This month signals the start of seasonal change. With the sun rising later, this heralds the approach of the cooler weather.
March offers the best opportunity to target all species that the region has to offer. Yellowbelly start to slow and hold tight to structure as the water temperatures begin drop, This change also acts as an alarm clock for the large trout that call many of our lakes home.
All of the lakes have been fishing great, but the standouts have been Rocklands Reservoir, Lake Fyans and Lake Bellfield.
Rocklands has been continuing to produce solid catches of redfin, with the odd bass and trout too. Slow rolled plastics and small vibes have been accounting for many redfin. Scrub worms on a running sinker rig are always a great option for the bait anglers too.
Recently, local angler Aaron Janetzki found himself in an epic battle with a rare catch of a Murray cod while targeting redfin on a 6lb outfit. With VRfish pushing for stocking of Murray cod and yellowbelly to Rocklands, I believe that Rocklands will truly become the jewel of the west.
Lake Fyans has been fishing very well over the last month, with many anglers reporting good catches of table-sized redfin. The best methods for targeting redfin at the moment are finesse plastics fished slowly on the bottom with long pauses. A great colour to start with is the ever-popular pumpkin seed. A weedless rig is also very handy if you’re not familiar with the lake.
Alternatively, trolling small-bibbed minnows along the wall is always a great option that normally results in a few redfin. The Ecogear SX40 or Berkley Flicker Shad in natural colours have had great success.
For land-based anglers, the wall is a fantastic option, giving access to deep water for both bait and lure fishing. Flicking a Celta is always a good option at dusk or dawn from the wall if you’re after a few trout.
Lake Bellfield and its tributaries have continued to fish well, with some nice trout being landed. Bellfield is often overlooked due to being a no motor lake, and this makes it a very popular option with kayak-based anglers.
The lake offers deep water access for land-based fishers too, but be warned, the banks can be slippery and the water is much colder than many other lakes due to the depth and protection from the surrounding mountains.
Worms fished under a float is a tried and tested method that should see a result. With the current high water level, Fyans Creek inflow is a great option to fish in the top of the lake. Stalking trout up here can be hard work, but when the conditions are right, it’s very rewarding.
The Wimmera River has continued its good form of yellowbelly in the late evening, with catches from Horsham all the way to Japarit. Bait is the best option in the river, and small yabbies or scrub worms are the way to go when fished on a running sinker rig or even in a weighted jighead to keep the bait in contact with the bottom.
This month I expect Lake Toolondo to start to produce some solid trout. The fishing has been slow due to the high water temperature, but with the water level up and good amounts of baitfish visible, its only a matter or time before the water temperature drops and the bigger trout come out of the weedbeds from their summer slumber.
Don’t expect big fish to come easy though, clear water and seasoned trophy trout makes for hard fishing. These big trout are big for a reason. Bring all your tricks and put in the hours. Aim for overcast days with a bit of a breeze. Daiwa Double Clutches, F7 Rapalas and Bent Minnows are a good starting point.
Fly fishing is also a fantastic option at Toolondo, and dusk sessions are the pick of the bunch. Have a wander around the shallows and take the time to match the hatch. If in doubt, tie on a Woolly Bugger and wait for the evening rise.Reads: 459