Trophy Trout Time
  |  First Published: June 2005

Most local Wimmera anglers pack away their fishing gear during the winter months and wait for the warmer weather of spring before they venture out fishing again. In doing this, some of the best freshwater fishing the region has to offer is missed out on.

The trout fishing at lakes such as Wartook and Fyans is of a very high standard this time of year with trolling, flyfishing and bait fishing all taking their share of trophy browns and rainbows.

The redfin taken during winter may not be as prolific as over summer, but their average size is a lot better. Lake Fyans always seems to produce redfin topping the 2.5kg mark during the cooler months. Even the redfin at Lake Bellfield and the Wimmera River are larger at this time of year.

The native fish won’t be active but the trout and redfin fishing sure makes up for it. But don’t just take my word for it, get out there and give one of our beautiful lakes a go this winter!

Lake Fyans

The trout fishing has been excellent with mostly rainbow trout being taken and averaging around the 1.5kg mark. A few browns are also being caught including some trophy fish in excess of 3kg.

Fishing either bug or couta mudeyes under bubble floats has been the best method and the trout have been biting best during periods of stable barometric pressure. The weed bed areas are where the trout have been feeding heavily in this food rich lake.

It’s now a good time to target the lakes larger redfin that are often over 2kg. The best way to connect with one of these big reddies is to slow troll StumpJumpers, Rapala CD5’s, Ondex and Hogback spinners. Drifting with gudgeon and yabbies also works well at times.

Lake Wartook

The brown trout fishing has been good with fish averaging around 1kg although there have also been a few to 2.2kg. These trout are taking a variety of baits with mudeye and gudgeon under bubble floats taking most fish at the moment. Scrubworms, peeled yabby tails and peeled prawn tails are also working well, particularly on a running sinker rig cast off the wall. I have been doing a lot of fishing here off the wall lately and taking a number of good size brown trout.

In my opinion, the two most important things to have on your side at this lake when trout fishing is to start fishing at sunrise and have plenty of large black mudeyes. For some reason the best trout fishing here is always at first light. Interestingly, I have never done any good before sunrise. The black mudeye definitely outfishes all other baits here. Possibly because they stand out well in the slightly tannin stained water.

Baitfishing has been most productive, but trolling with Tassie Devil lures should also work well this time of year.

The Wimmera River

At the time of writing there’s been catches of redfin and a few yellowbelly and catfish taken in the Horsham area of the river. These catfish and yellowbelly will most likely go quiet through June when the water temperatures dip below their active comfort zones.

Good catches of redfin can still be made here in the winter months, with the section of river below the Horsham Weir to behind the Rifle Range prime water. Baitfishing is most productive and best baits are gudgeon, worms and yabbies.

Rocklands Reservoir

The fishing continues to be a little quiet with only a handful of anglers having success on small numbers of redfin to 1kg here. As we head into winter, the fishing usually picks up for trout and the odd large redfin. Trolling with lures such as StumpJumpers and Rapalas has been the best method to snare a redfin lately, but be prepared for a lot of trolling between hits.

Brown trout and rainbow trout are also present although they are quite challenging at times. However, they’re usually of a good average size and can weigh up to 3kg. Trolling with flouro pink or yellow Tassie Devil lures is a reliable method to take trout at Rocklands. Casting lures such as Pegron Spoons or Wonder Wobblers from the bank can also work well at this time of year when the trout are feeding heavily on the local minnows, particularly around the wall area.

Lake Bellfield

Anglers fishing off the bank have been taking some nice redfin to 1kg on gudgeon and worms as well as some nice brown trout to 1.5kg on mudeyes.

Flyfishing with Mrs Simpsons and Hamills Killers has also taken some nice trout, particularly first thing in the morning.

The most productive area of the lake seems to be at about halfway from the main wall and the south bank where the creeks come in.

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