Rejuvenated river has bass and reddies
  |  First Published: April 2017

With recent environmental flows from Rocklands Reservoir, the upper Glenelg River is rejuvenated and looking more like a river instead of a series of pools and puddles. These flows have come at a perfect time for bass to migrate downstream with the hopes of breeding, or just moving on to a better looking snag. These flows also promote movement of schooled redfin as they go their own way for winter.

This is a great time of the year to drag out the kayak or put on some gaiters and walk the banks of the lesser fished stretches between Rocklands wall and Harrow. The bass will be grumpy and redfin will be feeding well. Lure fishing is the pick of the methods here and surface lures would be my first choice when deciding what to tie on. Walk-the-dogs, cicadas and micro poppers will give you a well-rounded surface arsenal.

Be sure to work each snag with multiple retrieve methods, as sometimes a long pause is all that’s required to entice the strike. If you’re more of a bait fisho, try a scrub worm under a float. Fish it shallow at the start and end of the day, but deeper in full sun. Flyfishing can also be a productive option here. Wet flies that imitate smelt or redfin fry would be a wise choice.

Lake Charlegrark is often overlooked due to its location, however it has been producing some good catches of cod and will continue to as the cold weather approaches. Yabbies or worms are the go to bait fished on the bottom with a running sinker rig. If lures are your preferred method, think Ballista Dynos and large StumpJumpers. Staying in contact with the bottom is the key to success here. A lure retriever tool will come in handy too.

Most of the lakes have still been producing good catches of redfin and it seems there is no best method. Be it bait, lure or fly, good numbers of redfin have been caught across the region. Once again, Lake Fyans has been the standout, if you’re chasing a good day out. Newcomers to Fyans can often be frustrated by the weed beds that litter the lake’s floor, however, these are the key to filling your creel with reddies. The closer and slower you can fish to the weed, the heavier your bag will be. Weedless rigged plastics are a favourite for those in the know.

Lake Wartook is worth a look. Some great redfin catches have come from the island and wall area. The best part about the island is no matter which way the wind is blowing you can always find a protected bay or point. Soft plastics and small bibbed minnows have produced good results. Due to water clarity here, it’s worth tying on the more realistic lures in your tackle bag. A rainbow trout pattern would be hard to go past in the shallows. For flyfishers, have a look at the Black Magic Jellybean plastic.

The Wimmera River has continued its good form with some solid yellowbelly coming from the deeper sections. Both the Jeparit and Dimboola Weir have been producing yellas month after month. Stocking of the Wimmera and good winter flows are starting to show their worth, with fat healthy fish being readily caught.

The standout section over the last month would be Horseshoe Bend to Dimboola. The river through this section has some well-established snags and deep holes to provide an easy life for these river dwellers. However, these same snags can be costly for the lure angler. Bobbing yabbies is a far simpler method that won’t leave the tackle box empty. For the lure angler, sounding up structure and then casting at it is generally a better option than trolling your favourite lure. Small spinnerbaits and vibes in natural colours are often successful.

Looking forward, all eyes are on Lake Toolondo and its trophy winter trout emerging from the weed. If you’re not into fishing with the crowd, Wartook and Bellfield will be sure to produce some fantastic trout. Why these mountain lakes sit in the shadow of Toolondo is beyond me. They are both class acts.

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