Welcome to the Albert Park Lake Fishing Guide. Albert Park Lake is a truly underrated urban fishing location only kilometres away from the Melbourne CBD. Spanning almost 5 kilometres alongside the world-class grand Prix track and golf course. It’s a popular spot with locals walking their dogs, jogging, cycling, feeding the surrounding birdlife and kayaking. The lake is shallow only 1 to 2 meters deep in most areas with scattered deeper holes.
The lake is quite weedy which presents some challenges when fishing with lures. On sunny days a pair of polarised sunglasses help identify clearings and fish. It has been heavily stocked with golden perch, estuary perch and rainbow trout for many years. Overall, it’s a challenging fishing destination that greatly rewards those who put in the time and effort. With trophy-size golden perch, surface hitting EP’s and monster size carp making it a great urban fishing destination. A touch of local knowledge is essential here with weed and shallow water making it a tough location to master.
Check out this video of a lovely golden perch caught and released at Albert Park Lake
Things to do at Albert Park Lake
Albert Park Lake is only 3 kilometres from the Melbourne CBD there is plenty to do. First, there is the world-class circuit that annually hosts the formula one Australian Grand Prix race each spring. Opposite the lake is the 18 hole championship golf course. This is a great location to bring the family for outdoor activities and fishing. The area is usually buzzing with locals cycling, walking their dogs or jogging. There is a large wooden adventure playground for kids and toddlers. There are also sports grounds, large areas to play ball sports, and people rowing. Many suitable areas for a picnic along the lake, flying a kite or feeding the resident ducks and swans.
There is paid parking available in multiple areas however do keep an eye on the restriction times, as we know plenty of people who have received fines
Bats are very apparent on sundown and evenings, but they pose no danger and are fun to watch. We ask all anglers to be mindful of the birdlife. We have on several occasions removed the fishing line of swans. So, ensure you dispose of the line and hooks properly. Also, do be mindful of rowers and the many activities going on in this vibrant area. I have removed the fishing line and hooks from the swans so again please help the natural wildlife where possible.
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Fishing Albert Park Lake
At Albert Park Lake you can catch ( see how to target each species below )
- Golden Perch
- Estuary Perch
- Silver Perch
- Rainbow Trout
- *Murray Cod ( 10,000 stocked in 2021 but haven’t seen regular catches of them yet )
- *Redfin ( Only ever seen a couple caught here )
The prized catch here is a big yellow belly but you can also catch estuary perch, rainbow trout, and carp. It can be a challenging system to fish with a large volume of weeds and snags in this shallow lake. Fishing near the carousel has become one of the popular areas fished as there is less weed volume there and good lighting and close parking. The other popular spot fished is near the yacht club pontoons as you can cast just beyond the weedy areas. Albert Park lake can fish well all year round with perch more active in the warmer months and trout more active in the colder months. Whilst carp can be caught in good number, particularly around Spring. You’re always likely to get more bites on sunrise and sundown but with some effort on any given day or time.
This is a great location for shallow diving lures and lightly weighted soft plastics. There are 2 effective retrieval methods the slow roll and the hopping/twitching techniques. The slow roll requires you to cast your lure or plastic and do a slow continuous roll of the reel. The natural built-in action of the lure or soft plastic will create the necessary swimming action. Alternatively, you can use the hopping/twitching technique which requires you to add subtle lifts, twitches and pauses to imitate a wounded bait fish. Both techniques work well here across a variety of soft plastics and lures.
It’s also an exceptional place for fishing on a calm balmy evening with surface lures such as cicadas, bent minnows, and small poppers. Look for sections protected from the wind and any areas with signs of bugs on the surface. The estuary perch action can be electric here during the right conditions. working surface lures erratically with lots of pauses and twicthes. Sub surface lures also work well slow-rolled. So does the use of Nedrigs and fishing them very slowly with plastics such as yabbie imitations and 2.5-inch grubs in darker colours.
We recommend fishing with a light spinning outfit to make the experience enjoyable and improve your catch rates. We suggest a 1-3 or 2-4 kilo fishing rod, coupled with a 2000, 2500 size reel. Spooled with a decent quality braid between 4-8 pounds and finished with one rod length of a fluorocarbon leader.
