.

Lake Wendouree is only small in size, so I believe the odds stack up in favour of my rankings. A lot of people have put time, effort and work to enable us to have this magnificent fishery at our backdoor. It just doesn’t happen often. Unfortunately, not everyone appreciates how good we have it here in Ballarat.

Fishing in Wendouree is hot to trot. Flyfishing after dark has rewarded Cam Griffins with unbelievable results – brown trout up around the 7-8lb mark. He’s also had some thumping big redfin on fly as well. Cam has been using mudeye imitations for the best results. He uses flies such as the Muddler Minnow, which is a striped floating fly pattern worked very slowly after dark, and Craig’s Night-time pattern – another mudeye imitation.

The difference is that the Craig’s is a sinking fly. Both flies represent a small bug or spider migrating through the water on its way to shore. Trout can’t resist these little fellows. Another angler I spoke to, Shane Jeffrey, caught a magnificent rainbow trout of 2.3kg on a Muddler fly pattern as well. When he checked the contents of the trout stomach, it had about 100 mudeyes in it.

Ben Cochrane, a super keen young angler, has been bagging some excellent brown trout including a personal best of 60cm trolling lures in the main rowing channel. The most successful lure has been the Christmas Beetle Bullet lure. Nathan Angee has been getting amongst the Lake Wendouree trout catching both rainbows and browns shore-based casting lures ranging from the Norries B74 to the Norries Wasabi Spoons.

Shane Jeffrey has also been out catching lovely brown and rainbow trout using mudeyes for bait suspended under bubble floats. Wendouree is full of feisty little rainbows around the 750g mark and they are growing very quickly, due to the abundance of food in the lake.

I’ve been taking my kids out and having a ball catching and releasing plenty of fish. The best session saw seven trout in an hour and a half – not bad for going only five minutes from home. I can see Wendouree will continue to fish well over the coming months. It’s just all about fishing in the prime time to gain the best results.

Photo courtesy of Cam Griffin.

Photo courtesy of Nathan Angee.

Photo courtesy of Ben Cochrane.

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