Summer Silvers Surprising
  |  First Published: December 2005

With the onset of warmer water temperatures and more angler friendly weather, some great fishing has been had here in the Wimmera region over the last month. It looks set to continue right throughout the summer.

The top two waters at present are the Wimmera River, which has really turned it on for the native anglers, and Taylors Lake, which is yielding yellowbelly.

We have had some excellent rain in November with resulting inflows to our storages, but they are still very low at around nine percent of overall capacity. The Wimmera River is holding a good level of water in most stretches, apart from downstream of Dimboola.

Lake Wartook

Despite recent hot weather, the trout fishing has been very good here for big browns to 2.8kg, averaging around 1.5kg. By far the best method is baitfishing using mudeyes or scrubworms fished below bubble floats. The boat anglers are getting the best results but fishing off the wall is also worth a try.

Trolling has been successful on the trout using Tassie Devil lures, Rapala minnows and spoons. Small redfin are also taking trolled lures but there doesn’t seem to be too many decent ones amongst the tiddlers.

The flyfishing has been quite good for those anglers keen enough to be up first thing in the morning, casting at rising trout in the wind lanes. Good flies are Mrs Simpsons, Woolly Worms and the Bloody Marys.

The prime time to be fishing is from first light until about midday but the evening can also be productive. Bait and flyfishing after dark is also well worth a try, especially if you’re targeting the big browns.

Wimmera River

I have been spending a lot of time fishing the river around Horsham and riverside for silver perch, abundant small redfin, a few carp and some good yellowbelly. Worms and peeled yabby tails have been producing the best fishing for around the snags and weed beds in the afternoons after work, with the most productive areas near the Showgrounds and Pony Club.

I’ve also been lurefishing with small StumpJumpers, spinnerbaits and Ondex spinners cast around the fallen timber around riverside. Yellowbelly to nearly 2kg have been landed along with a surprisingly number of silver perch, on both the hardied bodies lures and spinnerbaits.

The Murray cod have been a bit quiet but no one has been targeting them because of the closed season. I’d expect a number of cod to be caught around Horsham this summer, with fish around the 5 kg mark anticipated. Most of the cod are caught while fishing for yellowbelly but if you’re keen to target them I’d use larger spinnerbaits and really concentrate on fishing the snags. Catch and release is the way to go if we’re to see this cod fishery develop further. Most thinking anglers are doing the right thing in that respect.

Reports of good redfin to nearly a kilo have been coming from the Quantong and O’Brees Road areas. Ondex spinners have been doing the damage. Baitfishing in the same stretch of river has produced a few catfish around a kilo and some big carp.

At Big Bend, near Dimboola, the yellowbelly have been active with some nice fish to 1.8kg taken on soft plastics, scrubworms and yabbies. Spinnerbaits are also well worth a try. Some nice catfish to nearly a kilo and some big carp have also been taken here recently. The fishing for catties always gets better as we head into summer. They bite best after dark with unweighted baits of worms or yabby tail taking good catches, particularly when it’s a full moon.

Taylors lake

The fishing at Taylors has started to fire up with some excellent yellowbelly and redfin catches on worms and yabbies fished around the snags. The best fishing is to be had from small boats because you can really fish hard into the timber and cover a lot more spots in a session. I try each tree for 30 minutes and if there’s no action I move a short distance and try another tree.

Unfortunately, the carp have been dominating most anglers’ catches on worms fished from the bank but are good fun when the target species go a bit quiet.

Taylors has a good population of Murray cod and no doubt there’ll be a few caught when the season opens in December. Most cod are caught on yabbies and bardi grubs but lure fishing also gets results. Large spinnerbaits, StumpJumpers and Codger lures are good ones to give a swim at Taylors.

Walking the long rock wall while casting lures is a great way to catch a few yellowbelly, redfin and the occasional Murray cod, particularly when the water clears a bit. Good lures off the wall are StumpJumpers, Rebel Crawdads, Halco Poltergeists and the humble Hogback spinner also takes their fair share of fish.

At the outlet channel there have been some good catches of redfin to nearly a kilo on gudgeon and yabbies, as well as the occasional yellowbelly. I also heard of a large brown trout lost at the net by an unlucky angler while fishing for carp with worms. It seems a few browns may have made their way into Taylors from the channels running from Wartook and Rocklands.

Rabl Park Lake

Baitfishing with worms, gudgeon and lures has been producing a lot of small redfin as well as the occasional bigger redfin to 1.3kg and a few rainbow trout to 500g. Darren Scott took a 1kg redfin a couple weeks ago and also caught and released a number of small rainbows.

Quite a few redfin approaching the kilo mark have been coming out too but getting past all of the smaller fish is the challenge.

Tench, carp and a few catfish are also present in this lake, which is the ideal place to take young anglers starting out.

Glenelg River

The redfin fishing continues to be quite good in the river at Cherrypool, Fulhams Reserve and at Harrow with good numbers of reddies to around a kilo taken. The average fish has been around 500g. At present, the river appears to be quite healthy and the redfin fishing has been the best I’ve ever seen here.

Gudgeon, worms and spinners have been producing most of the fish and the occasional tench. Blackfish and tupong have also been caught, particularly when on worms. Tupong are getting a bit rare around these parts so catch and release is the way to go. Most tupong are caught around Harrow and the blackfish are most plentiful at Cherrypool.

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