Welcome to the Ferntree Gully Fishing Guide. Ferntree Gully Quarry reserve is a unique and scenic fishing destination. A location often overlooked or unknown to those around Melbourne. Several years ago the lake with drained and almost unfishable, but thanks to some major upgrades including fishing platforms, walking trails and recent stocking programs, this has become a great local fishing location.
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Watch this video filmed at Ferntree Gully Quarry catching stocked rainbow trout. It highlights the main features and facilities of the park and we also provide some key tips and techniques to help you catch a few trout as well.
Things to do at Ferntree Gully Recreational Reserve
Ferntree Gully recreation reserve is an amazing place to take the family. Stunning views consist of scenic rocky cliffsides and paved walking tracks. There are man-made fishing platforms overlooking crystal clear waters and scenery. There is active birdlife including kookaburras. This is a great place to bring the dog as your dog is free to roam around without a lead. Please note there is limited parking available. Just follow railway road that then turns into quarry road. Park at the top then walk your way down to the reserve.
Ferntree Gully is a vibrant township with plenty of great outdoor activities. Local attractions within close vicinity include the Kokoda trial 1000 steps memorial walk, The Tim Neville arboretum lakes sculptures and fountains, Churchill national park to spot some Aussie wildlife or walks and hikes within the very scenic Dandenong ranges.
Fishing at Ferntree Gully Quarry
Ferntree Gully Quarry is a great fishing location where you can target several freshwater fish species. This includes trout, redfin, carp, golden perch and Murray cod. We would highly recommend that you read our detailed guide on how to catch trout.
This lake is regularly stocked with rainbow trout prior to each school holiday break. Use this link to follow Victorian trout stocking programs. The state government has also started trailing the release of Murray cod and golden perch yellow belly as part of the target 10 million by 2022 native fish stocking program. In 2019 they released 50 Murray cod 40 cm in length and 200 golden perch 30cm in length. Small redfin and stocked trout will be your main catches from this lake. Most freshwater species tend to feed more aggressively at Dawn and Dusk. Species like perch fish particularly well during sundown in the warmer months.
How to catch fish in Ferntree Gully Quarry
When targeting freshwater species such as trout, redfin and estuary perch 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. If you plan to fish with bait from the banks then good options include powerbait in bright colours, worms, maggots, live minnows and mudeye. Either on a light running sinker rig, paternoster rig or suspended from a float. We have seen many trout and perch caught using these baits and methods.
We conducted a test to see which would perform better for stocked trout powerbait or lures.
Ferntree Gully Quarry holds freshwater fish that will actively take lures and soft plastics. When using soft plastics, we highly recommend small curl tails, minnow imitations, and paddle tails. Both natural and bright colours work well rigged with jig heads from 1/18 through to 1/20 in weight. Where possible cast towards structure and slow roll with occasional hops and pauses for the retrieve. Small shallow diving hard body lures are also very effective in this system. As are old favourites such as spinners and Tassie devils. Ideally in smaller sizes and nice bright colours. Check out our guide on the Best lures for catching Redfin
Metal lures and spoons are also an option. Allowing you to cast great distances and target slightly bigger fish. But they are quite heavy and very prone to snags in small inland systems like this one. If you targeting golden perch then vibes, blades, spinnerbaits and lipless cranks are also a great option. You may also consider using surface lures for Murray cod and estuary perch, especially during dawn and dusk. A couple of good options include floating minnows and surface poppers in smaller sizes.
If you plan on targeting carp from the banks then we would recommend using corn kernels, worms or bread as good bait options. Either on a basic running sinker rig or suspended from a float. It would also be wise to upgrade your fishing outfit to something a little heavier. Perhaps a 3-5 kilo fishing rod coupled with a 3000 size reel spooled with 8-pound line is a good starting point.
Recommended baits Ferntree Gully Quarry Reserve
- Scrub worms
Recommended lures Ferntree Gully Quarry Reserve
- Bluefox spinners
- Daiwa DR joint minnows
- Daiwa Bait Junkie 2.5 inch grub
- Savage Gear minnow blade
- Jackall TN50
- Berkley powerbait grub
- Daiwa Presso minnows
- Tasmanian Devil Blade
- Bullet lures 5-0 minnow
- Bassman spinnerbait
- Bullet lures 3cm lure
- strike tiger nymph
- Nories Wasabi spoon
- Rapala countdown floating minnow
- Pontoon 21 paco spoon
- Daiwa Double Clutch
- Tasmanian Devil lure
- Gulp 3 inch minnow
- Zman 2.5 inch grub
- Dawia Bait Junkie paddle tail minnow
- Zerek fish trap
- eco gear ZX40
- Savage Gear Fathead crank shallow diving
- Squidges biotough grub
- stump jumpers S3
Targeting Trout at Ferntree Gully Quarry Reserve
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 than 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 Redfin at Ferntree Gully Quarry Reserve
We recommend targeting redfin with a light spin outfit. This will make the experience more enjoyable and improve your catch rates. A 1-3 or 2-4 kilo fishing rod coupled with a 2000, 2500 or 3000 reel spooled with 4-8-pound braid and equivalent fluorocarbon leader should be perfect.
Redfin respond really well to lures and soft plastics so do check our guide on the best lures for catching Redfin When using soft plastics, we highly recommend curl tails, minnow imitations, and paddle tails in both natural and bright colours. Rigged with a jig head that’s 1/8 through to 1/20 in weight. The most effective way to use these is to cast towards visible structure and slow roll the soft plastic with lifts and pauses for the retrieve. Shallow diving hard body lures, blades and vibes are also very effective in this system. So are traditional spinners and Tassie devils in bright colours. Metal spoons also play a role allowing you to cast great distances and targeting the bigger size reddies. Just remember they are quite heavy and very prone to snags in small inland systems like this one.
Watch this video which walks you through our favourite redfin lures and soft plastics
Targeting Yellowbelly at Ferntree Gully Quarry Reserve
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 so do blades such as the eco gear ZX40 with stinger hooks. Other favourites are the reliable stump jumpers, spinnerbaits, bassman spinners, 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 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 to 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 Murray Cod at Ferntree Gully Quarry Reserve
Murray Cod is Australia’s largest freshwater fish that grows to impressive sizes. Cod are an ambush predators that love the cover of structure so make sure you concentrate your efforts on any visible structure including logs and submerged trees. They will also seek shelter in deeper holes and rock ledges. Cod are most active in low light conditions such as sunrise and sundown. A medium to heavy bait caster rod is ideal when targeting cod. This might be a stiff 6-foot rods in 6-10 kilo class matched with a suitable size bait caster reel spooled with 20lb to 30lb braid and 30lb to 40lb leader.
Good lure options for Murray Cod include hard body lures, surface lures, spinnerbaits, swimbaits, shads, lipless crankbaits, paddle tail and curtail soft plastics. These should be worked slowly or tolled from your boat or kayak if access is permitted. There are some amazing surface lures on the market these days including imitation mice, frogs, ducks, and snakes with realistic action that are fun to target cod with. Bait anglers can target Murray cod with live yabbies and worms.
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 images and videos shown on the Ferntree Gully Fishing Guide are Fishing Mad originals.
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