Trout quiet, yellas fire
  |  First Published: December 2007

With the onset of hotter weather and longer days, the fishing for native species in the Wimmera region has started to fire up, with good catches being made at Taylors Lake and from the Wimmera River. The trout waters generally go a bit quiet over summer, but I don’t think that will make much difference this year, as our trout waters have been quiet all year. Many Wimmera anglers have given up on fishing the local waters, due to low water levels and poor fish stockings, but there is still good fishing to be found. It’s just not as easy as it used to be!

Wannon River

I have been making regular trips to this great little river, and while the redfin aren’t as red hot as they were a month ago, the fishing has still been pretty good.

There are a number of productive stretches of river between Cavendish and Hamilton. I just walk the banks casting lures at the snags and weed beds. My most successful lures here include StumpJumpers, Rapala Shad Raps and Husky Jerks. The redfin I have been getting are around 1kg, and they sure are great to eat.

I recently hooked something in the Wannon River a bit bigger than usual, and after about ten minutes of long, slow and hard runs I had a huge eel thrashing around at my feet, which I released after a few photos. I was very surprised to hook an eel while lure casting, and I have never seen one that big before either.

I have been seeing a few snakes about lately while fishing the Wannon, so take care while walking the banks.

Wimmera River

The fishing has really started to come good in the Wimmera River, especially in stretches such as the Big Water, Riverside and at Horsham. At the moment there is an environmental flow going through the river, which has really put the golden perch on the bite. The larger fish have been caught at the Big Water, with an estimated 8kg ‘yella’ caught last weekend on a StumpJumper lure. It was released after a few photos. Plenty of other golden perch of 2–3kg are also taking lures at the Big Water, just out of Horsham.

The Riverside area has also been very good for anglers casting lures and spinnerbaits at the snags, with golden perch from 1–2kg commonly caught, along with the occasional redfin and silver perch.

Baitfishing with worms and yabbies has been productive for golden perch, with catfish also starting to bite well now, particularly after dark.

Mckenzie River

The stretch of McKenzie River near Lake Wartook has been fishing well for brown trout and redfin, as well as for river blackfish for the bait anglers. I prefer to walk the banks here casting small lures such as Rapala CD5s and soft plastics. The average size of the trout and redfin is usually small, but from time to time larger fish are encountered. The best trout here are 1.5kg, but at that size they are very well educated and at times hard to get close to in the small, clear creek.

Baitfishing by drifting mudeyes or worms down the runs is also very productive here, and is also a good way to catch a few good-sized blackfish.

Taylors Lake

Many anglers have been fishing in Taylors Lake recently, despite the very low water levels. The fishing has been inconsistent, which is pretty normal for native fisheries. At times it has been fishing very well.

Golden perch to 1.5kg, redfin to 800g, a few small Murray cod and plenty of carp are being caught amongst the timber, mostly by bait anglers using worms, yabbies and gudgeon. There has also been the odd large brown trout caught, which happens from time to time here. These trout enter the lake from the inlet channel, which is fed from other reservoirs in the region.

There is a good population of large Murray cod in Taylors Lake, but strangely enough they are very rarely targeted. Most of the big cod are caught on baits such as yabbies and bardi grubs, particularly when during the full moon. Murray cod to 35kg have been caught in this water, but you usually have to put in a lot of time to get one.

Very little lure fishing has been taking place here, as the water is still a bit dirty. I am sure spinnerbaits would be well worth a try amongst the many snags. Don’t forget this lake doesn’t get stocked very well, so catch and release is the way to go for the native species if we are to have a fishery here in the next few seasons.

The boat ramp is now well out of the water but small boats can still be launched with care.

A huge eel the author caught on a lure while fishing for redfin in the Wannon River.

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