Horsham’s spring options
  |  First Published: October 2006

Fishing the Wimmera River recently hasn’t been very exciting recently with only average trout and redfin fishing available at a handful of waters. Now the days are getting longer and warmer, the native fisheries will start to liven up again and provide anglers with more places to fish.

We still need some good rain as our storages are hovering around 6%. Places such as Lake Fyans and the Wimmera River aren’t looking too good and desperately need some rain before summer.

Lake Bellfield

The fishing here has been pretty good over the last month or so with some good rainbow trout to 1.2kg on offer along with plenty of small trout. Redfin are starting to become more active with plenty of small to medium fish taken.

I launch a small tinnie here with an electric motor and troll up and down the lake in the mornings. Winged styled lures are working well with pink the top colour. Small minnows and bladed spinners are also worth a try.

For the best results try baitfishing with worms and mudeyes at first and last light.

The lake is around 12% but if you are prepared to walk a bit then bank access is fine. Small boats are best carried to the water and only electric motors or rowing are allowed here.

Rocklands Reservoir

This once great water is still very low (2%) but the fishing has been good when compared to some of our other waters. Anglers have been launching small boats at the wall and trolling lures or drifting with gudgeon for some good catches of redfin and trout. The average size of the redfin has been 500g but some bigger fish to 1.5kg are also being taken by a lucky few. It is just a matter of putting in the time until you find the schools and best areas.

Anglers targeting brown trout should fish early in the morning with mudeye, minnow and lures. There are some good-sized trout in here and they are well worth trolling and casting for.

Be extra careful when boating at Rocklands as there are heaps of submerged stumps that you can only just see. Remember to keep watch for them and don’t travel at speed.

Lake Wartook

I have been spending a lot of time on Lake Wartook but the trout fishing has been a bit on and off. Some good brown trout to 1.8kg are being taken but there is often a lot of time between bites. It just seems like the place is being short stocked of trout at the moment and it doesn’t look like the rainbows are going to make it in here either.

The lake is now around 45% and the boat ramp is still in excellent condition. The new floating jetty is also now at the ramp which makes things much easier.

I have found early in the morning and late afternoons the best times to fish with mudeye under bubble floats my most productive method. I suggest you take a good book to fill in the time between bites so you don’t fall asleep.

Trolling has also been a bit quiet but a few good trout have been picked up on Tassie style lures, Rapala Minnow Spoons and the new small StumpJumpers. Pink is the hot colour here. Anglers must be prepared to put in the time for the odd reward.

The flyfishing scene has been a bit quiet so far but it may get better when more insects are around in the early morning windlanes.

Moora Moora reservoir

The main access roads to this water were shut for safety reasons in January and are still locked which means anglers can’t access this water. It looks like we have now lost yet another local fishing hot spot.

Police paddock dams at Horsham

The fishing here has been a bit surprising lately with a number of good-sized redfin around. I recently took my son Curtis fishing here and he managed to land a nice 2lb redfin along with four other keepers. Worms or gudgeon fished under bubble floats worked the best for us.

The fishing here can be a bit on and off. One day you might get a few good-sized redfin but the next day they are all tiddlers. A few rainbow trout and tench are also being caught with worms being the best bait.

Wimmera River

A few good catches of redfin to 600g have been made here lately with areas at Horsham and Quantong being well worth a look. Gudgeon and small lures have been best.

October is when the native fish start to fire up and it won’t be long before reports of yellowbelly, catfish, silver perch and Murray cod begin to come in. Just remember that the cod are now out of season.

Baitfishing in the late afternoons with yabbies and worms will be worth a try over the next few weeks as the water temperatures warm up a bit. Lurefishing will also be worth a try if the water clears.

The river is still very low and some stretches are now very salty and stagnant. The water quality is still good from Horsham through to Polkemmet. The Dimboola stretch is still fishable but seems to be crying out for a good flush of water before it too turns out like the salty mess at Jeparit which would be a real environmental disaster. Let’s hope we get some rains and soon at that.

Taylors Lake

Over the last few weeks I have fished here a lot and it is still a bit on the quiet side, but October is usually the month that things start to fire up a bit here.

A few good-sized redfin are being taken with gudgeon, worms and yabbies being top baits here at the moment. It is just a matter of moving around until you find the fish.

The yellowbelly seem very quiet but that could be due to the lake’s level dropping for this seasons channel run. Lurefishing should be well worth a try once the yellas start to fire up a bit.

I can still launch my boat here carefully at the ramp. The lake is at 45% of capacity but as the lake drops below 40% only small tinnies will be able to be put in by most 2WD vehicles.


A good size redfin from Police Paddock Dam at Horsham.


Curtis Vanstan with a ripper brown trout he caught at Lake Wartook on mudeye.

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