Welcome to the Lake Toolondo Fishing Guide. Lake Toolondo is located north-east of the Grampians between townships of Hamilton and Horsham. The lake back in the 80s was recognised as a suitable place to build an amazing trout hatchery and for many years brown trout have been stocked and flourished. The lake, however, has been heavily featured in the press over the last couple of years due to drought. This has seen low water levels making the lake inaccessible and at times almost unfishable. Currently sitting around 40% water capacity. However a massive credit to local anglers for providing a voice which has seen backing by the state government which started a campaign with much water pumped back into the system and hopefully in years to come the lake will once again flourish. In its prime, it offered great boating, skiing, kayaking and swimming.

In January 2015, 5000-megalitres of water was transferred to Toolondo Reservoir. Attempting to bring this lake back to its former glory and thankfully we have seen some improvement. The true beauty about Lake Toloondo is that it trophy-size brown trout there is also large redfin and a large volume of structure for fish to hide making it a great fishing location.

Things to do Lake Toolondo

You can stay for a weekend away at the Wash tomorrow Caravan Park which is located at Telangatuk East Road, Toolondo. This is located in a rural bush setting and provides basic amenities, BBQs and facilities for powered and unpowered sites. There are boat ramps at either side of the lake but have been unusable in recent years due to drought and poor water levels. The lake is a great area for swimming, water skiing and kayaking. There is no camping allowed near the lake but there are also close by caravan parks which make it a great destination for a weekend getaway.

Fishing Lake Toolondo

Lake Toolondo is the place to catch trout, redfin and carp. In fact, there are some massive trout over 8 kilos in size have been pulled from Toolondo and widely considered an amazing trout fishery. It is however a tough fishing location due to the high volume of weed and timber stricture making certain fishing methods incredibly challenging. Fly fishing is a good option at Toolondo along the shallows and a great way to temp a big trout. If bait fishing Scrub worms, earthworms, Power bait, yabbies, mudeye and mayfly nymph are good options. This is a great spot for trolling tassie devils and shallow diving hard body lures. It’s also a great spot for and a wide range of soft plastics. Click here to see our best lures and plastics when targeting Redfin. Any time of day, though some fish will be more active at Dawn and Dusk.

In recent years carp numbers have increased in the lake and locals have gone to great efforts to rid the lake of as many carp as possible. In fact, thanks to electrofishing methods 6 tonnes of carp were removed.

Recommended fishing lures Lake Toolondo

Targeting Redfin at Lake Toolondo


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 Toolondo


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 Carp at Lake Toolondo


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.

Running sinker fishing rig

If your getting snagged up than you can also use a flot 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


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.


Images of fish supplied VFA and DEPI. the header from visitgrampians.com.au All other images and videos shown on the Lake Toolondo Fishing Guide page are Fishing Mad originals.

Additions or Corrections for this location

Thank you for visiting the Lake Toolondo 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