Welcome to the fishing location guide for Lake Wendouree. This large lake is roughly 90 minutes drive from Melbourne and located in the heart of Ballarat. Its a shallow man-made wetland spanning 220 hectares. This large and vibrant fishing location is stocked regularly with Trout. Its a popular spot for rowing and too has become a very popular fishing destination in recent years for lure fishing, fly fishing and bait fishing. It, however, can be a very challenging place to fish but does provide high rewards and trophy size fish. It’s surrounded by Botanical gardens, vibrant birdlife, Children’s playgrounds, walking tracks, Sporting clubs and situated close to Ballarat town and show grounds. It’s open to land-based anglers, kayakers and boats.
Things to do in Ballarat
Ballarat is a Victorian township full of history and most known for its gold rush days. Sovereign Hill is a place you can visit that takes you back in time to this era. Ballarat is a large township full of shops, restaurants, and sports. Weekly the township comes together for the Sunday market which always draws a good crowd. There is also the Ballarat wildlife park choc-full of animals including kangaroo feeding, and viewing large crocodiles and snakes. Then there is the tramway museum, war memorial and Kryal castle just before the township of the highway.
Lake Wendouree is a terrific destination for the family. There is plenty of space for them to run around and walking tracks around the lake. There is a large wooden adventure playground for the kids. Then there are the beautifully maintained royal botanic gardens across the road from the lake. You can mix up the fishing with a play on the adventure Park and stroll around the walking tracks. There are also plenty of swans and ducks to look at. There are facilities onsite and you’re close to town.
Lake Wendouree annually hosts several fishing events that bring the community together. This includes the Ballart Fishing Festival to celebrate the opening of trout season and stocking days.
Fishing at Lake Wendouree
Lake Wendouree can be a challenging fishing destination with an extensive volume of weeds. In winter it can get quite cold and windy however the fishing can be exceptional. You can catch brown trout, rainbow trout, redfin, tench and eels. With trophy size trout and redfin over 40cm quite common catches. In recent years the lake has been heavily stocked with trout generally around 6,000 trout per year. Use this link to follow Victorian trout stocking programs. Wendouree fishes well seasonally with redfin more active in the warmer months and trout are more active during the cooler months. Most freshwater species have a tendency to feed more aggressively at Dawn and Dusk. Our favourite is fishing the sundown particularity in the warmer months. In the colder months your likely to see trout surfacing in the early morning.
When targeting freshwater species such as trout & 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 1000, 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.
If you plan to fish with bait from the banks then good options include powerbait in bright colours, crickets, 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 perch caught using these baits and methods.
Lure fishing Lake Wendouree
This is a great location for lures and soft plastics but you will battle with a large volume of weed and lily pads. The lake is quite shallow so it will take some time to adjust getting your ures to the right depth. We generally fish this area flicking lures whilst covering ground walking around many of the walkways around the lake. Trying to cast in clearings next to weeds, structure and weeds which are often where the fish are hiding. Check out our detailed guides on the best lures to catch Redfin and best ways to catch trout.
At lake Wendouree shallow diving hard body lures are great go-to options, allowing you to remain just above the weed beds. We generally cast and slow roll these which seems to work well. Same would apply for surface lures such as bent minnows which work well in this area. Soft plastics such as minnows and curl tails and spinners are also great options. A combination of a jighead with spinner and bright soft plastic is a great option or bright spinnerbaits. These you can simply cast and slow roll or add some pauses and twitches until you find what’s working on the day. Within clearer areas, long casting metal spoons can work really well. They allow land-based anglers to cover great distances and will allow you to target both trout and redfin at the same time. Trout will often be seen surfacing so it’s also a good location for fly fishing or fly and crickets so imitations.
Check out this video if your after some tips on how to catch recently stocked freshwater fish
Kayaking and Boating at Lake Wendouree
Fishing from a boat or kayak is a great option at lake Wendouree. launching a kayak is easy as you can launch in most areas. Boats will need to use the designated boat ramp. This is a great way to cover much ground and try to find where the schools of redfin are hiding. Just do take note of rowing lanes and rowers and from time to time the lake is closed to rowing competitions. One effective method of fishing by boat or kayak is to slowly troll shallow diving hard body lures along the reeds, weed beds and rowing lanes.
Known Hazards & rules at Lake Wendouree
Be wary of rowers who will get on the front foot to claim their part of the lake. It can also get very cool in winter. It’s a popular spot if you’re fishing just be very wary when casting to look and make sure no one is walking near you. Also, try and keep your lines away from the abundance of swans and ducks in the water. No fishing with waders. 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.
Additions and corrections of this location
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