Welcome to the Lake Nagambie Fishing Guide. Lake Nagambie is a roughly 90 minutes drive from Melbourne and roughly 40 minutes drive from Shepparton. This 170-hectare manmade lake is a shallow system backing onto the Goulburn river. This scenic fishing spot is enjoyed by boats, kayaks and land-based anglers. The prized catch here is an allusive Murray Cod but the lake also holds good numbers of golden perch, Murray cod, trout and redfin. In April 2019 Lake Nagambie hosted the richest fishing competition seen in Australia. An initiative by regional and state governments to increase tourism in the area and boost the local economy. $500,000 in prizes was on offer across different fishing categories such as the largest cod. Go Nagambie 2019 attracted thousands of keen anglers in what was a huge success. The success has grown from strength to strength every year so stay tuned for upcoming events.
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Things to do at Lake Nagambie
Lake Nagambie is a lovely and scenic location to take the family. The lake is situated directly off the main street and has nearby family-friendly accommodation and cabins. There are plenty of water activities such as Canoe and kayaking. This is a nice spot to take the kids with open grounds, picnic areas and plenty of fishing spots with surrounding parks and BBQ facilities.
The surrounding areas have numerous vineyards for wine tasting. There are also many local cafes with local produce to taste. The township hosts the Lakes community market in front of the lake on the first Saturday of each month. There is also a local brewery for beer tasting. In town is the statue of Black Caviar, the legendary racehorse iconic to Melbourne racing. There is also available sky diving and hot air ballooning to take in the spectacular views of the Strathbogie Ranges and surrounding plains.
Fishing at Lake Nagambie
At lake Nagambie, you can catch golden perch ( yellowbelly ), Murray cod, redfin, rainbow trout, brown trout, carp, and crayfish. If you plan on fishing with bait then scrub worms, earthworms, power bait, yabbies, minnows and mudeye are a great choice. You can suspend baits from a float or use a basic running sinker or paternoster rigs to great effect when bait fishing.
At Lake Nagambie, you can target
- Murray cod
- golden perch
Lake Nagambie has become a popular fishing destination in recent years. It offers great fishing for golden perch and Murray cod but great variety with trout, redfin, carp, and crayfish. Your prime targets here will be Murray cod and golden perch. With many Cod caught between 50-60cms and many golden perch between 35-45cms. Effective fishing techniques include trolling hard-bodied lures in the deeper channels and casting lures such as Spinnerbaits, lipless crankbaits, hard-bodied lures, soft plastics and surface lures along the shallows and banks. We would highly recommend when fishing here concentrate your time and effort casting lures towards and suspending baits hard up against the visible structure and depth changes. Many of the largest fish are often caught amongst the timber. The trick here is to present a lure or bait and tempt the bigger ones out of the structure they are residing in for a reaction strike. Cod love the cover of structures such as trees and submerged logs and many of the big cod have been caught casting large surface lures in these areas.
Keep an eye open for bait balls on your sounder which is a good signal of productive fishing grounds as does fishable weed beds and submerged timber. Early in the season fish are found in shallows at depths of 1-2 meters as the water temperature is warmer here. In the warmer months, the fish are more evenly spread in the shallows and deeper waters. It’s not common to see bigger fish actively swimming around in open water. So use the current to your advantage. Murray cod and golden perch are ambush feeders and prefer to wait for the current to bring food to them.
In our experience, the fishing can shut down in cold conditions with a low barometer. It may be a slog that will require you to work lures very slowly and to resort to baits if the fishing gets too quiet. As the weather and water temperature rise these are generally productive conditions that will turn the golden perch, cod and redfin into action and lures and trolling come into their own in these conditions. At Lake Nagambie, you can also have success fishing with a wide range of soft plastics & lures. Click here to read our guide on the best lures and plastics to catch redfin.
Watch our detailed video guide on our top 10 redfin lures below
If you’re targeting a trophy size large Murray cod then you’ll be rigging up with large spinnerbaits, diving hard body lures, large swimbaits, large surface lures, large soft plastics in natural colours. There are some weird and wonderful surface lures and swimbaits new to the market so get creative and mix up your retrieval technique.
Lake Nagambie Boat Ramp
There are many good boat ramps scattered around Lake Mulwala including
- McNamara’s Point at the Nagambie Lakes Regatta Centre, 66 Lodgings Lane
- Lodgings Lane Nagambie – opposite the Regatta Centre
- Buckley Park Nagambie – enter via Glencairn Ave
- Majors Creek, Mitchellstown – Mitchellstown Road just past Mitchelton Winery
- Turners Island Lane, Kirwans Bridge – off Lobbs Lane
Recommended fishing lures Lake Nagambie
- Large soft swimbaits
- Wake baits
- Large surface lures
- Stump Jump
- Bassman DT spinnerbait
- Daiwa Duckfin live shad
- Koolabung code walker
- Tasmanian Devil Blade
- Daiwa Double Clutch
- Tasmanian Devil lure
- Daiwa Bait Junkie 2.5 inch grub
- Gulp 3-inch minnow
- Zman 2.5 inch grub
- Daiwa Bait Junkie paddle tail minnow
- Jackall TN50
- Storm Gomuku 40mm surface popper
- Zerek fish trap
- Jackall transams
- Samaki vibelicious
- eco gear ZX40
Recommended baits Lake Nagambie
When bait fishing good options include
- Scrub worms
- Bardi grubs
- live minnow
Targeting Yellowbelly at Lake Nagambie
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 with 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 Lake Nagambie
Murray Cod is Australia’s largest freshwater fish that grows to impressive sizes. Cod are ambush predator that loves 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.
Targeting Trout at Lake Nagambie
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.
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.
Targeting Redfin at Lake Nagambie
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 target the bigger size reddies. Just remember they are quite heavy and very prone to snags in small inland systems like this one.
Lake Nagambie Carp Fishing
Carp are however 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 use bread.
Competitions and events at Lake Nagambie
Lake Nagambie hosted the richest fishing competition seen in Australia. An initiative by regional and state governments to increase tourism in the area and boost the local economy. $500,000 in prizes was on offer across different fishing categories such as the largest cod. Go Nagambie 2019 attracted thousands of keen anglers in what was a huge success. Stay tuned for future events.
Some of the prizes on offer have included. Biggest Murray Cod | $80,000 cash
The first person to catch a carp of the nominated size | Suzuki Engine package valued at $24,000
Combined length size winners – 2 x Quintrex Boat and Yamaha Engine Packages valued at $10,000 each
All rural areas are inhabited by wildlife such as Snakes and Lizards, so be wary of venomous snakes such as Brown, Tiger and Red-bellied black.
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 Lake Nagambie Fishing Guide are Fishing Mad originals.
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