Monster trout are emerging
  |  First Published: June 2017

While 12 June signals closed season for trout fishing in creeks and streams, this month is typically the start of fantastic lake fishing for trout within our region. The cold weather is well and truly here and the monster trout are emerging from the weed beds to feed on smelt and minnows.

Out here in the west we are spoilt for choice when it comes to lake fishing. With the aid of last year’s wet winter and the Fisheries drought relief stocking program, it truly is hard to choose what lake to target on your day off.

Lake Toolondo and Lake Fyans come to mind when chasing a trophy brown trout. These lakes can be fished in a similar manner, but you need to have your weedless skills up to scratch. These lakes are lined with a thick carpet of long weed. While this weed is the thorn in the foot of most fishers, it’s the main reason we have such great fisheries. Any seasoned angler should have a few options up their sleeve to fish these waters.

Trolling shallow running lures is the obvious solution and works fine. Bent Minnows are also a great way to target the clean water over the weed when casting into shallower sections. If you’re keen to push into the weed to open up more water, look into fishing plastics in a weedless fashion. The Texas and Carolina rigs are the best options.

Worm style plastics or finesse are proving to be a smart choice. Don’t discount a few solid redfin as by-catch either. For the bait fishos, floating a worm, mudeye or minnow under a bubble float is the best method. If the wind is low, don’t bother tying off to a tree, but allow the boat to drift slowly to cover more ground.

If the weed seems like too much hard work, the deeper waters of Rocklands Reservoir, Lake Wartook and Lake Bellfield all offer fantastic trout and redfin fishing at this time of the year, and on a mostly rocky base. Bottom bashing plastics in an ultra slow retrieve has been accounting for many large redfin. On the days they seem slow, try going to a small vibe or blade hopped along the bottom.

These lures have a tendency to get an aggression strike out of a fish that was previously shut down. Trolling is by far the best method for targeting trout. Running one lure high in the water column and one lower is a good combination. Run one lure 15ft behind the other for maximum success.

Pink Tassie Devils and purple number 2 Stumpjumpers are hard to go past lately with both performing well in recent weeks. If you’re fishing Rocklands, it’s worth upsizing your leader, as you never know what you might hook. Cod have been to blame for a few bust-offs in recent times while chasing redfin.

Mount William Creek and the Wimmera River have continued their good form due to environmental and natural flows. Some very healthy redfin have been falling victim to both baits and lures. Paddle-tail soft plastics in natural colours have been the best method. Coaxing a yellowbelly out is a bit harder now due to the colder temperatures, but still possible. The most successful method has been bobbing soft vibes or scrub worms on heavy structure. It seems the closer you get to Japarit, the better the yellowbelly get.

Taylors Lake has been a bit quiet recently, but I expect the cod to fire up a bit over the coming months. Late night bait fishing in the shallows or early morning sessions with big surface lures would be my choice.

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