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Winter fishing in the Grampians: A local’s guide

4 Aug. 2022

Don’t be deterred by the colder weather, the Grampians’ pristine lakes and waterways offer some of the best fishing spots all year round. It’s one of the best ways to find serenity and calm your busy body and mind while soaking up the spectacular big nature on offer in the Grampians.

Ian Gumela from Breeze Holiday Parks Grampians has been an avid angler in the region for years and has a few secrets up his sleeve. So, whether you’re fishing for a feed or simply for fun, read on to discover Ian’s local tips for casting a line in the Grampians.

What Grampians lakes are best for fishing this winter?

Lake Fyans is a great spot for fishing! It’s easily accessible from Halls Gap, Pomonal, Stawell or Ararat. You can drive right onto the beach and fish from the shore or put the boat in for the best chance of catching a good haul.

Lake Wartook is the more scenic option for fishing as it’s located high up in the Grampians (Gariwerd) National Park. You can’t beat the surrounding views of the spectacular mountain range as you drop a line.

Rocklands Reservoir is a big reservoir on the western side of the Grampians. We love it here for camping. You can set up a tent right on the bank and listen to the sounds of gentle waves lapping on shore while admiring the starry night sky.

Lake Bellfield is a stunning location surrounded by mountains and perfect for kids. No power boats are allowed as it’s the town’s water supply and no fishing from the dam wall is allowed, however you can take a kayak out on the water, and from the banks you can still score a great catch!

Lastly, Lake Lonsdale, also known as ‘Muddy Lake’, is great for wading and finding yabbies.

What fish can we expect to find?

At Lake Fyans and Lake Wartook you’ll find rainbow and brown trout and redfin. Rocklands also has trout and redfin, as well as bass and Murray cod – plus a couple of tagged $10,000 Murray cod.

Lake Bellfield has just been stocked with Murray cod, trout and redfin. You’ll also find tagged $10,000 brown trout. Aside from yabbies, Lake Lonsdale also has redfin, trout and yellowbelly.

What equipment do you need to fish in the Grampians?

You can take anything from small tinnies to kayaks. In Lake Fyans and Rocklands Reservoir you can take bigger ski boats but be sure to check the wind as it can come over quickly, especially on the open lakes.

Basic fishing gear will suffice but a couple of soft plastic lures are ideal or head to Hamilton Hire to pick up all your necessary fishing supplies. Worms are available locally throughout the area, such as Stawell Tackle and Marine, Wimmera Outdoors, Lyal Eales Stores, and Webbcon Marine. The local tackle shops have great knowledge of what equipment is best during your visit – so I suggest having a good chat to them.

Tell us about your best fishing experience

An early start on Lake Fyans is always a winner for me. My best trip was with my new colleague, a beautiful sunrise and a great haul of five redfin to take home for breakfast, plus a couple of tiddlers (that got thrown back). We had bites right from the first cast!

Why do you enjoy fishing?

I enjoy the chance to slow down and be one with nature as much as the actual fishing– often I don’t catch anything. It’s nice and peaceful out on the Grampians lakes, especially on an early morning. The fog creeps over and the skies are bathed in colours of pink, red and orange – it’s simply breathtaking.

Fishing is also my little escape from the kids!

Any insider tips or hidden locations you can share with us?

Good fishermen don’t share their tips… just joking! The best place to get tips is from the local tackle shops. All the operators are keen fishermen who know where the fish are biting and what they’re biting at any time of year. They’ll help you get the best from your visit.

If you’ve got any questions about fishing, or you need a fishing licence (required for those aged 18 to 69), want to know bag limits or even what type of fish you’ve caught, download the free Victorian Fisheries app.