Albert Park lake fish Stocking
Since 1999 250,00 fish have been stocked in Albert Park lake. A combination of rainbow trout, silver perch, estuary perch, Murray cod and golden perch. Stocked trout yearlings are released into the lake during most school holidays. ( Table below provided by VFA “Victorian Fisheries Authority” )
Places to fish near Albert Park Lake
- Kerfred Road Pier
- Lagoon Pier
- Station Pier
- Princess Pier
- Web Dock
- Port Phillip Bay
- St Kilda Pier
- West Gate Bridge
- Altona Pier
Best fishing lures at Albert Park Lake
The lake is shallow and quite weedy. We recommend surface lures including small poppers and pencil lures slowly retrieved with twitches and pauses when targeting estuary perch. Lightly weighted grub and minnow style soft plastics are very effective on yellowbelly ( golden Perch ), estuary perch, carp and trout. Lipless Crankbaits, blades, cranks and shallow diving hard-body lures are a great all-around choice.
The choice of lures is almost endless to make things easier we created a detailed video on the best lures and how to use them.
- Daiwa Bait Junkie 2.5 inch grub
- Jackall Micro Tappy
- Tiemco Cicada
- Berkley powerbait grub
- Storm Gomoku Popper
- Savage Gear 3D Cicada
- Jackall Micro Pompadour
- Pro lure live yabby
- OSP bent minnows
- Kietech crazy flapper
- Savage Gear Fathead shallow diving crank
- Tiemco TT Pencil
- Daiwa Dr Minnow Joint 5F
- Gulp 3-inch minnow
- Zman 2.5 inch grub
- Daiwa Bait Junkie paddle tail minnow
- Jackall TN50
- Zerek fish trap
- Jackall transams
- Samaki vibelicious
- eco gear ZX40
- stump jumpers
Targeting Yellowbelly at Albert Park Lake
Yellow belly AKA Golden Perch is a beautiful freshwater fish found in this system. With a rich food source available the yellowbelly here grow too thick and plump sizes. Good lure choices include curl tail soft plastics with the zman 2.5-inch grubz and Gulp 3-inch grub minnow both in black are standout choices. Soft vibes such as the Zerek fish trap, Jackall transams and Samaki vibelicious are great options. lip-less crank-baits such as Jackall TN50 and TN60 continue to be very popular as do blades such as the eco gear ZX40 with stinger hooks. Other favourites are the reliable stump jumpers, spinnerbaits, bassman spinners, and large grub style soft plastics in dark colours.
Soft plastics are worked best on a 1/8 or 1/4 jig head slow-rolled along with any structure. This works particularly well when tying your boat or kayak up against trees and working the soft plastic slowly up against the tree and adding some noise to the action by tapping the butt of your rod or by hitting the jig head into the timber. This brings out the predatory nature of the yellowbelly. Take advantage of down scan and side scan technologies on your sounder and spend some time moving between the structure to find the fish. Other lures can be worked amongst the timber but in general work really well in open water being slow-rolled or trolled.
When it comes to rod selection we generally use a light spin rod around 7 foot in length in 1-4, 2-4 or 3-5 kilo class paired with a 1000, 2000 or 2500 size reel. Spooled with 8-12 pound braid and an equivalent fluorocarbon leader. Baitcaster rods and reels are a very popular choice when targeting yellowbelly. Good options include a 3-5 or 4-6 bait caster with a 2000 bait caster reel. When bait fishing a 7 foot light rod paired with a 3000 size reel. Good bait rigs would include a paternoster rig with a small sinker at the bottom or a running sinker rig with scrub worms or yabbies.
Targeting Estuary Perch at Albert Park Lake
Another highlight of fishing at Albert Park is targeting Estuary perch with surface and shallow diving lures. The action can be frantic on warm balmy evenings with low wind. listen for the sound of breaking water which indicates EPs are feeding. The excitement an angler gets from a EP smashing a surface lure on light gear is something that truly needs to be experienced. It almost catches you by surprise when that aggressive strike comes. Small surface poppers, cicadas, blades, surface minnows and pencil lures work well here. So do shallow diving hardbody lures. Noteworthy options include bent minnows, Rapala countdown series, nories laydown minnows and shallow diving cranks. Basically, anything that doesn’t dive too deep and makes a good vibrating action will work well. You can use any colour choice we often start with silvers that mimic small baitfish or mullet.
