Good Fishing Despite Low Water
  |  First Published: November 2005

Most of our waterways are very low due to ongoing drought conditions, which weren’t helped by poor run-off in spring.

Lake Fyans looks set to be the next lake to disappear. It’s being drained and will most likely be closed to recreational activities this summer. Despite all the doom and gloom, the fishing has been reasonably good for trout, redfin and native fishing enthusiasts with some great catches in recent weeks.

Wimmera River

The native fish are now very active in the river, particularly in the Horsham, Riverside and Wail areas. Yellowbelly to 2kg and silver perch to 1.3kg have been biting well on worms and yabbies along with a few redfin and the occasional catfish.

Early mornings and late afternoons have produced the best fishing on days of good barometric pressure.

Many local anglers are trying their luck in the river after work to finish off the day. It is good to see that most are practising some catch and release.

Lure fishing with spinnerbaits and StumpJumper lures can be very productive in the river but baitfishing has been producing the best results.

Taylors Lake

Many anglers have been fishing this lake lately and results would suggest that it’s been a little hot and cold here for yellowbelly. Some nice goldens around 1.5kg have been taken on worms and yabbies by anglers putting in the time and effort usually required to successfully fish this lake. The best fishing has been had from boats right in close to the dead trees. Bobbing yabbies along the base of individual trees has been the way to go.

Lure fishing is also worth a try here at the moment with spinnerbaits, StumpJumpers and Codger lures a good choice.

Small to medium sized redfin and carp have also been taken, mostly on worms.

Lake Bellfield

The redfin fishing continues to be quite good here with numbers of redfin to 1kg taken. Gudgeon has been the number one bait but trolling with electrics has also been very productive. Rapalas, Tassie Devils and StumpJumper lures work well here, as do bladed spinners.

The release of rainbow trout into Bellfield appears to be a success with reports of some fat little specimens around 600g taken by anglers fishing for redfin.

Lake Wartook

Thumping big browns to 2.8kg have been taken recently. Anglers haven’t been catching big bags of fish but the average size of trout has been very good with most between 1.5 and 2kg.

Boat fishing has been producing the best results with mudeyes, scrubworms and trolling with Tassie Devil lures working well. Good areas have been the island, Langlands Bay and out in front of the wall.

Most fish have been caught using bubble float rigs with baits suspended within a metre of the bottom.

I recently took a nice 2.3kg brown while fishing with mudeye below a bubble float at the island. It was full of small and large yabbies and was caught on a deeply fished bait.

The flyfishing has also been good with Mrs Simpsons, Craig’s Nightime and Woolly Worm flies producing some good fish. Most of the flyfishing here is blind searching with a sinking line. The early morning windlane flyfishing hasn’t really been happening in the last few months.

The redfin fishing has been a bit disappointing with mostly small fish taken on trolled StumpJumpers and by drifting with gudgeon.

Rocklands reservoir

The fishing hasn’t been red hot but there has been some redfin and the occasional brown trout taken around the wall area. Baitfishing with gudgeon and minnow has been best for redfin, particularly when drifting around the timber. The average size of redfin has been small but some have been between 500g and 1.5kg.

A few brown trout to 2kg have been taking mudeye and minnow fished under bubble floats. Early morning and evening have produced the best results. Despite the low water level of just 3 per cent at the time of writing, boats can still be launched at the wall area.

Police Paddock dam

Many young anglers have enjoyed fishing for rainbow trout that were stocked in the September school holidays. Baitfishing with worms and PowerBait have produced the best results. It’s good to see that most fish caught are being released. While fishing for the rainbows, a few small redfin as well as tench and carp have also been taken.

Glenelg River

Good reports of redfin catches have been coming from this beautiful river for some time now with Fulhams Reserve, Harrow and Cherrypool producing good bags of between 500g and 1kg, along with a few blackfish and tench. Baitfishing with worms and gudgeon has been the best method but spinners should also be worth a go, particularly at Cherrypool.

The redfin have been biting right throughout the day and it’s well worth the trip if you’re after a few for the table.

McKenzie River

This attractive little river in the Grampians is only lightly fished but contains a good population of brown trout, redfin and blackfish. Good areas to try are found at Zumsteins, Mackenzie Falls, below Lake Wartook and at Smiths Mill. Most of the trout in this river are escapees from Lake Wartook, but natural breeding of trout does take place here as well. The average size of trout is usually small, around 30 to 40cm, but larger fish can be caught if you tread the banks lightly and remain out of sight because the water is crystal clear.

Spinning with Celtas and Ondex lures is the easiest method of fishing for trout here and can be great fun on the redfin too. As most of the banks are overgrown, flyfishing can be very frustrating but dry flies such as Red Tags, March Browns and small nymphs will take trout here if the cast is good.

Bait drifting with worms and mudeyes fished unweighted also works well with the bonus of the odd blackfish and occasional good redfin.

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