Dry Winter Dampens Anglers’ Spirits
  |  First Published: August 2006

It looks like another dry Wimmera winter with well below average rainfalls for the last few months.

The Wimmera River is the lowest I’ve ever seen with small islands appearing all over the place and areas of salty, stagnant water becoming more common. The river is still just hanging on in the upper reaches toward Stawell, around Horsham and toward lower Norton and Dimboola, but the present state of the river is a far cry from what it was this time last year. Let’s hope we get some decent late winter and spring rains to give the river a much needed flush.

Wimmera River

I usually don’t bother with fishing the river at this time of year. The water temperatures are just too cold for the natives. However, the redfin seem to be making something of a comeback in the river. Good specimens have been taken near Glenorchy, the Horsham Weir and at lower Norton, particularly by anglers casting small spinners such as Ondexs and Hogbacks. These redfin have been around the pound mark, which is an excellent eating size for these fish.

Quite a few big carp have been caught recently too, particularly at the Horsham Weir. Worms fished on the bottom has been the best method. Some of these carp have approached 4kg.

Police Paddock Dam, Horsham

This is a great place to take the kids fishing. I have been taking my young bloke here a bit lately and have been surprised by some good catches of small to medium size redfin, tench and a few rainbow trout. Worms and gudgeons have been the best baits. This place seems to fish well right through the day.

Lake Wartook

The trout fishing continues to be quite good at Wartook with browns to 2.5kg being caught. They’ve averaged between 800g and a kilo. The wall area has been producing the best fishing with early mornings the best time to give it a go.

Baits such as mudeyes, peeled yabby tails and worms have been doing the damage, but the trout have been a bit selective depending on the day. One day they’re hot for the mudeyes, the next they won’t touch them but will happily take scrubworms. Take a variety of baits and you should be right.

The trolling and flyfishing has been a bit quiet lately but is still worth a go if last year is anything to by. Large wet flies fished deep and slow are the go – Bushy’s Horrors and Mrs Simpsons should work well for those flyfishers who persevere. Trollers would struggle to go past winged lures such as Tassie Devils and Cobras.

Lake Bellfield

This beautiful little lake near Halls Gap is very low but still worth a fish. A few nice rainbows and browns have been taken of late.

Baitfishing has been best with mudeyes and scubworms fished from the shore doing well, particularly at first and last light if you can brave the cold conditions. The rainbows are going well with many around a kilo being taken in late June and early July, along with the odd bigger brown. The best area to fish is between the observation tower and the first creek that runs in.

Rocklands Reservoir

This once great lake is now very low at around 2%. Small boats can still be launched with care at the wall area. The redfin fishing seems to have livened up a bit with fish to nearly a kilo being taken on trolled Ondex spinners. A few have also been taken on gudgeons. It’s just a matter of trolling around until you find the schools.

The trout have been a bit on and off, but a nice brown of nearly 2kg was taken near the wall recently on a live minnow fished below a float. I think more trout would be caught here if they were actively targeted a bit more. Most locals seem to fish for redfin but there are some great trout to be taken too.

Glenelg River

The redfin fishing has been good here over winter with Telangatuk, Balmoral and Harrow fishing well. Good bags of reddies around 500g have been taken.

Walking the banks and casting spinners at the snags has been the best method. Glenelg redfin look terrific having very dark, olive bodies with bright red fins. It’s a great little river to spend a days fishing with terrific scenery and easy access.

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