Wimmera fishing warming up
  |  First Published: December 2004

The lakes and rivers in the Wimmera region have been fishing reasonable well, despite low water levels in most lakes and poor water quality in many stretches of the Wimmera River.

Anglers putting in the time and being particular with bait and tackle are still doing alright, but, in my opinion, the fishing this season has been the quietest I’ve ever seen it. Let’s hope that changes.

Taylors Lake

The yellowbelly and Murray cod have been a bit inconsistent due to the lake’s water being steadily drained for farming needs. However, there have still been a few good catches taken by those putting in the time.

The best baits have been yabbies and scrubworms fished around the structure. Lurefishing off the wall with spinnerbaits and deep divers is also productive on the lake’s yellowbelly with the odd cod often encountered. The yellowbelly here average around 1kg, but have been taken up to 4kg mark.

With the season now open, Murray cod are well worth targeting as there are some huge fish around the 20kg mark in these waters. Most cod here are caught on large yabbies, but lurefishing is well worth a try.

Redfin to 1kg have been taken in reasonable numbers on baits of gudgeon, whitebait and worms. Carp of all sizes are being caught all over the lake, mostly on worms. Coarse fishing methods work very well here on the carp and they are well worth targeting on the days when nothing else seems to be biting.

Wimmera River

The fishing in the river has been quite good already this season. The best areas to fish have been the big water, riverside, Horsham Weir, Polkemmet and Dimboola stretches. Catfish, yellowbelly, silver perch, redfin and carp are all being taken.

Baitfishing with worms in the evening has been the most productive, particularly on the silver perch which have been up to 3.5kg in weight. Fishing after dark with a big bunch of worms is the best way to snare a catfish or two, particularly around Horsham and Dimboola. For catfish, fish the bait unweighted and around any structure, particularly tree roots.

A few Murray cod have been caught around the Horsham area by anglers fishing for yellowbelly, which is a good sign. The cod average about 40-55cm and all should be released carefully after capture so we may have a good cod fishery here in years to come.

Lurefishing with StumpJumpers, Hogback Spinners and spinnerbaits has been working very well on the yellowbelly, particularly at the big water and riverside areas. Some of these yellowbelly have been quite large, too, around 3-4kg and take a lot of work to get out of the snags.

The river hasn’t had a decent flood for many years now due to most of its flow being diverted to storage during the run-off season. As a result, the deeper areas of most of the river aren’t worth fishing due to high salinity levels and the lower Wimmera River around Jeparit is extremely salty. The river needs a good flush out from a natural flood, as the controlled flows the river receives over summer don’t help the river much at all.

Lake Fyans

The trout fishing here in the early morning, evenings and after dark has been quite good for anglers fishing mudeyes under bubble float rigs. Brown trout to 2.5kg and rainbow trout to 1.5kg have been taken. As the water temperature rises over summer the trout will most likely go quiet, though.

Good redfin to 2.5kg are taken here over summer by trolling with Rapalas and Ondex spinners, but weed will be a problem. Drifting with gudgeon and minnows is also very productive here on the redfin and usually produces the best bags of fish.

Lake Wartook

The redfin continue to be quiet here but they may start to fire-up over summer. Trolling with StumpJumper lures or drifting with gudgeon is a good way to catch the reddies here.

The trout fishing has still been good here in the early mornings and evenings for anglers fishing mudeye. Good, hard-fighting browns to 2kg have been taken. The trout usually go a bit quiet here over summer though as the water gets a bit warmer.

Good blackfish are taken here during summer, mostly on worms and mudeye. You really have to fish after dark for the best chance.

Lake Bellfield

This beautiful lake near Halls Gap has been fishing well for redfin to 1kg, a few blackfish and a few wild brown trout. Boats with outboard motors aren’t permitted here, unfortunately, but bank fishing is very good.

The redfin are mostly taken on worms and gudgeon, the blackfish on worms after dark and the trout are best targeted using worms, mudeyes and by flyfishing. This lake is a great spot to take the family for a picnic and is close to many Grampians tourist attractions.

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