Welcome to the Lilydale Lake Fishing Guide. Lilydale Lake is a man-made wetland in the outer eastern suburbs of Melbourne. Opened in July 1990 it was originally purpose-built to prevent flooding but has become a very popular destination welcoming a million people annually. It’s a roughly 1-hour drive from the CBD located in the township of Lilydale within the Yarra Valley. Open all year round this 28-hectare lake with a dam wall stretches a total of 440 meters and is great for targeting carp, trout and redfin.

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There are several fishing jetties scattered around the parklands. We have seen some big carp and some big rainbow trout landed from here in recent years. On its day the fishing can be plentiful with many anglers catching fish, and in recent years has become popular with Kayak anglers who can venture out towards the islands in the middle of the lake. The lake is stocked regularly with trout fingerlings by Vic fisheries during most school holidays. It’s a great fishing location for kids and beginners.

Things to do at Lilydale Lake

Lilydale lake has 10 kilometres of walking and cycling tracks which makes it a great place to bring the family. With scenic views and active birdlife such as rainbow lorikeets. There are good onsite facilities such as BBQs, picnic tables, open grounds, adequate parking and toilets. The kids will love Lilydale lake with playgrounds that include a flying fox, water spraying splash pads, swings, carousel, sailing and unique climbing sculptures. Dogs are welcome at the park with multiple designated areas for the off-lead running around. 

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


Fishing at Lilydale Lake

At Lilydale lake, there are several jetties where you can target fish species including trout, redfin, carp, tench and eel. This lake is regularly stocked with rainbow trout just prior to school holidays. In 2019 it will receive 2,000 rainbow trout yearlings. Use this link to follow Victorian trout stocking programs. The lake welcomes non-powered vessels such as sailing boats, canoes and kayaks. If you plan on fishing with bait from the banks then worms, power bait, maggots and corn are great options. We have seen plenty of trout caught with these baits. If you plan on targeting carp from the banks so corn, scrub worms and bread will work very well. Lilydale Lake is a great location for lures and soft plastics. There are lots of stocked trout and small redfin so small minnow imitation soft plastics and spinners should be one of your first choices. Why not check out our guide on the Best lures for catching Redfin

You can also try your luck with long casting metal lures which are a great option for land-based anglers. These are great for bigger fish and allow you to cast long distances. Top options include the nories wasabi and pontoon 21 paco spoon which are great for targeting both trout and redfin. Shallow diving hard body lures such as bullet lures, Daiwa double-clutch, Rapala Countdown series and Savage gear minnows are also excellent choices. 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. If you are actively targeting carp then might be wise to upgrade the rod to a 3-5 kilo. Coupled with a 4000 size reel spooled with a 12-pound line.

Recommended fishing lures Lilydale Lake

  • 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

Targeting Trout at Lilydale Lake


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 Redfin at Lilydale Lake


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 Carp at Lilydale Lake


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. It’s 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, particularly 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 float 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

Kayak fishing at Lilydale lake

Non-powered boats are welcome on the lake. However, they must have a max length of 4.5m with a keel depth of up to 1m. For more information on sailing restrictions please contact Melbourne Water on 131 722. Kayak fishing is a great way to find where the redfin and trout are residing and allow you to cover a great distance. This also allows you to fish significantly lighter not needing the casting distance from land. Lightly weighted soft plastics, spinners and shallow diving hard body lures are excellent choices when fishing here by kayak. Most freshwater species have a tendency to feed more aggressively at Dawn and Dusk. My personal favourite is fishing the sundown particularly in the warmer months.

Helpful fishing video for Lilydale Lake

Why not have a look at this video which highlights how to target stocked rainbow trout. Lilydale Lake park is stocked heavily with rainbow trout every year during most school holidays so this video should provide you with some helpful tips.

Parking and facilities at Lilydale Lake

Open all year with free entry the lake offers adequate parking of John and Hardy street in front of the park entrance. There is Lilydale lake community room which is perfect to host meetings or events. Again this is a great location to bring the family with playgrounds for the kids, open grounds, designated dog off-lead areas, BBQ facilities, sculptures, and water activities. There are scattered fishing jetties which makes it a great spot to bring the kids for a fish.

Lilydale Lake Map Chart

Lilydale lake was once very prone to flooding. All country areas are inhabited by wildlife such as Snakes and Lizards, so be wary of venomous snakes such as Brown, Tiger and Red-bellied Black.

No powered boats are allowed on the water. Camping and open fires are prohibited. 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 domain.com.au   All other images and videos shown on the Lilydale Lake Fishing Guide are Fishing Mad originals.

Thank you for visiting the Lilydale Lake 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