Welcome to the Lake Daylesford Fishing Guide. Lake Daylesford is a beautiful fishing destination 90 minutes drive from Melbourne nestled in the township of Daylesford. This man-made lake was built in 1930 and has become one of the main attractions in a vibrant township. A scenic and picturesque spot that often has amazing photo opportunities. It’s an area that offers great walking trails and often sees local weddings stopping in for photo opportunities. The lake, however, does hold a nice assortment of trout and redfin. There are scattered fishing jetties along the pathways which make great fishing. It’s also a great spot to hire a paddleboat or take out the Kayak. There is ample free parking at the entrance of the lake.
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Have a look at our detailed video guide on how to fish at Lake Daylesford.
Things to do at Lake Daylesford
This is a beautiful and scenic location and a tremendous spot to take the family for a light bushwalk. There is a walking trail that goes around the lake which is quite easy on the feet and takes about 30 minutes to complete. Along the walk, there are lots of little treasures to stop and explore. At lake Daylesford, you can also hire paddle boats and have some fun energetic time on the water with the kids or friends. There are many photo opportunities and the chance to spot local wildlife and birdlife. There are plenty of grasslands for a picnic and there is also an on-premise cafe for scones and a coffee and a library.
Around Daylesford, there are many cafes, boutique shops and other lakes such as Lake Jubilee, Pyke’s creek & Calembeen Park. Whilst in Daylesford we would highly recommend exploring the Wombat Hill Botanic Gardens, enjoying weekly Sunday markets, relaxing at Hepburn springs bathhouse and spa resort, and exploring the local mineral springs. Be warned that the main car park of Lake Daylesford is often swarming with wasps. Snakes can also be a hazard in these areas. Tiger snakes, Brown snakes and Red Bellied Black so do be cautious when bushwalking.
Fishing at Lake Daylesford
At Lake Daylesford, you can catch both trout and redfin. Seasonally redfin is more active in the warmer months and trout active in the colder months. The lake gets up to 9 meters deep in some stretches whilst being quite shallow along the banks. For land-based anglers there scattered jetties all along the lake. This is a great way to enjoy a scenic bushwalk with rod in hand stopping every few minutes to try flicking soft plastics or baits along these stops. You can also fish Lake Daylesford by kayak and Canoe. A productive way of fishing this style is flicking shallow diving lures and soft plastics along the banks and structure which will no doubt catch you plenty of redfin.
Watch our detailed video guide on our top 10 redfin lures below
Lake Daylesford is a great location for lures and soft plastics. Check out our guide on the best lures to catch redfin. Long casting metal lures, blades, vibes and spoons are also a good option worth trying when fishing from the banks. They will allow you to cover great distances and target both trout and redfin at the same time. Shallow diving hard body lures and soft plastic minnow imitations are also excellent choices. Traditional lures such as spinners and Tassie devils will also work really well especially in bright colours. You won’t need to get to fancy here a simple cast and slow roll will be effective. You may also consider trolling these slowly from your boat or kayak. In the early mornings, you may spot trout breaking the surface to take flys and crickets. Therefore fly and cricket imitations lures and soft plastics such as the savage Gear Mayfly are also options worth trying.
When targeting freshwater species such as trout and redfin 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 pound. Then finished with roughly a rod length of a quality fluorocarbon leader.
We conducted a test to see which would perform better for stocked trout power bait or lures. Watch the video below to find out the results which were interesting.
If you plan to fish with bait from the banks then good options include power bait 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 redfin caught using these baits and methods. 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.
Trout and redfin are notorious for feeding more aggressively at dawn and dusk. So we highly recommend fishing in the first and last hours of sunlight. With redfin more active in the warmer months and trout more active in the colder months. Many lakes and reservoirs in the area have been stocked with trout fingerlings. Use this link to follow Victorian trout stocking programs.
Recommended fishing lures Lake Daylesford
- Tasmanian Devil Blade
- Daiwa jointed minnow
- Bullet Lures
- Daiwa Double Clutch
- Tasmanian Devil lure
- Daiwa Bait Junkie 2.5 inch grub
- Strike Pro Bob n Spoon
- Gulp 3-inch minnow
- Zman 2.5 inch grub
- Daiwa Bait Junkie paddle tail minnow
- Zerek fish trap
- Jackall transams
- eco gear ZX40
- Savage Gear Fathead crank shallow diving
- stump jumpers
Targeting Trout at Lake Daylesford
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 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.
When using lures, we would recommend shallow diving hard body minnows, metal spoons, spinners, and Tassie devils. Soft plastics are also very effective on trout. If your bait fishing, then Mudeye, scrub worms, power bait, yabbies and minnows suspended on a float or a running sinker rig is a great choice when targeting trout here. Fly fishing is a popular fishing method 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 we recommend 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. If there are trophy size trout around then you could 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 Lake Daylesford
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.
Images of fish supplied VFA and DEPI. All other images and videos shown on the Lake Daylesford Fishing Guide are Fishing Mad originals.
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