Welcome to the Lake Purrumbete Fishing Guide. Lake Purrumbete is a volcanic lake in the Western District of Victoria roughly 2 hours drive from Melbourne. Passing through townships of Geelong and Colac then 10 minutes drive away from the closest township Camperdown. Lake Purrumbete is a large lake over 500 hectares in size which is open and very exposed to weather conditions. Lake Purrumbete is a natural volcanic lake and truly unique for a couple of reasons. The first is its depth with clear waters averaging 45 meters deep and sections up to 60 meters or 200 feet deep. Secondly, it holds trophy-size freshwater fish in good numbers. Particularly Brown trout and Rainbow Trout whilst recently being stocked with Brook trout, Tiger trout and the first large stocking of cheetah trout into Australian waters.

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However, the true prizes on offer are the Atlantic and Chinook Salmon which can be caught in large sizes. The high concentration of salt within the lake has a natural sustaining volume of salmon which makes this destination very popular. It also contains a very healthy population of Redfin and in recent years has produced them in masses in the warmer months. Often seeing reports of the smaller ones being caught in the hundreds on warmer days. There are plenty of shallow weedy areas that hold good numbers of fish and create a great ecosystem and food source.

Things to do Lake Purrumbete

There are great facilities on the lake starting with the Lake Purrumbete holiday park. It’s a beautiful location really well designed with anglers in mind. There is the holiday park has an onsite tackle store. The cabins have ample parking for your boat. There are an angling clubhouse and a small park for the kids. But this location is really set up for fishing. It’s a great spot for boats and kayakers and new jetties provide options for land-based anglers.

Watch our detailed video guide on our top 10 redfin lures below

Fishing Lake Purrumbete

At Lake Purrumbete you can catch 

  • Atlantic salmon
  • chinook salmon
  • redfin
  • brown trout
  • rainbow trout
  • brook trout
  • tiger trout
  • cheetah trout
  • eels

Recommended fishing lures Lake Purrumbete

  • Tasmanian Devil Blade
  • Daiwa Double Clutch
  • Daiwa Bait Junkie 2.5 inch grub
  • 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
  • stump jumpers

The most popular technique at Lake Purrumbete is trolling large diving hard body lures such as Daiwa Double-clutch 90mm version or large Tassie devils in bright colours. Allowing these to sit about 50 meters behind the boat and trolling at a very slow pace. We recommend keeping an eye on the vibrating action of the lure to identify if you’re going too slow or too fast. Generally, around 3 kilometres is a nice speed. Those lucky enough to have downriggers can use these to great effect to keep diving hard body lures to greater depths with a lot of catches in this lake done trolling in depths of 20 to 30 meters. A good idea is to troll 2 lures that dive at different depths and see if a particular depth on that day is more effective. Also, try and keep your rod tip low and as close to the water as possible. This will provide the lure with the best natural action, getting it deeper and encouraging more strikes.

If you plan to bait fish for Chinook Salmon then the best bait choice is generally pilchards. We like to use these either unweighted or with a slow running sinker rig with a small sinker to a swivel and roughly half a meter of a strong leader. Generally, we will fillet the pilchard for the best bait presentation. When bait fishing for trout and redfin the most successful method has been using live minnows on a paternoster rig. Live minnows surprisingly can be caught with a large net and a can of cat food, or they can be purchased from nearby lake Bullen Merri. There are also other bait options that work well too such as mud eyes, scrub worms, powerbait, and Yabbies. Redfin and Trout will happily take a wide range of soft plastics & lures. Click here to see our best lures and plastics when targeting Redfin.

Rod choice can be quite difficult as there are so many different styles of fishing techniques on offer. For instance, if you trolling large hard body lures targeting big salmon or trout then you would want a medium-class rod that is a little stiffer than rods that you would be flicking soft plastics with. You will certainly come across big Salmon and Trout in this lake so it pays to fish with a slightly heavier line and leader.  A 2-4 or 3-5 kilo class spin rod would be a great option. The main line spooled with fine 8-pound braid finished with a good quality leader. You can catch fish at any time of the day. However, when trolling we find most catches to be on the first and last light of the day. Also, remember that trout and salmon are more active in cold conditions and redfin are more active in warm conditions.


Targeting Redfin at Lake Purrumbete


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 Purrumbette


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.

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 Salmon at Lake Purrumbette


Here you will find the Chinook and Atlantic salmon. Winter is a great time to target salmon as they’re active and schooling up in big numbers. Salmon is a powerful sports fish that punches well above its weight. When hooked they produce strong bursts of speed, powerful runs, and vigorous head shakes. You can target them by trolling lures with downriggers or heavier metal lures. Or by anchoring up and using staple baits such as pilchards from a paternoster or running sinker rig either unweighted or small sinker.

This location is very open and exposed meaning it can be very cold and windy. There isn’t anywhere to hide from the weather and wind will be your biggest enemy when on your boat or kayak. Often you will need to move around to try and find areas with a little bit of cover from the wind.

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

Thank you for visiting the Lake Purrumbete Fishing Guide. If you feel this location guide is missing key information or needs any corrections made, then please let us know by emailing our team at enquiries@fishingmad.com.au with specific details in the email. Please also feel free to share any fishing pictures you have from this location with us. Thank you