The Ballarat district has received some much-needed and highly anticipated rainfall over the last month. We have a long way to go though and still require a wetter than normal winter for our storages to get back to levels that would guarantee that Fisheries will once again stock them with trout.
Tullaroop Reservoir has once again fired up to be the shining light in the district, with anglers gaining reward for efforts with all forms of angling. Twelve members of the Lakeside Anglers Club recently fished Tullaroop with excellent results. Five brown trout were caught for the day, ranging in size from 1.7–2.0kg. All trout were in excellent condition and were caught using gudgeon fished on the bottom with a running sinker. The trout had been feeding on smelt or tiny minnows, which is a suggestion to the flyfishers to use smelt patterns and to the lure casters to use minnow patterns.
Tullaroop will continue to fish very well over the next few months as the water level rises over new ground and the trout come in around the shoreline foraging for drowned-out grubs and other insects.
At Lake Purrumbete Geoff Cramer reports that brown trout have been taken around Rainbow Point by anglers casting pink Tassie Devils from the shore. The lake level is pretty low so boat angling is impossible unless you gain access through private property. Anglers have to wade through the weeds and cast their lures out into the open water. Once again you just have to be in the right spot at the right time when a feeding fish swims past.
Lake Wartook in the Grampians continues to fish very well, with anglers catching both rainbow and brown trout using all forms of angling.
Waters around Ballarat worth looking at over the next couple of months will be the Gong Gong Reservoir, Cosgroves and one of my favourite winter fisheries for trout, Cairn Curran.
On the right day, trout at Cairn Curran chase smelt throughout the shallow bays and around the edges. Flyfishing for them can be frustrating, but also very rewarding. Perseverance and a bit of luck is the key to catching these fish, and in Cairn Curran a very big trophy trout is not out of the question.
As the fishing in the district slows during winter, it is a good time of the year to have a look at our fishing gear in preparation for the upcoming season only a few months away.
Rods should be checked to see that the guides have no wear marks in them on which lines could get frayed and break when loaded up with that elusive big fish. Lines should be replaced at least every couple of years, or even more frequently if used often. Fishing reels should have some sort of lubricant put onto the running gear once a year.
Anglers should have a look at their hooks to see they are not rusty and trebles on lures should be replaced. I have lost a few fish over the years because I have not bothered to check my fishing gear. We spend a lot of time effort and money on our sport so why not have everything in our favour when we go out and wet a line.
Winter is also a good time to read up on new angling techniques, methods, lures, destinations and plan your next season’s fishing activities.Reads: 2900