Welcome to the Lake Sambell Fishing Guide. Lake Sambell is a suburban lake in the suburb of Beechworth built in the 1920s by a local mining company. This lake offers a wide variety of freshwater species to target including yellowbelly, trout, redfin, tench, and trout-cod. A popular fishing and family destination with nearby caravan parks and camping grounds.
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Check out this video with some helpful tips on catching stocked trout.
Things to do at Lake Sambell Beechworth
Beechworth is a township roughly 4 hours drive from Melbourne past townships Benalla and Wangaratta. With a township of roughly 4,000 residents, the township is rich in goldrush history dating back to the 1800s. Local attractions include woolshed waterfalls, Billsons brewery, the historic courthouse and lakes including Lake Sambell and Lake Kerferd.
Lake Sambell is a lovely location in the heart of Beechworth for the whole family. It’s close to neighbouring caravan parks and camping sites. Lake Sambell is great for a picnic with the family with well-maintained grasslands. There are has good facilities including BBQs and sheltered picnic areas. There is a large children’s adventure playground and walking or cycling track that goes around the lake. It’s a picturesque scenic location great for photos on sunrise and sundown. With its own boat ramp, Lake Sambell is popular for recreational water activities including boating and kayaking.
Fishing at Lake Sambell
At Lake Sambell you can target several freshwater fish species including
- rainbow trout
- trout cod
This lake is regularly stocked with rainbow trout during school holidays breaks. In 2020 the lake received 900 rainbow trout yearlings. Use this link to follow Victorian trout stocking programs. However, the true treasures of this lake are the trout cod which have been stocked here for almost 10 years. These are beautiful fish greatly respected by the local community. They are a protected species that is now open for fishing at lake Sambell and neighbouring Lake Kerferd. There is also a healthy population of yellowbelly ( golden perch ), redfin ( English perch ) and tench. If your bait fishing here we would recommend using power bait in bright colours, live minnows, scrub worms, maggots, corn and mudeye. Either suspended from a float, paternoster rig or a small running sinker rig ( using a very small sinker when using a paternoster rig or running sinker rig ). This location also fishes well with lures and soft plastics. We would strongly suggest starting with small soft plastics including curl tails and paddle tails, spinners and shallow diving hard body lures around 5cm in size. For more suggestions read our guide on the Best lures and soft plastics to catch redfin
When targeting freshwater species such as trout and redfin we recommend fishing with a spinning light rod. This will make the experience more enjoyable whilst improving your catch rates. We suggest a 1-3 or 2-4 kilo capacity fishing rod. Coupled with a 2000, 2500 or 3000 size reel. Spooled with a decent quality braid between 4-8 pound finished with a rod length of a quality fluorocarbon leader. Redfin is more active in the warmer months whilst trout are more active during the cooler months. 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.
Recommended baits Lake Sambell
- Scrub worms
Recommended lures Lake Sambell
- Bluefox spinners
- Daiwa DR joint minnows
- Daiwa Bait Junkie 2.5 inch grub
- Savage Gear minnow blade
- Berkley powerbait grub
- Daiwa Presso minnows
- Tasmanian Devil Blade
- Bullet lures 5-0 minnow
- Bullet lures 3cm lure
- strike tiger nymph
- Rapala countdown floating minnow
- Daiwa Double Clutch
- Tasmanian Devil lure
- Gulp 3 inch minnow
- Zman 2.5 inch grub
- Dawia Bait Junkie paddle tail minnow
- Savage Gear Fathead crank shallow diving
- Squidges biotough grub
Targeting Yellowbelly at Lake Sambell
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 reliable stump jumpers, spinnerbaits, bassman spinners, and 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 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 feet 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 Trout at Lake Sambell
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 powerbait or lures. Watch the video below to find out the results which were interesting.
Targeting Redfin at Lake Sambell
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 Sambell Fishing Guide page are Fishing Mad originals.
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