Wimmera Natives Begin to Fire
  |  First Published: October 2005

Native fish in this region are really starting to fire up in the Wimmera River and at Taylors Lake. There have been good reports of yellowbelly, silver perch and catfish along with closed season cod that were quickly released.

We’re lucky to have a good fishery in the Wimmera River and at Taylors Lake given that we’ve lost so many waterways over the last few years due to drought. It’s important that we look after these remaining waters by thinking about just how many fish we need to take home.

Wimmera River

The water is looking quite good in the river with moderate water levels around Horsham, Riverside, Wail and Dimboola. The clarity has made lure fishing well worth the effort. There have been some big yellowbelly taking spinnerbaits cast into the snags in the Riverside area. As we head towards summer the lure fishing should improve further. Bait anglers are having the best results at present with some good yellowbelly and silver perch averaging around the kilo mark. Carp and the occasional catfish have also been taken. Decent redfin have been a bit quiet. Scrubworms, live yabbies and peeled yabby tails have been good baits. Early morning and late afternoon have been most productive.

Taylors Lake

The fishing is starting to fire up here with yellowbelly, carp and the occasional good size redfin taken from the bank and from boats fishing the timbered areas. Baitfishing has been producing the best results, especially scrubworms and yabbies. Tie up to a heavily timbered area with a running sinker sliding direct to the hook. Thread a small yabby on it. I lower this rig to the base of any tree stumps and bob the yabby up and down, spending about 15 minutes at every tree. You’ll cover lots of water using this method and it produces good results when other methods fail. The water clarity at the time of writing is good enough for lure fishing and well worth a try. Not many locals bother fishing with lures but at times I have found that they can produce better results than bait, particularly on large fish. Good yellowbelly lures include StumpJumpers, spinnerbaits, Halco Poltergeists and Codgers.

In the week or so leading to the cod closed season, two Murray cod of 5kg and 15kg were taken by anglers using worms. Their kill shots were displayed in the local newspaper. You’re likely to come across a cod when fishing this water regularly so please handle them gently and let them go as we are in the closed season at present.

Lake Bellfield

This lake receives very light fishing pressure but a few local anglers have been getting some good redfin. Trolling from boats with electric motors has been the best method using Rapala minnows, StumpJumpers and Tassie Devils. The redfin are averaging about 250g but some have been close to a kilo. A few rainbow trout have also been caught. The water levels here are very low but small boats can still be launched with care at the boat ramp.

Lake Fyans

Unfortunately, this lake looks set to be the next lake to say goodbye. At the time of writing it’s being drained and may well be near empty by December the way it’s going. Boat launching is near impossible and bank fishing is very difficult.

Lake Wartook

The rising water temperatures have sparked an emergence of aquatic insect life and the trout fishing has been very good. Brown trout to 2.3kg have been taken with a lot of locals doing well using mudeyes fished below bubble floats. The wall and island areas have been fishing well. Trolling has been quiet here, as have the redfin. Flyfishers working Mrs Simpsons, stick caddis and beetle imitations have done well with some excellent flyfishing to be had here early in the morning. Keen fly anglers fishing after dark with Mrs Simpsons and Craig’s Nightime flies have also done well on some larger than average browns. October is always a great month for trout fishing at Wartook and I’d expect this good run of fishing to continue well into November.

Rocklands reservoir

The water level is very low. The fishing has been sporadic with few fishing reports. Some anglers have had success on redfin to a kilo trolling StumpJumpers and Rapalas but the fishing has been mostly quiet.

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