Winter brings on the trout and redfin
  |  First Published: May 2010

Now that the cool winter weather is upon us and water temperatures have dropped, the native fishing at waters such as the Wimmera River and Taylors Lake will now be very quiet.

The good news for local and visiting anglers though is our trout waters produce some great fishing at this time of year, particularly when they are getting close to spawning time and become much more aggressive.

The numbers of redfin caught during winter in the Wimmera are much lower than the warmer months but what they lack in numbers they make up for in size. Most of the better than average redfin we see over the 2kg are caught during the winter months, particularly at Fyans and Rocklands.

Rocklands Reservoir

I recently spent a weekend camping and fishing here with my son Curtis. We spent most of the weekend trolling lures around the wall area and ended up with a good bag of redfin, which included 18 keepers ranging in size from 350g-1.3kg. We also caught a nice brown trout. Several of our redfin were well over the kilo mark and we found that these larger fish are feeding heavily on yabbies at present. We also caught many small redfin.

We found the best technique was to troll very slowly with Rapala Shad-Raps and jointed minnows in the 2-4m water depth amongst the timber and river beds.

Over the weekend we saw a large number of trout rising right across the lake but we were really only targeting the redfin. We also had a very large brown trout follow a vibe lure right to the boat but he turned at the last minute without striking.

Many anglers were bait fishing with worms, yabbies and minnows on the weekend we were there and they also took some nice redfin and a few large carp to 4kg.

The water level here is around 2% but that is still a lot of water to explore in this once massive lake.

Lake Fyans

The fishing is great here this time of year and already some very nice redfin to 1.8kg and trout up to 1.5kg are being taken. Bait fishing with mudeye, Powerbait or Scrubwoms under a bubble float has been working well.

Drifting while casting small minnow lures, soft plastics and vibes has also been taking a few nice fish but trolling has been difficult in most areas due to the many weed beds.

The prime times to be fishing have definitely been early in the mornings and in the evenings, particularly on days with plenty of boats on the lake.

Some good fish have been taken land-based in front of the wall but fishing from small boats has definitely been the way to go.

This is one of the better times of year to be fishing this water so I would expect the good fishing to continue here for the next few months.

Lake Wartook

The fishing has been really starting to fire up again here with brown trout to 1.8kg and some very nice rainbows being taken on mudeye and peeled yabby tail. Peeled prawn tail, saltwater mussels and scrubworms are also taking a few trout. The best areas to be fishing are at the wall, near the boat ramp, reedy bay and at the island. The bay in front of the boat ramp has produced some very large browns lately, particularly in the evenings. These bigger browns seem to be lurking in this area due to the large number of minnows that hang around here.

Trolling is picking up a few trout as well as a few nice redfin. Good lures have been Tassie Devils, small minnow lures as well as Rapala Minnow Spoons and Shad Raps.

The time of day doesn’t seem to be that important here at present with good trout being taken right throughout the day, in fact my best fishing here recently was around midday on a bright, sunny day.

This time of year before spawning the fishing is at its best here and I plan on making quite a few trips here over the next few weeks.

Lake Bellfield

This great little lake near Halls Gap continues to be a very popular fishery with local and visiting anglers and has produced good trout and redfin fishing for some time now.

Early in the mornings the trout fishing has been at its best with some nice rainbows to 1.5kg taking mudeye and trolled lures.

My favourite lures here include Rapala and Stiffy minnows and the ever faithful pink or gold Tassie Devils.

The odd brown trout has also been caught and some of them have been quite large at around the 2kg mark.

Most mornings and evenings when there is little wind there has been trout rising right across the lake so flyfishing would also be well worth a go here at present. Most anglers targeting the redfin are doing well on trolled lures and cast vibe lures and soft plastics with most areas of the lake producing good fishing.

There has been large numbers of small redfin about which can be annoying but as we head into winter the larger fish usually become more numerous here.

Bait fishing has also been productive and a good way to avoid the smaller fish is to use yabbies, which most of the larger redfin are being taken on at the moment here.

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