Welcome to the Carp Fishing Guide Victoria. Carp local fish species facts and Limits. Carp also known as “Mud Marlins” are an introduced species that has plagued our freshwater lakes and river systems. They adapt to these environments, and they flourish and breed at astronomical rates taking over residential native species such as trout and perch. For this reason that they are considered a noxious pest species that must not be returned to the water.

It’s not all doom and gloom many anglers enjoy targeting carp. They’re accessible, they grow to huge sizes, they fight well and they’re easy to target with simple baits and rigs. Click here to read our detailed guide on Carp fishing around Melbourne & Victoria


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Carp Facts & Catch Limits

  • Carp has the scientific name of Cyprinus carpio.
  • European Carp can grow well over a meter in length even in small shallow systems.
  • There is no minimum legal size
  • Carp must not be returned to the water.
  • Fines apply if you return the carp to the water. Please enquire with Victoria fisheries if you would like to no more about this topic.

Best time to catch Carp ( Seasons )

In Victoria, Australian Bass can be caught most of the year. However, they are more active in Summer and Autumn. They are often best targeted at Dawn/Dusk. 

Carp Fishing Calendar


Best Baits to Catch Carp

Our best bait recommendations include corn, maggots, and scrub worms. Where possible fish with as little weight. When land-based you may need a heavy sinker to cast out as far as you can.

Bait Choices

  • Corn
  • scrub worms
  • earthworms
  • bread
  • maggots
  • boilies

Watch this video of FishingMad catching some huge Carp from a local urban waterway

Best Soft Plastics and lures to Catch Carp

Soft Plastics

Traditionally you would target carp on bait however it was becoming increasingly popular in recent times to catch them by sight casting with soft plastics. Soft plastics with natural-looking minnows, grub tail soft plastics, paddle tail soft plastics, and hard body lures. They will even take surface lures and shallow diving minnows and it’s often a pleasant surprise when they do.

  • 70mm Squidy wrigglers in bloodworm,
  • Strike tiger curl tail grub in bright yellow and hard body lures such as
  • Atomic Hardz in natural colors is a great choice.

How to catch Carp

A general-purpose fishing rod around 7 feet in length in a 3-5 kilo or 4-6 kilo class is perfect for this style of fishing. This is light enough to allow you to enjoy the fight and heavy enough to stay in control and land the beast. You generally couple this with a 3000 or 4000-size reel and 8 pounds or 12-pound line. That’s a great starting outfit for arp fishing in Melbourne. I’m always looking for new ways to challenge myself. I have been known to chase big carp on rod outfits as light as 2-4 kilos with a 2500 reel on a 6-pound line which adds a whole new dynamic. It requires a certain amount of control and patience which really teaches you the art of landing a big fish, especially at the end when trying to land them as they tend to go on late runs and this is often where you lose them.

We recommend 3 simple fishing rigs when targeting carp.

Rig 1 – Simple running sinker

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

Rig 2 – Unweighted

This is simply the easiest rig you can imagine simply tie a size 6 bait keeper hook or size 10 long shank hook or a small treble hook to the end of your line and fish unweighted. This is a great option if your fishing off a jetty or pontoon or if you know the carp will come in quite close to the edges.

Rig 3 – Using a float

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


The best locations to catch Carp around Melbourne and Victoria

Some hot spots around Melbourne and Victoria for Carp include

  • Lake Eppalock
  • Jack Roper Reserve
  • Lake Eildon
  • Melton Reservoir
  • Murray River
  • Werribee River
  • Albert Park Lake
  • Latrobe River
  • Rocklands Reservoir
  • Pykes Creek
  • Cherry Lake
  • Brimbank Park
  • Rowville Lake
  • Ringwood Lake
  • Dandenong Creek
  • Caroline springs lake
  • Caribbean Gardens
  • Darebin Creek parklands
  • Ruffey creek linear park
  • Casey, Yarra river
  • Darlingsford lake
  • Diamond Creek
  • Berwick lakes
  • Waranga Basin
  • Lake Burrumbeet
  • Lake Neanga
  • Goulburn River
  • Coburg lake
  • Lake Boort
  • Merri Creek
  • fairways Craigieburn
  • Barwon River

Generally not considered a fish to be eaten by Australians. Some would argue if you clean them thoroughly they can be filleted or boiled into a soup. Carp are considered a noxious pest and it is illegal to put them back into any water system if caught. Carp are fun and easy to target with baits you can collect from your pantry some corn, bread, or worms and hang on. Fish with light gear makes carp fishing so much more enjoyable.


Tips to catch carp in Victoria

  • Carp are not big strikers, often they will play with your bait or sit on top of it for a little while so pay close attention. Some of the biggest carp I have caught hardly moved the line.
  • Carp will often follow birdlife, I think this has more to do with locals feeding the birds and creating a frequent berley trail in a concentrated area.
  • Keep a close eye on the water as carp will frequently surface and in some lakes come crashing out of the water. In warmer months you will often see them along the banks where the water is cooler.
  • Keep your drag set loose. I have learned this the hard way. This year alone I have lost 3 brand-new rod setups by forgetting to loosen the drag after catching a decent-sized one. A simple blink and the rod is gone. In my case, this means I have lost some good and expensive kit.

Thanks for reading the Carp Fishing Guide Victoria. If you feel this fish species guide is missing key information or needs any corrections. Then please let us know by emailing our team at enquiries@fishingmad.com.au with specific details in the email. Thank you