Welcome to the Eildon Pondage Fishing Guide. Eildon Pondage is a beautiful freshwater fishing destination roughly a 2 1/4 hours drive from Melbourne past the townships of Alexandria and Thornton. Its heavily stocked with trout periodically through the year by Victorian Fisheries and comes alive in Winter as part of the trout season opening festival. Having success fishing Eildon Pondage can require some know-how and local knowledge to know good areas to fish and the right techniques lures and baits. We will share much information in this location guide to get you started in the right direction.
Eildon Pondage is a manmade stretch of water situated directly between the Goulburn River and Lake Eildon. It is split into 2 sections the upper and lower which flow into each other but are identified by the B340 bridge. Both present good fishing opportunities. There are multiple areas that are good for land-based fishing. This includes behind the recreation reserve, the dirt tracks near the bridge that separates the upper and lower sections. The floating pontoon further up off the Goulburn Valley Highway, Lions Park playground pontoon, clearings near the holiday park, and the Bourke Street picnic area. I highly recommend exploring these areas as some are deeper than others and at times some will flow harder than other stretches. Some areas can also be quite shallow and weedy and require waders to get to prime casting areas.
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Things to do at Eildon Pondage
Eildon Pondage is very scenic and a great location for bushwalking, wildlife spotting, and fishing. Nearby attractions include the Snobs Creek Hatchery and several quite amazing waterfalls including Snobs Creek Falls, Rubicon Falls, and the epic Steavonsons falls closer to Marysville. Lake Eildon is home to many luxury houseboats and with this comes action watersports such as boating, kayaking, canoeing, swimming, jet skiing, sailing, water skiing, paddle boarding, and more. However, for many Lake Eildon is a premier destination for camping and Fishing. There is also a good variety of caravan parks, accommodation, and boat hire for a weekend away in country Victoria. Such as Eildon Pondage Holiday Park. Lake Eildon national park is a great spot for bushwalks and spotting natural wildlife such as kangaroos, echidnas, and reptiles.
Trout Stocking at Eildon Pondage
Thanks to Victorian Fisheries the stocking program at Eildon Pondage remains very strong. In 2019 7 tonnes of trophy-sized rainbow trout were released into Eildon Pondage. Including 2,000 large rainbow trout weighing 4kg released across 11 different locations. This continues to grow from strength to strength.
Fishing at Eildon Pondage
At Eildon Pondage you can catch
- Brown Trout
- Rainbow Trout
This is an exceptional fishing destination for fly fishing, casting lures, and soft plastics and baits. It can be a challenging fishing destination. Trout can be tough to temp and thankfully the system is regularly topped up with fish to help. On my last trip, I had several large trout follow the lure all the way to my feet without committing and the following session landed 12 trout. Keep an eye out for rising fish as the water in many stretches is shallow and very clear. You may need to move between the upper and lower reaches of the pondage depending on the water height and water flow. Don’t be afraid to target trout in shallow weedy areas as you will often see them cruising here. I’ve had to tempt a few with surface lures, fly, or very shallow diving minnows. Generally with lures working them back at a constant medium retrieve.
Below is a map of the landbased fishing spots that have good clearings and we have caught fish
10 years ago water levels were very low at Lake Eildon. Thankfully things have improved and it once again is a premier destination to catch Brown Trout and Rainbow Trout. We would highly recommend that you read our detailed guide on how to catch trout. This will be very important when targeting trout in both Lake Eildon and the Eildon Pondage.
Fishing here in the pondage and along the shallow streams can be exceptional. In recent times trout hatcheries have spilled over, particularly the stretches between the townships of Alexandra and Thornton. Because of this, the fishing in this immediate area has been exceptional. Many trout are caught with shallow diving hard body lures, spinners, soft plastics, and mid divers in deeper pools. When it’s on you can just about throw anything and catch one walking the banks with lures and catching plenty. You may even catch a stonker trout or two which have also been stocked in recent years. Pretty much fishing a kilometer on each side of Gilmore’s bridge. Take waders and walk the shallow streams and cast downstream and work your lure back at a medium pace and get ready for some crazy fishing action. Now the grass is quite high so do take caution of snakes and the ground is very soft underfoot.
If you plan on fishing with bait then scrub worms, earthworms, power bait, yabbies, minnows, and mudeye are great choices. You can suspend baits from a float or use a basic running sinker or paternoster rig to great effect when bait fishing. At Lake Eildon, you can have great success fishing with a wide range of soft plastics & lures. Click here to read our guide on the best lures to catch redfin. If you targeting cod and yellow belly then some great lure choices would include lip-less crank-baits such as Jackall TN series, stump jumpers that can be cast or trolled, surface lures, vibes, spinnerbaits, bassman spinners, large grub style soft plastics in dark colors. The new range of Savage Gear swimbaits is also a great option for the larger species.
When targeting freshwater species such as trout we recommend fishing with a light spinning rod. This will make the experience more enjoyable and improve your catch rates. We suggest a 1-3 or 2-4 kilo fishing rod. Coupled with a 2000, 2500, or 3000 size reel that’s been spooled with a decent quality braid between 4-8 pounds. Then finished with roughly a rod length of a quality fluorocarbon leader. Trout and Redfin are notorious for feeding more heavily at Dawn and Dusk. Redfin is more active in the warmer months and trout is more active in the colder months. If your site is set on catching a big cod then you’ll need to up your outfit. A 4-8 kilo or 6-12 kilo class rod and a quality baitcasting reel spooled with 20 to 50 pound braid finished with a solid Fluro carbon leader of equal strength. There is a whole range of baitcaster options suiting different budgets.
Recommended lures Eildon Pondage
Need some help choosing lures & soft plastics. The video is a detailed guide to get you started.
- Strike Pro Bob n Spoon
- Tassie Devils
- Wonder Wobbler and Wonder Kroc Spoons
- Bluefox spinners
- Daiwa DR joint minnows
- Bent Minnows
- Bullet lures 5-0 minnow
- Daiwa Presso minnows
- Tasmanian Devil Blade
- strike tiger nymph
- Nories Wasabi spoon
- Rapala countdown floating minnow
- Pontoon 21 paco spoon
- Daiwa Double Clutch
- Zman 2.5 inch grub
- Daiwa Bait Junkie paddle tail minnow
- Squidges biotough grub
Recommended baits Eildon Pondage
At this location, we would highly recommend the baits suggested below. There are several ways to present baits including a running sinker rig, paternoster rig, or dropper rig. The rig and sinker choice will be dependent on the species you are targeting and the conditions such as wind and tidal strength.
The video below demonstrates the best baits for trout and how to rig them correctly.
- Scrub worms
Targeting Trout at Eildon Pondage
We would highly recommend that you read our detailed guide on how to catch trout which details our favorite 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 a 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.
Targeting Carp at Eildon Pondage
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 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.
Trout closed season in Victoria
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. Some images and stocking data supplied by VFA. All other images and videos shown on the Lake Eildon Fishing Guide are Fishing Mad originals. Thank you for visiting the Lake Eildon Fishing Guide. If you feel this location guide is missing any key information or needs any corrections made, then please let us know by emailing our team at firstname.lastname@example.org with specific details in the email. Thank you