EPs also respond incredibly well to a whole range of soft plastics lightly weighted. Including curl tails, paddle tails and minnow imitations. The trusty 2.5-inch grubs and minnows are an excellent choice. These imitate small baitfish that the EPs are actively feeding on. We would recommend mixing up the retrieval speeds and pauses and playing around with different colours. Where possible fish along with the structure and stay alert for signs such as breaking water. Fishing for Estuary Perch requires finesse. We recommend an ultralight fishing combo consisting of a 1-3 or 2-4 kilo spin rod around 7 feet in length. Coupled with a 1000 or 2000 size reel spooled with 2-8 pound line and equivalent fluorocarbon leader. When bait fishing uses a 2-4 kilo rod around 7 feet in length. Coupled with a 2500 size reel either a float or small running sinker to a swivel and very fine leader.
Targeting Trout at Albert Park Lake
We would highly recommend that you read our detailed guide on how to catch trout which details our favourite lures, baits and techniques. You can follow trout stocking timelines by reading the Victorian trout stocking guide as part of the target 1 million by 2020 and 10 million by 2022 initiatives. When targeting trout with lures we recommend using shallow diving hard body minnows, metal spoons, spinners, Tassie devils and soft plastics which are also very effective on trout. If your bait fishing, then Mudeye, scrub worms, power bait, yabbies and minnows suspended from a float or a running sinker rig are great options when targeting trout at this location. Trout are more active in cold conditions with most catches on the first and last light of the day.
We recommend targeting trout with a 1-3 or 2-4 kilo fishing rod coupled with a 1000, 2000, or 2500 reel spooled with 4-8-pound braid and equivalent fluorocarbon leader. If there are larger trophy size trout around then you can go heavier moving up the scale to a 3-5 kilo class spin rod spooled with fine 8-12-pound braid and equivalent fluorocarbon leader.
Need some help choosing lures and soft plastics to catch trout. The video below is a detailed guide to get you started.
Targeting Carp at Albert Park Lake
There is a large volume of carp which can be fun to catch. You can learn more about catching carp by reading our guide to carp fishing around Victoria. Standard baits such as corn, bread, and maggots work great for carp. Use a simple running sinker rig or suspend baits from a float. We have also fished well using unweighted baits. You can also target carp with hard body lures and soft plastics, it’s a difficult technique that requires sight casting. This means spotting a nearby carp and casting right in there and working the lure of plastic slowly hoping they will strike. It’s a challenging yet rewarding technique when you catch a carp using this method. Selecting a 2-4 or 3-5 rod kilo rod coupled with a 3000 or 4000 size reel is suitable. We like to target carp on sundown, particularly in the warmer months. This is often when you see carp swimming along the edges or jumping out of the water around September-November which is their spawning season. European carp must not be returned to the water.
A simple yet effective fishing rig is to thread a small running sinker through the mainline shown in blue, which is usually around 8 pounds. Then tie a medium swivel to the end allowing the sinker to run up the mainline freely. Then tie on the other end of the swivel 50cm of 8-pound fluorocarbon leader (the leader is shown in grey ). Finished with a hook. I generally use a size 6 bait keeper hook or size 10 long shank which is perfect for corn kernels or scrub worms, however, you can also use small treble style hooks which is a better setup if you use bread.
If you are getting snagged up then you can also use a float rig. Attach a quill or bubble float to your mainline. Thread the line through and adjust the length using a size 6 bait keeper hook or size 10 long shank to keep your bait suspended at a good depth. Ideally cast down breeze which will stop the float from coming back to you. If you’re not getting bites then adjust the line depth and If necessary add a splint shot to add weight.
Albert Park Lake News
- August 2022 – 90 Stonker size Rainbow trout stocked in Albert park lake
- October 7th 2020 – 60 x 4-kilo rainbow trout have been stocked into the lake. This is part of 18 family-friendly fishing lakes which received a total of 500 large trout to encourage recreational fishing.
- October 2018 – 15,000 estuary perch are stocked into Albert Park lake
Albert Park Lake Map
FishingMad encourages ‘catch & release’ of all native species, however, European Carp must not be returned. Always carry your Victorian fishing license, Vehicle access only in approved areas. Albert Park Lake Fishing Guide
Images of fish supplied VFA and DEPI. Map supplied from Google Maps. All other images and videos shown on the Albert Park Lake Fishing Guide page are Fishing Mad originals.
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