The fishing in the Ballarat district has finally fired up. The action’s not as hot as what we would normally expect, but given the low water levels and reduced trout stockings, the season has at least begun for us freshwater fishos.
Newlyn Reservoir has been the pick of the fisheries around Ballarat, with trout chasing smelt along its shorelines. Newlyn’s water level has come up over new ground, covering the grassy banks, and certainly looks very fishy.
Shane Jeffrey has been fishing with both bait and flies, and catching browns of over 1kg. I recently fished out there too, and the trout were rising along the shorelines, feeding on chronomid on the surface. As the weather warms up a little more the chronomid will really start to fire, and the trout will feed on them all day given the right conditions. An overcast day would be perfect. Flies I recommend are obviously chronomid patterns, both dry and wet, and Klinkhammer dries fished very slowly.
I recently visited Lake Purrumbete with Vern Barby for some ‘loch style’ flyfishing along the shores. Boat launching is still very difficult and only small boats are recommended. We had to drag my 4.2m boat through the mud to get to the main body of the lake – but it was worth it. I managed to land a Quinnat salmon of around 1.2kg, using a sinking line and a Woolly Bugger stripped very quickly. Vern lost a brown trout of about the same size right at the boat.
Bank fishing at Purrumbete is certainly easily accessible, and productive anglers have been catching trout and salmon using all forms of angling methods. The low water level gives the shore-based angler the ability to fish in amongst the weed beds that are normally out of reach. Drifting bait or casting lures around these weed beds has proven to be very successful.
Tullaroop Reservoir is again proving to be a very consistent fishery and just seems to keep producing fish, even though Fisheries don’t stock it. The trout have been chasing smelt around the edges, and also feeding on midge in the evenings.
Ballarat angler Keith Riddsdale has been fishing around Picnic Point on the south side of the Reservoir. He hasn’t had a lot of success, but has seen plenty of large trout chasing smelt out in the deeper water. Keith said that the water has come up over new ground, and when this happens, Cairn Curran is normally a very good fishery. When the chronomid start to hatch, the trout come in out of the deeper water and feed. I am waiting for a warm evening and I will be over there chasing them.
Victoria Park Lakes, in the centre of Ballarat, was the venue for the recent Kids Fishing Day run by the Ballarat and District Angling Association. Over 120 kids turned up for the day, and all these future anglers were given show bags containing fishing books, tackle, Powerbait and other goodies. The kids all had a great day’s fishing, with the water being stocked with trout only days before the event. There were lots of rainbow trout caught around 400–500g. Congratulations to all concerned for putting the day on for our future anglers.Reads: 1811