Welcome to the Waranga Basin Fishing Guide. Waranga Basin is the fourth largest inland waterway in Victoria located between the Goulburn and Campaspe Rivers. Located 8 km northeast of Rushworth and 12 km southwest of Tatura. The closest major township is Shepparton which is a 30-minute drive. Waranga Basin is a manmade purpose built-in 1905 on natural swampland called ‘Waranga Swamp’, also known as ‘Gunn’s Swamp’. This 8.8 metres high and 7 km long embankment today is a popular spot for fishing and boating. Facilities along the foreshore include a caravan park and picnic areas with electric barbeques. Waranga Basin has a capacity of 432,360 megalitres and is one of the largest storage in Goulburn. Water is diverted from the Goulburn River and supplies the Central Goulburn, Rochester and Pyramid-Boort irrigation areas across northern Victoria. Basin water also supplies the nearby towns of Rushworth, Kyabram, Stanhope and Tongala.
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Things to do Waranga Basin and Shepparton
Waranga Basin is a family-friendly destination that provides good bushwalking, birdwatching, cycling and horse riding. There is also camping options available around the lake and scattered amenities such as playgrounds, picnic grounds and toilets. Others will also enjoy jet skiing, boating, waterskiing and kite flying are popular ways to pass the time. Shepparton is a large country Victorian town that’s home to over 50,000 residents. located 190 kilometres from Melbourne the town is full of shops, amenities, playgrounds, walking trails and accommodation. Nearby attractions include the national botanic gardens, aquamoves water park, golf club, art museum, motor museum and community tower.
Watch our detailed video guide on our top 10 redfin lures below
Fishing Waranga Basin
There are 2 concrete boat ramps scattered across the basin that provide excellent boat launching options. The average depth of water in Waranga Basin is 7 metres, with a maximum depth of 10 metres. This area is very exposed so do be careful on windy days as the waves can get surprisingly high.
At Warsnga Basin you can catch
- golden perch
- Murray cod
Waranga Basin has a healthy population of redfin here you can also target yellowbelly, Murray cod, trout and carp. Fishing can be good all year round with perch more active in the warmer months and trout more active in the colder months. Whilst carp can be caught in good number, particularly around Spring. You’re always likely to get more bites on sunrise and sundown but with some effort on any given day or time. For those fishing with bait power bait and worms suspended from a float are ideal options. Good size redfin and trout are caught here regularly. It’s a prime location to fish with a kayak and has unbelievable potential for those who enjoy fly fishing. Land-based anglers will also catch a good volume of redfin casting soft plastics from the banks.
Effective fishing techniques include trolling hard-bodied lures in the deeper channels and casting 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.
Recommended baits Waranga Basin
- Scrub worms
Best fishing lures at Waranga Basin
The lake is shallow and weedy. We recommend using single hooks instead of trebles where possible. Lightly weighted grub and minnow style soft plastics are very effective on yellowbelly ( golden Perch ), estuary perch, carp and trout. Lipless Crankbaits, blades, cranks and shallow diving hard-body lures are a great all-around choice.
- ZMan Slim SwimZ paddle tail with an attached TT Jig Spinner
- Tasmanian Devil Blade
- Daiwa Double Clutch
- Tackle Tactics Vortex Spinner Bait in 1/4oz
- Daiwa Bait Junkie 2.5 inch grub
- Gulp 3 inch minnow
- Zman 2.5 inch grub
- Dawia Bait Junkie paddle tail minnow
- Jackall TN50
- Zerek fish trap
- Jackall transams
- Samaki vibelicious
- eco gear ZX40
- Savage Gear Fathead crank shallow diving
- stump jumpers S3
- Squidges biotough grub
- Bassman spinner bait
- Berkley powerbait grub
Targeting Redfin at Waranga Basin
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 Yellowbelly at Waranga Basin
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 Trout at Waranga Basin
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.
Targeting Murray Cod at Waranga Basin
Murray Cod is Australia’s largest freshwater fish that grows to impressive sizes. Cod are an 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 Carp at Waranga Basin
There is a large volume of carp in local lakes however they are fun to catch and you can learn more about catching carp have a read our detailed guide to carp fishing around Victoria. When targeting carp standard baits such as corn, bread, and maggots work great for carp here. Using a simple running sinker rig with a pea-size sinker works great in this area. So, do suspend 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. This means spotting a nearby carp and casting right in there 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 a 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.
If your getting snagged up then 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 to 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.
Images of fish supplied VFA and DEPI. Map supplied from Google Maps. All other images and videos shown on the Waranga Basin Fishing Guide page are Fishing Mad originals.
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