Welcome to the Lake Colac Fishing Guide. Lake Colac is the largest natural freshwater lake in Victoria spreading across 2,778 hectares. It’s located around 2 hours drive from Melbourne of the Princess highway alongside the township of Colac situated between Geelong and Camperdown. The lake is surrounded by local farmland and forms part of the Corangamite basin originally formed from volcanic activity and has a rich indigenous history. Lake Colac is a very shallow system with an average water depth of 2.5 meters in most areas and water levels have declined in recent years.

When it comes to fishing redfin is the most targeted species in this lake. However, there have been significant attempts in recent years to stock trout and improve the fishing by Victorian Fisheries. Part of the target 1 million campaign, 5,000 trout were released in 2017 and again in 2018 and 2019. A spot is very popular with camping, fishing, boating and skis. The lake was opened to boating in early 1900 with its first jetties erected back then. But do take care when boating as water levels have been an issue here in recent years.

Things to do at Lake Colac

Lake Colac is a nice family location the lake has a playground, BBQ’s, picnic areas, public toilets and good fishing, camping and boating for the family. Scenic views and ample birdlife. Nearby attractions include the Colac Botanic Gardens, Colac golf course and natural bike tracks surrounding the lake. Drought back in 2009 caused the Lake to be completely dry. And although there have been improvement water levels are still very low that water activities such as boating and swimming have become a rarity. Waters levels are no longer suitable for boats but kayaks, small tinnies will be fine.

Fishing Lake Colac

Lake Colac is a very shallow system with a maximum depth of only 2.5 meters and this requires some thought in the best ways to present lures and baits. There have been some noted issues of water quality so do keep an eye on that if you plan to eat fish from here. Here you can catch redfin, trout, carp, eels and tench. With redfin and carp in big numbers when the water conditions are right. You can follow when trout will be stocked using the Victorian trout stocking programs as part of the target 1 million by 2020 and 10 million by 2022 initiatives. Powerbait trout nuggets suspended from a float area a great option with the powerbait positioned about 40cm underneath the float. Powerbait is similar to what stocked trout are used to eating in the farming hatcheries so they will eagerly take power bait. Use some trout pellets as berely to bring them into the area, many locals have noted this as key to catching more fish in this spot. Other bait options include scrub worms, maggots, corn, and mudeye. Either from a float or with a light running sinker rig. We would highly recommend that you read our detailed guide on how to catch trout.

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.

This is a great location to target redfin with lures and soft plastics. Have a look at our detailed guide on the best lures and plastics when targeting Redfin. Great options include spinners, shallow diving minnows, curl tails and paddle tails. Both redfin and trout will actively take these. lightly weighed are a great option here for trout. So are smaller size tassie devils. Smaller Shallow diving hard body lures such as bullet lures, Daiwa double-clutch, Rapala Countdown series and Savage gear minnows are also excellent choices.

hen targeting Trout fish as light as possible which will make the experience more fun and improve your chances. Redfin will actively take many baits or lures. To maximize your chances fish with a 1-3 or 2-4 kilo rod. The mainline spooled with 4-pound braid finished with a good quality leader.

Stocking of the lake happens just prior to each school holidays, so that’s the best time to go. But make sure you put all the small trout caught back into the system to grow. Most freshwater species have a tendency to feed more aggressively at Dawn and Dusk. My personal favourite is fishing the sundown particularity in the warmer months.

Check out this video highlighting how to target stocked rainbow trout. This video will walk you through some helpful tips to get you started.

Lake Colac Carp

There is a large volume of carp in Lake Colac and locals have created initiatives to remove as much carp as possible. Carp are however fun to catch and you can learn more about catching carp have a read of our detailed guide to carp fishing around Victoria. When targeting carp standard baits such as corn, bread, maggots work great for carp here. Using a simple running sinker rig with a pea-size sinker works great in this area. So, does suspending 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. Which means spotting a nearby carp and casting right in there are and working the lure of plastic slowly hoping they will strike. Its 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 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 particularity 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.

Running sinker fishing rig

If your getting snagged up than you can also use a flota 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 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.

Float fishing rig

Recommended baits Hepburn Lagoon

  • Powerbait
  • Scrub worms
  • Mudeye
  • maggots
  • corn
  • bread

Recommended lures Hepburn Lagoon

Targeting Redfin at Lake Colac

Redfin

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.

Targeting Trout at Lake Colac

Trout

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 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.

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 Lake Colac

Carp

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 of our detailed guide to carp fishing around Victoria. When targeting carp standard baits such as corn, bread, maggots work great for carp here. Using a simple running sinker rig with a pea-size sinker works great in this area. So, does suspending 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. Which means spotting a nearby carp and casting right in there are and working the lure of plastic slowly hoping they will strike. Its 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 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 particularity 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.

Acknowledgements

Images of fish supplied VFA and DEPI. All other images and videos shown on the Lake Colac Fishing Guide are Fishing Mad originals.

Additions or Corrections for this location

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