Welcome to the Taylors Lake Fishing Guide. Taylors Lake is located roughly 20 minutes or 18 kilometres from Horsham a 3-hour drive from Melbourne, heading towards Ararat. Taylors Lake is a long narrow lake is surrounded by farmland and forms part of the Wimmera-Mallee domestic water supply. It’s also a 40-minute drive from Halls Gap national park which is a beautiful country setting along the picturesque mountains. The lake is popular for recreational water activities such as boating, jet skiing and waterskiing and a popular fishery that holds good numbers of cod, yellow belly, and redfin.
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Things to do at Horsham and Taylors Lake
The closest main township to Taylors Lake is Horsham. Horsham is a large township of country Victoria within the Wimmera region home to roughly 20,000 residents and the eleventh largest city in Victoria after Melbourne, Geelong, Ballarat, Bendigo, Wodonga, Mildura, Shepparton, Warrnambool, Traralgon, and Wangaratta. At Horsham, you can visit the Horsham Botanical gardens, the Wimmera River, parks, shopping and more. You can also venture up to the Grampians National park which is a good location to take the family and unplug in a beautiful country setting. You could stay at the Halls Gap Lakeside Tourist Park which has breathtaking views, heated pools, cabins, glamping and a great assortment of local wildlife. You can also head a little further out at the Lake Bellfield Big 4 Caravan park. Nearby attraction includes halls gap zoo, Mackenzies falls, Silverband falls, Venus loop walks, Grampians helicopter flights, wine tours, rock climbing, and bushwalking. This whole area is great for fishing, it’s not just Lake Wartook. but you also have surrounding lakes including Lake Fyans, Rocklands Reservoir, Lake Lonsdale and Lake Bellfield
Watch our detailed video guide on our top 10 redfin lures below
Fishing Taylors Lake
In 2016 the boat ramp reviewed a welcome upgrade and now has ample amenities for boats wanting to fish here. At Taylors Lake, you can target
- Murray cod
- golden perch
- river blackfish
At Taylors Lake, your prime targets will be Murray cod and golden perch the lake also holds an abundance of redfin. Unfortunately, the stocking of Murray cod and golden perch stopped in 2012 due to low water levels. The lake however still holds a decent number of Cod caught between 50-60cms and many golden perch between 35-45cms. You can find decent structures in this lake towards the edges which hold good fish. So does the weed which can get quite thick in certain areas making it a challenge when trolling or working lures, so stay nimble and find areas with clearings and good water clarity. Effective fishing techniques include trolling hard-bodied lures in the deeper channels and casting lures such as Spinnerbaits, lipless crankbaits, hard-bodied lures, soft plastics and surface lures along the shallows and banks. We would highly recommend when fishing here concentrate your time and effort casting lures towards and suspending baits hard up against the visible structure and depth changes. Many of the largest fish are often caught amongst the timber. The trick here is to present a lure or bait and tempt the bigger ones out of the structure they are residing in for a reaction strike. Cod love the cover of structures such as trees and submerged logs and many of the big cod have been caught casting large surface lures in these areas.
Keep an eye open for bait balls on your sounder which is a good signal of productive fishing grounds as does fishable weed beds and submerged timber. Early in the season fish are found in shallows at depths of 1-2 meters as the water temperature is warmer here. In the warmer months, the fish are more evenly spread in the shallows and deeper waters. It’s not common to see bigger fish actively swimming around in open water. So use the current to your advantage. Murray cod and golden perch are ambush feeders and prefer to wait for the current to bring food to them. Be mindful of the wind. This lake is open and exposed and the swell/waves can get up to a meter and really catch you by surprise so always be prepared and check weather forecasts before fishing. On windy days you could consider fishing on the Murray River below the weir wall or the near Bundelong which are often sheltered from the wind.
Watch our detailed video guide on our top 10 redfin lures below
Spring is the best time of year for targeting golden perch ( yellow belly ) and cod. They can be caught at any time of the day but often the last 2 hours of daylight can be the best. Trout are more active in the colder months and redfin ( perch ) are more active in the warmer months. Again you can catch all these different species during any part of the day, though some fish will be more active at Dawn and Dusk.
