Top fishing at Wartook
  |  First Published: September 2007

At the moment the Ballarat district is pretty quiet in terms of the fishing, with many anglers still in their winter slumber mode. That’s all about to change, with renewed fishing optimism and another trout fishing season about to start.

Lake Wartook in the Grampians has been fishing exceptionally well, with both rainbow and brown trout being caught. All forms of angling methods have proven to be successful.

Recently the Ballarat Flyfishers Club and the Horsham Flyfishers Club fished for the Wartook Trophy, an annual competition between the clubs. Approximately 30 flyfishers fished in some crazy weather conditions – one minute there was not a breath of wind, then the next freezing cold northerlies were blowing straight down the lake. Despite the indifferent conditions there were approximately half a dozen fish caught. Hank Landman from the Ballarat club was the most successful angler, with a good brown trout of 1.73kg, caught on fly.

Lake Wartook is a lovely place nestled in the heart of the Grampians and it’s a great place to fish. I’m sure with the right weather conditions and a few insects on the water, the trout will be up on the surface feeding freely. It’s well worth a look, and I for one will be back in the coming months.

Tullaroop Reservoir is still the place to fish closer to Ballarat, with the trout feeding on smelt around the shorelines and bays. As the weather warms up once again, and the reservoir’s water level continues to rise, the chironomid hatches will start to occur in the evenings. Every year in September and October, the chironomid fishing is usually excellent at Tullaroop. This type of fishing can be very frustrating though, if the trout get very fussy and start taking single chironomids. A variety of dry flies may be needed to find the successful pattern, so once again patience normally wins out.

Cairn Curran, like Tullaroop, is a preferred destination for anglers fishing early in the new season. Bait, lure and fly are all successful methods of angling.

Lake Fyans is looking very good for the new season too. I called in the other day to see what the water level was like and it had the most water I have seen in it for the last two years. This season Fyans could produce some very large trout, with no pressure over the last couple of seasons because of the very low water levels. All methods of angling are very good at Fyans, but the most successful is a mudeye suspended under a bubble float, fished either from the shore or boat. Boat anglers should be careful of submerged tree stumps.

Lakes Purrumbete and Bullen Merri will be the destination for a lot of anglers once again this season. Both lakes have been continually stocked by Fisheries, unlike some others affected by low water levels.

The big bonus for Lake Purrumbete is that the lake has been virtually closed to fishing, with only shore-based anglers able to fish. Now water levels are high enough for boat access, the lake is back in business and the fish will be hungry.

Anglers trolling lures, bait fisherman and flyfishers have all been waiting anxiously for boat access so they can once again get amongst the quality trout, salmon and redfin that Purrumbete holds.

Back closer to Ballarat, waters like Cosgroves, Newlyn Hepburn and Gong Gong should not be forgotten, as they all hold good stocks of fish.

The new trout season always gets keen trout anglers fired up to wet a line and pursue our true passion – so I might see you out there.

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