Anglers Rewarded For Their Efforts
  |  First Published: December 2006

The Ballarat district is suffering like everywhere else with the continuing drought conditions. The water storages are at all time low levels and the fishing is very slow. A lot of local anglers are now travelling out of the district to catch fish whether it is down to the saltwater chasing snapper or up the river chasing the elusive Murray Cod.

Those anglers that are still fishing the local Ballarat waters are getting results for their efforts.

All the talk around the local anglers is about when can expect to get rain and if our lakes ever fill again. Lakes such as Purrumbete and Wendouree, one of Victoria’s premier mayfly waters and trout fisheries, are now dry. Lake Wendouree used to have a population of European carp that would have bred and be around in plague proportions so at least that is no longer a problem. Lake Purrumbete was the same many years ago. Anglers travelled from all over the state to fish for redfin and in the end Purrumbete was full of carp once again.

Enough of all the doom and gloom. Ralph Dorrington, a member of the Lakeside Anglers Club has been fishing Pykes Reservoir near Bacchus Marsh, approx. 30 minutes from Ballarat. Ralph has been catching redfin from 300g-1kg. The successful method of angling has been fishing with a running sinker and a bunch of worms or a small yabby. Pykes will fish very well during the summer mainly at first light and the evening.

Lake Fyans continues to fish very well Tom Phillips and Graeme Burford have been catching excellent brown trout using mudeyes fished under a bubble float. Lake Fyans will continue to fish well once again in the early morning or in the evenings. Flyfishers should try their luck after dark for the next few months while the mudeye hatches occur. I suggest using Craig’s Night-times, Mrs Simpson, Hamill’s Killer and also a Muddler Minnow.

Geoff Hetherington has been fishing Gong Gong Reservior in the evenings and catching rainbow and brown trout using caddis moth imitations. The Gong fishes very well on summer evenings and is well worth a try for trout and redfin. All forms of angling can be suggested from flyfishing to bait fishing.

Ballarat flyfishers club members have been fishing Dean Reservior some Monday nights during the daylight savings period. Many trout have been observed chasing damsel flies and dragon flies and Dean Reservior is another water well worth fishing.

I fished Lake Purrumbete with Rowan Thorne recently and landed several fish to 2kg. All fish were taken flyfishing from a boat using intermediate and sinking fly lines. The most successful areas were drifting along the edges of the weed beds fishing smelt patterns. The most successful fly was a Grey BMS Special as a lot of fish were moving on the surface chasing smelt.


Rowan Thorne with a 2kg trout taken from Lake Purrumbete.


Rowan Thorne with a quinnat salmon prior to the fish’s release.


Lake Wendouree is now a dry dust bowl.


Lance Kean with a 6kg European carp. These fish can no longer be found in Lake Wendouree.

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