Best fishing lures at Taylors Lake
If you are targeting yellow belly then some great lure choices would include lip-less crank-baits such as Jackall TN series, stump jumpers which too can be cast or trolled, vibes, and spinnerbaits such as bassman spinners. If you’re targeting a large Murray cod then you’ll be rigging up with large spinnerbaits, diving hard body lures, large swimbaits, large surface lures, large soft plastics in natural colours. There are some weird and wonderful surface lures and swimbaits new to the market so get creative and mix up your retrieval technique.
There is also a wide range of soft plastics & lures. Click here to see our best lures and plastics when targeting Redfin.
- Large soft swimbaits
- Large surface lures
- stump jumpers
- Bassman DT spinnerbait
- Daiwa Duckfin live shad
- Koolabung code walker
- Savage Gear 3D snake
- Bassman Biggen spinnerbait
- Icon Carnage spinnerbaits
- Jackall TN50 and TN60
- Daiwa Bait Junkie 2.5 inch grub
- Gulp 3 inch minnow
- Zman 2.5 inch grub
- Daiwa Bait Junkie paddle tail minnow
- Jackall TN50
- Zerek fish trap
- Jackall transams
- Samaki vibelicious
Recommended baits Taylors Lake
When bait fishing good options include
- Scrub worms
- bardi grubs
- live minnow
Targeting Murray Cod at Taylors Lake
Murray Cod is Australia’s largest freshwater fish that grows to impressive sizes. Cod are ambush predators that love the cover of structure so make sure you concentrate your efforts on any visible structure including logs and submerged trees. They will also seek shelter in deeper holes and rock ledges. Cod are most active in low light conditions such as sunrise and sundown. A medium to heavy bait caster rod is ideal when targeting cod. This might be a stiff 6-foot rods in 6-10 kilo class matched with a suitable size bait caster reel spooled with 20lb to 30lb braid and 30lb to 40lb leader. Good lure options for Murray Cod include hard body lures, surface lures, spinnerbaits, swimbaits, shads, lipless crankbaits, paddle tail and curtail soft plastics. These should be worked slowly or tolled from your boat or kayak if access is permitted. There are some amazing surface lures on the market these days including imitation mice, frogs, ducks, and snakes with realistic action that are fun to target cod with. Bait anglers can target Murray cod with live yabbies and worms.
Targeting Yellowbelly at Taylors Lake
Yellow belly AKA Golden Perch is a beautiful freshwater fish found in this system. With a rich food source available the yellowbelly here grow too thick and plump sizes. Good lure choices include curl tail soft plastics with the zman 2.5-inch grubz and Gulp 3-inch grub minnow both in black are standout choices. Soft vibes such as the Zerek fish trap, Jackall transams and Samaki vibelicious are great options. lip-less crank-baits such as Jackall TN50 and TN60 continue to be very popular so do blades such as the eco gear ZX40 with stinger hooks. Other favourites are the reliable stump jumpers, spinnerbaits, bassman spinners, large grub style soft plastics in dark colours. Soft plastics are worked best on a 1/8 or 1/4 jig head slow-rolled along any structure. This works particularly well when tying your boat or kayak up against trees and working the soft plastic slowly up against the tree and adding some noise to the action by tapping the butt of your rod or by hitting the jig head into the timber. This brings out the predatory nature of the yellowbelly. Take advantage of down scan and side scan technologies on your sounder and spend some time moving between the structure to find the fish. Other lures to can be worked amongst the timber but in general work really well in open water being slow-rolled or trolled.
When it comes to rod selection we generally use a light spin rod around 7 foot in length in 1-4, 2-4 or 3-5 kilo class paired with a 1000, 2000 or 2500 size reel. Spooled with 8-12 pound braid and an equivalent fluorocarbon leader. Baitcaster rods and reels are a very popular choice when targeting yellowbelly. Good options include a 3-5 or 4-6 bait caster with a 2000 bait caster reel. When bait fishing a 7 foot light rod paired with a 3000 size reel. Good bait rigs would include a paternoster rig with a small sinker at the bottom or a running sinker rig with scrub worms or yabbies.
Targeting Redfin at Taylors 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.
Always carry your Victorian/NSW 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. All other images and videos shown on the Taylors Lake Fishing Guide page are Fishing Mad originals.
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