The lakes are cold and the big reds are on the chew. Trout are smelting, thus giving away their location and making your lure or fly selection that bit easier. Stealth is the key to winter fishing these great lakes, so leave the radio at home, keep the outboard off and go electric. Take the time to drift into your desired spot.
Lake Toolondo has really fired up this month with plenty of action from both trout and redfin. Normally I would only talk about monster brown trout in this fine pond, but the increased biomass from last year’s above average rainfall and the water transfer from Rocklands Reservoir has done wonders for growth rates. The average size redfin of late has been solid to say the least, with it being more common to catch fish in the 30-40cm range than smaller models.
There has been no shortage of larger ones either. The best method for fooling these big fish has undoubtedly been large minnow style plastics fished low and slow in the water column. Weedless rigging your plastics will make it easier. If there is no wind, the floating weed can be frustrating at times when you’re not used to fishing weedy waters.
Trolling until you find a school is the easiest method, then sit on the school and flick. If the bite drops off, return to trolling to locate another school. For the land-based angler, a good set of neoprene waders will get you in the right spot, with some redfin coming from weed beds close to the shore. Local gun angler Trevor Holmes has been doing extremely well with 4” Fish Arrow J Huddles and J Shads with many fish nudging towards the 50cm mark.