Wartook Opens Again Post Fires
  |  First Published: June 2006

The great news for Wimmera trout enthusiasts who have lost many of their favourite waters in recent years is that Lake Wartook is now open again after the fires.

Wartook has been fishing very well since opening with good brown trout to 2.5kg and a few redfin too. The average size of trout taken has ranged from 600g to 1.3kg. The redfin have been small, up to about 500g.

Good fishing has been had from boats and from the shore with the wall area producing most of the best fishing.

Baitfishing with mudeye and gudgeon under bubble floats or unweighted scrubworms and yabby tails on the bottom has been producing some great brown trout.

I have been spending a fair bit of time up at Wartook recently and the fish seem to be biting well from about mid afternoon to evening. Very early morning starts aren’t needed up here at present.

Trolling with Tassie Devils and Rapala minnow spoons has been very productive with the best colours being either gold, brown or orange. The trolling has been best along the timbered area, about half way up the lake from the wall.

Flyfishing methods have been taking their fair share of Wartook trout with Mrs Simpsons, Hammils Killers, Woolly Worms and Bloody Marys all worth a try. I’ve noticed the fish are rising very well in the early mornings and evenings, but on a good still day, with a stable barometer, they’ll often rise right throughout the day.

When there’s no surface activity it’s still worth blind fishing a large Mrs Simpson amongst the reeds as many big browns are taken this way at Wartook every year.

The lake is presently about half full and boats can easily be launched at the ramp.

Wimmera River

With the onset of the cooler weather the river fishing has quietened down a little. Around Horsham a few yellowbelly, Murray cod and catfish are still being caught as well as a few redfin behind the weir but you have to put the time in for them.

At Dimboola some very large yellowbelly to 3kg have been caught recently as well as a few nice catfish, but things are certainly getting slower as we head towards winter.

Baitfishing with worms and yabbies has been best with very few fish reported on lures.

Taylors Lake

The fishing will also start to get a bit slower at Taylors as the water temperature drops away. Some nice redfin are still being taken in reasonable numbers by bait anglers fishing from the shore and from boats using gudgeon, worms and whitebait.

Only the occasional yellowbelly has been taken but a few respectable Murray cod have been caught in the last few weeks. Baitfishing has been best for the yellas with yabbies working well when fished around the timber. Cheese has also taken a few Taylors cod recently. There have been a lot of undersize cod caught over summer, which is a good sign for the future. Release them carefully to minimise damage and ensure survival.

Rocklands Reservoir

The fishing has been a bit on and off at Rocklands – a bit like our monthly rainfall figures.

Anglers putting in the time have taken some nice redfin lately. The wall area is a good spot to start. Trolled lures and gudgeon fished amongst the timber is the way to go.

A few large carp have also been caught.

The trout seem to be a bit quiet but they should start to fire up as surface temperatures cool. The best way to get onto Rocklands trout, which can be quite large at times, is to fish either mudeyes or minnows under bubble floats.

Lake Bellfield

The trout fishing has been going alright at Bellfield with both brown and rainbows taken on mudeyes, PowerBait and scrubworms fished from the bank.

The mornings and evenings have produced the best fishing. Plenty of small redfin have also been taken.

The water level is very low but it remains a beautiful spot to spend a few hours trout fishing from the shore with the family – my son loves the place! Check out the tourist town of Halls Gap on the way home too, to round out a top day in the great outdoors.

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