Trout at the end of the rainbow
  |  First Published: May 2007

Well, we still haven’t had any decent rain to bring some relief to our parched waterways. Every waterway here is really suffering, but luckily there are still a few fish to be caught and our usual wetter months aren’t too far away now.

The fishing at Lake Wartook has been particularly good over the last few weeks, but I must admit finding it hard to fish around here when there is such a good run of bluefin tuna down at Port MacDonnell. So little time and so much fishing!

Lake Wartook

This lake has really been copping a flogging lately as it is one of the few waters that is fishing well. Many people have been taking too many fish out of the lake. There is nothing wrong with keeping a few fish for a feed, but there is no need to take the bag limit of ten trout on every trip. Perhaps a boat limit needs to be put in place to take care of the greedy ones amongst us.

Wartook is very low and the boat ramp is now well out of the water. Small boats can still be launched with care as the ground is quite hard and rocky behind the ramp, but take it easy as it is starting to get soft due to the amount of boaters using this area.

Wimmera River

With cooler weather arriving, the fishing has been getting a bit slower here, but there is still a bit of action to be had. A few yellowbelly and catfish are being caught in the Horsham area with yabbies and peeled yabby tail working well. A great 80cm Murray cod was taken from this area last week by an angler fishing yabbies in the evening.

The water in parts is fairly clear and a few good yellowbelly are still falling to a well-placed spinnerbait amongst the snags. However, the fishing is definitely starting to get a bit slower as the water gets colder.

The police paddock dams

These small waterholes just north of Horsham are always worth a fish, with the larger dam at the back producing some nice redfin at the moment. Anglers fishing with worms and gudgeon have been getting redfin of nearly 1kg as well as a few carp and tench. Try fishing baits unweighted or under a bubble float rig and let the fish run a few metres before striking as they have been a bit touchy and often drop the bait if they feel any weight at all.

Lake Bellfield

The fishing here has been getting better and some decent rainbow trout are being taken, mostly from the bank. Baitfishing with scrubworms and mudeye has been working well but using a float is recommended due to the heavily snagged water here. The best fishing has occurred early in the mornings and if you are prepared to walk a bit, most of the shoreline can easily be fished. Walking the banks casting Tassie Devils and spoon lures also works well here at times, as does fly fishing. The rainbow trout average about 1kg here but large browns are caught from time to time. Some redfin are being taken but they are mostly small.

Lake Fyans

Despite very low water levels a few anglers have been dragging their tinnies through the mud to fish here and have been taking a few fish as well. It seems that trolling has been working the best with Tassie-style lures, small Rapala minnows and spinners. Mostly redfin have been taken as well as few brown trout. There haven’t been huge numbers of fish caught but some have been of a very good size, particularly the redfin.

It is remarkable that there are still fish here to be caught with all this lake has gone through over the last few years – low water levels, netting and no stocking. It just shows that this really is a quality water, and I sure hope it fills up again this season.

Taylors Lake

The fishing for natives has been good here in recent weeks with yellowbelly to 1.5kg and Murray cod to 65cm. They have mostly been taken on yabbies fished from small boats in the timbered areas. A few nice redfin have been caught as well. With the cooler weather coming though, the fishing might start to slow down.

There are some huge cod in here also – a 120cm Murray cod was found dead washed up on the bank recently. We are unsure as to how the cod died; perhaps it was old age or stress from the extremely low water levels. It was a huge fish and must have been around 40kg.

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