Summer rains freshen up Wimmera waters
  |  First Published: March 2007

Over the last few days we have had some good soaking rain here in the Wimmera, with widespread heavy falls freshening up many of our parched waterways. The Wimmera River is still low but is now looking a lot healthier than it has for some time. Our lakes also received some small inflows of fresh water, which has really helped bring the fish back into feeding mode. Let’s hope we get more good falls of rain soon to get our once great waterways back the to way they used to be.

Wimmera River

There has been some great fishing in the river with catfish, golden perch and redfin being taken at Dimboola on worms, yabbies and lures. I have also heard of a few large Murray cod being taken near Dimboola.

A very large Murray cod measuring well over 1m and in excess of 40kg was caught not far from the Riverside area near Horsham last week. The angler got a few photos and successfully released this great fish back into the river, which was great to hear. Some Murray cod are being taken around Horsham up to 70cm, but unfortunately not many anglers here practise catch and release.

I have been fishing the river around Horsham and Riverside a fair bit and catching some nice golden perch to 2.5kg, plus a few silver perch as well. Baits such as small yabbies, peeled yabby tail and worms have been working well. Most of the larger golden perch I have caught recently have fallen to spinnerbaits fished slowly amongst the snags. A few redfin have been caught as well.

The lower Norton area is also fishing well with a few redfin and golden perch being taken on yabbies and lures fished amongst the snags. Catfish and carp have been caught here on worms.

Lake Wartook

The trout fishing continues to be excellent here with rainbows and browns to 1.8kg being taken on mudeye, powerbait and trolled Tassie Devil lures. Most deeper areas of the lake near the wall and towards the island and timbered area are fishing well in the mornings and evenings.

The flyfishing has been good too, with good numbers of rising trout working the windlanes early in the mornings. The evening rise has also been well worth a few flicks. Best flies have been Mrs Simpsons, Bloody Marys and Roughies.

A few redfin are being caught on trolled lures and gudgeon. They have been mostly small, up to 400g, but are still a bit of fun if the trout go quiet during the middle of the day.

Lake Bellfield

This lake is still very low but at the moment has water flowing into it after the recent rains. A few good rainbow trout have been caught on mudeyes and by flyfishing from the bank with Mrs Simpson flies. The average rainbow has been around 1kg, with a few small browns being caught as well. The best trout fishing here is early in the mornings but the evenings can also be quite good.

Plenty of redfin are being caught using most methods, but their average size has been very small with only the occasional keeper amongst them.

Taylors Lake

This lake is also very low. Only small boats can be launched, and care must be exercised. The bank fishing has been good with redfin, golden perch, carp and Murray cod on offer. The best method has been to fish yabbies, gudgeon and worms amongst the snags. Lures have also taken a few nice fish recently.

With the water clarity very good, I took a nice cod of 75cm after work a week ago using a purple spinnerbait fished near a rock ledge. This fish was very fat and in terrific condition, and put up a good battle before I let him go. A lot of small Murray cod are being caught by anglers fishing for golden perch and redfin – but bigger cod are definitely in there too.

Rocklands reservoir

Some good redfin to 1.5kg are being taken at the wall end of Rocklands Reservoir both from the bank and from small boats, in spite of the low water levels. Baitfishing with worms, gudgeon and minnow has been productive but unfortunately the carp have been a bit of a nuisance here as well. Once the schools of redfin have been found some good catches have been made. Trolling with small lures or baitfishing near the trees are good searching methods for redfin here.

Quite a few small brown trout have been caught on mudeye and peeled yabby tail, with the occasional good trout to 2kg being taken. Fishing the evenings and after dark may well be the best method to catch one of the trophy browns that live in this water because the large amount of boat traffic on the weekends often puts the trout off the bite during the day.

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