Welcome to the Tanjil River Fishing Guide. The Tanjil River is located in the West Gippsland region roughly 2-hour drive from Melbourne. It’s a very scenic location within Mt Baw Baw that offers breathtaking views and exceptional trout fishing.  The crystal clear flowing waters makes fishing with fly and lure a great pass time. The system is full of brown and rainbow trout that often sit in sheltered calm pools. The river is full of healthy wild trout, they don’t seem to grow to epic sizes but they are a lot of fun to catch on the light fly or spinning gear. Access into these areas can be quite tricky a 4WD is a big advantage, there aren’t a lot of proper walking tracks so chuck on some waders and stick to the river and walk upstream.

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Things to do Tanjil River

This is a unique location to bring the family which offers Off-roading, Camping, hiking and nearby walking trails, and waterfalls. It’s not every kid’s cup of tea, but it is an amazing location that is so scenic. Here you can stay at the Tanjil motor in which offers comfortable accommodation. Bairnsdale is a nice location to explore local lakes, rivers, and ocean entrances. There are also local wineries, award-winning gardens, golf and restaurants.

Fishing Tanjil River

The Tanjil river is made of 2 different sections of the east and west sections. Both sections are magnificent systems to target wild brown and rainbow trout. This river system has shallow flowing clean water with calm pools and is ideal to grow for fly fishing with nymphs. This way you can walk upstream and carefully cast into calm pools and deeper pockets. You can also fish with small floating and shallow diving hard body lures. Some good examples of shallow diving hard bodies that work well will include Rapala’s countdown series in F models such as F3 and f5, as well as ecogears SX40F and other floating options. Soft plastics with ultra-light jig heads that imitate crickets and mayflies will also work well due to high cricket and mayfly activity. There are some sections of the river where spinners will work really well, just adjust the weight of your spinner to the depth of the water levels.

You can fish here with bait but in most areas of the river, you will need to do so unweighted. Often bait fishing in shallow streams is challenging as you need to cast downstream which can often spook the fish. If you do plan fishing unweighted then scrub worms, maggots, mudeye and power bait are good options. Speak to your local tackle store about being fitted out for a fly fishing combo. There are also local fly fishing tuition opportunities available so keep your eyes open for those. If trout fishing with spin gear then the ultralight gear is a must and ill make the experience more fun. To maximize your chances fish with a 1-3 or 2-4 kilo rod. The main line spooled with 4-pound braid finished with a good quality leader. This river has an open and close season, so please check these dates before fishing and don’t fish during closed seasons. Always carry your Victorian fishing license, FishingMad encourage that wild trout be treated with the utmost respect. We believe catch and release is a must here, and do your best to keep the fish in optimal health by using an eco-friendly net and barbless hooks where possible. This is an unspoilt area so do your best to keep it this way by cleaning up after yourself and looking after the natural fauna and wildlife. Trout will bite all day long in this area but are notorious for feeding more heavily at Dawn and Dusk. My personal favourite is fishing the sundown.

Check out this video highlighting how to target stocked rainbow trout.

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 Tanjil River

  • Scrub worms
  • Powerbait
  • Yabbies
  • Mudeye
  • maggots

Recommended lures Tanjil River

  • 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
  • Nories Wasabi spoon
  • Rapala countdown floating minnow
  • Pontoon 21 paco spoon
  • Daiwa Double Clutch
  • Tasmanian Devil lure
  • Gulp 3-inch minnow
  • Zman 2.5 inch grub
  • Daiwa Bait Junkie paddle tail minnow
  • Savage Gear Fathead crank shallow diving
  • Squidges biotough grub

Targeting Trout at Tanjil River


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 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.

Images of fish supplied VFA and DEPI. All other images and videos shown on the Tanjil River Fishing Guide page are Fishing Mad originals.

Thank you for visiting the Tanjil River 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