Welcome to the fishing location guide for Lake Wendouree. This large lake is roughly 90 minutes drive from Melbourne and is located in the heart of Ballarat. It’s a shallow man-made wetland spanning 220 hectares. This large and vibrant fishing location is stocked regularly with Trout. It’s a popular spot for rowing and 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, and Sporting clubs and is situated close to Ballarat town and show grounds. It’s open to land-based anglers, kayakers and boats.
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Things to do in Ballarat
Ballarat is a Victorian township full of history and is 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 walk 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 in 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.
Watch our detailed video guide on our top 10 redfin lures below
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 sundown, particularly in the warmer months. In the colder months, you are 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 power bait 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 to getting your ures to the right depth. We generally fish this area flicking lures whilst covering the ground and walking around many of the walkways around the lake. Trying to cast in clearings next to weeds, structures and weeds which are often where the fish are hiding. Check out our detailed guides on the best lures to catch Redfin and the 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. The same would apply to 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 for bright spinnerbaits. 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 you after some tips on how to catch recently stocked freshwater fish
Recommended fishing lures Lake Wendouree
- Daiwa DR joint minnows
- Daiwa Presso minnows
- Bullet lures 5-0 minnow
- Bullet lures 3cm lure
- Noriws Wasabi spoon
- Pontoon 21 paco spoon
- 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
- Daiwa Bait Junkie paddle tail minnow
- Zerek fish trap
- eco gear ZX40
- Savage Gear Fathead crank shallow diving
- stump jumpers
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.
Targeting Trout at Lake Wendouree
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 1000, 2000, or 2500 reel spooled with 4-8-pound braid and equivalent fluorocarbon leader. If there are larger trophy size trout around then 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 Redfin at Lake Wendouree
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.
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.
Images of fish supplied VFA and DEPI. the header from All other images and videos shown on the Lake Wendouree Fishing Guide are Fishing Mad originals.
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