Welcome to the Darlingsford Lake Melton Fishing Guide. Melton is roughly 35 kilometres or 30 minutes from Melbourne. This once a small country township was originally known as a thoroughbred country, but recent rapid population booms have this growing township modernised with a harness racing track, wave pool, parks and shopping centre. It does surprisingly have a lot of freshwater locations for anglers to try including Darlingsford lake as well as Navan Park Reservoir, Melton Reservoir and West Lakes. Many of the lakes are full with Carp. On school holidays several of the lakes are stocked regularly with trout making them great spots to take the kids for a fish. Melton is also part of future native fish stocking programs making it an excellent fishery in years to come.
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Checkout our detailed video of kayak fishing at Melton Reservoir
Things to do at Darlingsford Lake Melton
Darlingsford Lake is situated within a residential estate towards the entrance of Melton opposite the Botanic Gardens. There are basic facilities here including gravel parking and BBQs. The lake is home to a good volume of birdlife and ducks. Local attractions include Darlingsford Barn, Tabcorp Park harness racing centre, Woodgrove shopping centre, Melton Valley Golf club, Melton botanic gardens, Melton Wave Centre, Hannah Watts Park, The cinemas, The Willows, and Woodlea playground. You can also go for a short drive to the neighbouring townships of Eynesbury and Bacchus Marsh.
Fishing Darlingsford Lake Melton
The lake is stocked annually with rainbow trout. Usually around 500 rainbow trout salmonids annually. In total about 13,000 over the past 10 years. It’s a very shallow system opposite the Western Highway. Even though Darligsford Lake has been stocked with trout over many years by far the lake is ruled by Carp. Here they are in big volumes and also huge sizes. I have fished here with my kids and caught several carp up to 75cms. We have generally caught these big mud marlins using a basic 2-4 or 3-5 kilo spin rod paired with a 2500 or 3000 size spin reel spooled with 10 lb braid. Finished with a float rig or running sinker rig to a swivel and 50cm of fluorocarbon leader. Finished with a size 6 or 8 hook and some worms, corn or bread.
Melton has several freshwater fishing options including Melton Reservoir, West lakes and Darlingsford lake. These are choc-full of carp but also hold a good population of redfin and are stocked regularly with trout Victorian trout stocking guide. If you are fishing with bait then scrub worms, powerbait, yabbies, and mudeye are great options either suspended from a float or running sinker rig. Flicking lures can be challenging as the shallow areas are full of weed and grass so you need to cast beyond those areas to have any success. Soft plastics and spinners are also fantastic options. We encourage you to read our detailed guide on the best lures & plastics when targeting Redfin. Shallow diving hard body lures such as bullet lures, Daiwa double-clutch, Rapala Countdown series and Savage gear minnows are also excellent choices.
Below you can see the fish which have been stocked here in 2022. However, Darlingsford Lake has received a total of 7,630 fish in recent years. Including being part of the stonker trout stocking in 2021.
Recommended baits Darlingsford Lake Melton
- Scrub worms
Recommended lures Darlingsford Lake Melton
- Bluefox spinners
- Daiwa DR joint minnows
- Berkley powerbait grub
- Daiwa Presso minnows
- Tasmanian Devil Blade
- Bullet lures 5-0 minnow
- Bullet lures 3cm lure
- strike tiger nymph
- Rapala countdown floating minnow
- Daiwa Double Clutch
- Tasmanian Devil lure
- Gulp 3-inch minnow
- Zman 2.5 inch grub
- Daiwa Bait Junkie paddle tail minnow
Targeting Trout at Darlingsford Lake Melton
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.
We conducted a test to see which would perform better for stocked trout powerbait or lures. Watch the video below to find out the results which were interesting.
Targeting Carp at Navan Park
There is a large volume of carp in local lakes however they are fun to catch and you can learn more about catching carp have a read our detailed guide to carp fishing around Victoria. When targeting carp standard baits such as corn, bread, and maggots work great for carp here. Using a simple running sinker rig with a pea-size sinker works great in this area. So, do suspend baits using a float. We have also fished well using unweighted baits. You can also target carp with hard body lures and soft plastics. This is a difficult technique that generally 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 tough but very rewarding when you catch a carp using this method. Most however will stick to targeting them with bait.
For rod selection, a 3-5 kilo rod coupled with a 4000 size reel is very suitable. You could even fish a little heavier with rods designed for snapper that are generally 4-7 kilo 7 foot in length. For fun, I have caught some monster size carp using a 2-4 kilo rod and 6-pound braid. But I am prepared to lose some good fish in the process. 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. Always carry your Victorian fishing license.
A simple yet effective fishing rig here 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 using bread.
If you get snagged 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.
Always carry your Victorian fishing license, FishingMad encourages ‘catch & release of all native species to help maintain the water quality within the lake however European Carp must not be returned. Melton has always been a great hunting ground for snakes, so in the warmer months always be wary of Tiger Snakes, Brown snakes and Red-belly. Wearing protective footwear in the middle of summer is a good idea.
Swimming, camping, boating and open fires are prohibited. Always carry your Victorian fishing license, FishingMad encourages ‘catch & release’ of all native species to help maintain the water quality within the lake however European Carp must not be returned.
Images of fish supplied VFA and DEPI. All other images and videos shown on the Melton Fishing Guide are Fishing Mad originals.
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